The history of the Jewish people in the land of Israel stems back more than
3,000 years, unbowed by the sequential rise and fall of the Assyrians,
Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Maccabeans, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Egyptians,
Crusaders, Mamelukes and Turks.
In comparison, the history of our own
United States dates back 236 years. Although America is a young society, we have
shared fundamental principles with the Jewish heritage from the time of our
Today, the bonds between America and Israel are stronger than
ever, yet they have never been more threatened.
When our founding fathers
crafted the Constitution, they looked to the ancient Israelites for guidance in
defining our “certain inalienable rights.”
The words inscribed on the
Liberty Bell: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants
thereof,” are taken from Old Testament scripture, Leviticus 25:10.
modern State of Israel and the United States share deeply-held precepts of
self-reliance, individual responsibility and religious freedom – as well as a
passion and acuity for entrepreneurship and innovation. With more than
3,000 hitech companies and start-ups, Israel has the highest concentration of
hi-tech companies in the world, apart from Silicon Valley. The technology for
AOL Instant Messenger was developed in 1996 by four young
Israel and the United States also unfortunately share a common
enemy in radical Islam, an ideology whose stated purpose is the destruction of
Israel, and the subjugation of the United States and America’s way of
life. Our common enemy knows no national borders. It fights without
uniforms, and readily targets our civilian populations.
Israel is the
100th smallest country, with less than 1/1,000th of the world’s
population. This tiny, bright beacon of freedom, liberty and economic
success in the Middle East is a target for destruction by radical Islamists for
these very reasons.
Israel has endured continuous attacks since its
founding in 1948, and peace agreements offered to the Palestinians, Syria and
Lebanon have met only rejection and rocket fire. It is truly a miracle that the
modern State of Israel still exists.
Israel’s position in the region is
more tenuous than ever. With its current borders, Israel as a nation is
virtually indefensible. At its narrowest point, Israel is only nine-miles
wide. The West Bank borders the West; the Mediterranean Sea borders the
Israel continues to push for negotiations with the Palestinians,
but success has been virtually impossible when there is no unity between the
PA President Mahmoud Abbas has not had control
of Gaza since June 2007, when the terrorist group Hamas staged a violent coup
against the Fatah party. As long as Fatah and Hamas continue fighting over the
legitimate Palestinian governing authority, credible negotiations seem
Israel continues to be threatened by the onslaught of secular
Muslim leaders appearing in volatile, unstable nearby nations. The “Arab Spring”
has resulted in Islamists led by the Muslim Brotherhood obtaining a 75 percent
majority control in Egypt, with a stated goal of overturning the 1979 Camp David
To make matters even more complicated and dangerous in the
Middle East, the US withdrawal from Iraq leaves a Shiafriendly path through
which Iran can extend its destructive tentacles.
Iran has already shown a
steady march to nuclear armament, while threatening to close the Straits of
Hormuz if a planned European Union oil embargo disrupts its export.
more than ever, America must demonstrate unwavering support of Israel. Instead,
though, this administration shows a weakening commitment to our staunchest ally
in the Middle East. Recently, the US cancelled the largest-ever joint military
exercise with Israel.
This decision made just two days before we learned
US President Barack Obama sent a secret communiqué to Iran’s supreme leader
requesting talks. Apparently, the president did not wish to “offend”
The president should instead be offended when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
asserts that “Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic
As a 22-year US Army veteran who commanded troops in the
Middle East, I can tell you from experience, this enemy of radical Islam
understands and respects only one thing: strength.
It is absolutely
essential to the future of both Israel and the US that America supports Israel
by providing a credible projection of power and a resolute willingness to accept
military options if necessary.
While we can, and should, assist with
negotiations, we must not adopt a posture of “even-handedness” between our ally
and other parties.
The US must support Israel’s need for secure,
recognized and defensible borders, as well as Israel’s right to determine its
own security requirements.
In the Middle East, the sands of power are
shifting under a harsh wind of change, with dangerous and frightening
possibilities. In this landscape, the existence of a sincere, brave and
unwavering ally is critical.
The US depends on the single constant of a
democratic, free ally in Israel. We must ensure Israel can always depend on
The writer is a US Congressman for the Republican Party who
represents Florida’s 22nd congressional district in the House of