President Reuven Rivlin meets with US Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) – the leader of a bipartisan congressional delegation – in Jerusalem, April 1, 2015 .
(photo credit: Mark Neiman/GPO)
At least one member of a bipartisan congressional delegation from the US visiting the Middle East has a personal concern for Israel’s security. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, who holds a senior position on the House Armed Services Committee, told President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday that she has a daughter and son-in-law living in Tel Aviv plus a grandson born in Israel and another on the way.
Five years ago, when she and delegation leader Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), the chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces, had approved the money for the development of the Iron Dome missile defense system, she never imagined that it would be used to protect her own family.
Responding to remarks made by Rivlin about Israel’s worries about Iran’s ability to produce nuclear arms
, Sanchez (D-California) said that Iran is a matter of deep concern, and “we hope that nuclear weapons will be kept out of the hands of Iran.”
Turner said that this was his 10th visit to Israel since the 1990s, and that the neighborhood had changed significantly since his first visit.
He is pleased to have worked with Sanchez on the Iron Dome, he said, adding that it is inspiring to see Israel’s accomplishments in missile defense.
Like Sanchez, he also appreciates Israel’s concerns regarding Iran, whose nuclear capability, he said, would also put the United States and the whole world at risk.
Voicing appreciation for bipartisan support for Israel, especially as it pertains to the security of the free world, Rivlin said, as he has said to every American delegation that has met with him, that America is Israel’s best friend.
“That’s something that we have to say all the time, not only to you but to ourselves, especially when our ears, eyes and hearts are in Lausanne,” Rivlin declared in reference to the nuclear negotiations taking place there.