Iron Dome battery 370.
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
The State of Israel recently celebrated the 65th anniversary of its
independence. This was a time for celebration as well as
Israel has managed to prosper against the odds, developing
both economic and military strength that have allowed the people and state of
Israel to flourish.
But this success has come at great cost. Too many
Israelis, civilians as well as soldiers, have lost their lives in violence
perpetrated by those who deny Israel’s right to exist. Israel is constantly
threatened by neighboring nations, including Iran, which continues pursuing a
nuclear weapons program for the express purpose of eliminating Israel
In addition to the nuclear threat, Israel’s enemies continue
using unconventional tactics such as militia-style assaults and cyber attacks to
undermine Israel’s security.
The US has stood with Israel from its
inception, and our nations remain close allies for good reason. As the only
democracy in the region, Israel stands as a beacon of hope and
Israel has also provided invaluable intelligence that has saved
the lives of civilians as well as US military personnel in the Middle
Our commitment to Israel has long included supporting Israel’s
qualitative military edge over those who would do her harm. Simply put, QME
ensures that Israel is equipped to counter and defeat the threats facing the
nation. The US has helped ensure Israel’s QME by providing military aid ranging
from equipment and weapons to technology.
Under current law, the
president also submits a report to Congress every four years concerning the
status of weapons systems being sold to Middle Eastern countries.
sensible improvements to the QME determination process would go far in ensuring
Israel’s security as well as US interests in the region. The current statutory
definition of QME only mentions conventional military threats, which ignores the
nuclear, terrorist and cyber threats against Israel. We are also concerned that
the substantial amount of time between QME reports may prevent Congress from
having the information it needs to assess the ever-changing situation in the
Together in a bipartisan effort, we have introduced
legislation that would update the definition of QME and help ensure that timely
information is provided to Congress as we work to ensure Israel’s continued
military advantage. Our legislation would require the president to consider
asymmetric and cyber warfare when making its QME determination.
would also require the executive branch to submit a biennial report concerning
the status of Israel’s QME.
Israel’s military strength is a vital
component to promoting stability and peace in the Middle East. Our legislation
provides an opportunity for the US to show Israel that we understand the various
threats they face and stand ready and willing to assist them. As members of the
House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, we are
committed to promoting our QME legislation and other measures to ensure Israel
is equipped to protect its citizens.Rep. Doug Collins (Georgia-09) is
serving his first term as a member of Congress. He was recently appointed to
vice chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, and is
the original sponsor of H.R. 1992, the Israel QME Enhancement Act.
Brad Schneider (Illinois-10) is also serving his first term as a member of
Congress and is the lead Democratic sponsor of H.R. 1992, the Israel QME