As any friend of the Israeli and Jewish people should, our role must be to provide Israel with the time it needs to resolve its own affairs.
While China and Russia flex their power, the possibility of our closest allies in the Middle East region hedging towards China would be very troublesome. Israel is a nation whose people consistently value our friendship and express great affinity for the United States. It is a nation whose defense establishment is technologically advanced and so deeply integrated with our own that it essentially strengthens America’s regional defense posture. Israel’s defense structure itself is a vital American asset that multiplies our force and global power.
As such, it is simply incomprehensible that the current administration would damage our own interests by contemplating a downgrade of our deep friendship with Israel. We welcome denials by the Biden Administration that such a reassessment is underway and hope that this ill-considered suggestion would be dismissed. If talks of reassessment of relations continue, diplomatic damage would be done with one of our closest allies.
The US shouldn't interfere, but support Israel's navigation of its internal debates on reform
This is particularly important as Israel undergoes a difficult transition while reforming its legal system. We recognize the activity in Israel as an expression of democracy. Israelis clearly believe reform of some sort is necessary – they voted in a government to do so – but they are also making clear that it must be done in a way that strengthens their safety and security. A thriving democracy is grounded in majority rule, but it also hears the voices of the minority in protests.
Americans should welcome the commitment in Israel to strengthen freedom and democracy responsibly. We understand these are not only difficult questions for any society to handle, but that this process of reform, while clearly necessary, inherently raises the deeper societal and political questions that have originated as far back as the beginning of time. As friends of Israel, we must remember these are Israeli questions for the Israeli people to sort out.
It is imperative that we in the United States understand, as any friend of the Israeli and Jewish people should, that our role must not be to interfere, but to ensure Israel the time it needs to resolve this. It is nonconstructive for the United States to try to swing internal debates. As representatives of the US Congress, we stand strongly with Israel and its elected government under Prime Minister Netanyahu to navigate this difficult internal debate regarding the reforms their country is seeking.
As Iran gallops toward a nuclear weapon targeting Israel – who it has vowed to incinerate – Israel stands closer to a painful war than it has in a long time. Sadly, we let down our guard and allowed Iran to access funds to accomplish this when it should have been sputtering into paralysis by strongly enforced, constricting sanctions.
America should stand by Israel, a nation that will fight for its principles against all odds
Some of our regional friends have resigned themselves to seeking the help of others, like China, to help mitigate the threat. However, Israel has made clear that it will protect its survival – alone if necessary – and bear the burden of safeguarding regional interests by preventing Iran and other bad actors from winning.
A nation that is willing to sacrifice its best to fight for its principles, even alone and against the odds, deserves nothing but our deepest admiration and support.
America should support Israel and reinforce the strength, determination, and confidence that deters the force of Israel’s regional enemies. The joint strength between the US and Israel has led its neighbors to respect and value this cooperation and friendship. When Israel’s most dangerous foes doubt our resolve and unity, it is up to us to make crystal clear that we stand behind Israel.
The writers are members of the US House of Representatives. Ruthie Jaffe Lieberman, of the Yes! Israel Project, contributed to this article.