Paid for by The Scott Brown for U.S. Senate Committee
I have always supported the important relationship between the United States and the State of Israel. Our two countries share a core set of national values including dedication to democracy, life, individual freedoms, religious faith & respect, the spirit of entrepreneurship and a vision of a peaceful future. As our closest ally in the Middle East, Israel lives every day under the threat often or yet shares with the United States an unbroken commitment to peace in the Middle East.Israel’s accomplishments against the longest of odds are a testament to the power of these shared values.
If elected to the United States Senate by the citizens of Massachusetts I will continue in my unwavering support of the U.S.-Israel relationship and take actions to demonstrate it.
Supporting Israel’s Right to Self-Defense
I stand steadfastly behind Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks from state and non-stateactors alike. I supported passage earlier this year of S. Res. 10 which reiterated Israel’s right todefend itself during Operation Cast Lead.
And with equal resolve I oppose the rising tide of efforts worldwide aimed at undermining this fundamental right. The United Nations’ commissioned Goldstone Report is a blatant manifestation of such an effort. Deeply flawed from the start, the “report” accuses Israel of war crimes with little reference to the fact that Israel held its fire for years while thousands of rocketswere fired at innocent civilians. The report also fails to recognize that the Israeli Defense Forces, in the words of British Col. Richard Kemp, “did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.” This, as Hamas launched rockets from apartment buildings and hospitals. By attacking the victim without context,the Goldstone Report effectively weakens the ability of democracies to defend themselves against terror.
Despite these flaws, countries with unspeakable records on human rights are pushing the report forward aggressively at the United Nations. As Senator, I would join with other congressional leaders in calling on the Obama administration to quash the report and “strongly and unequivocally oppose any further consideration of the and any other measures stemming from this report.”
I also firmly support the security barrier erected by Israel which has proven to be enormously successful at defending and protecting Israeli civilians against waves of deadly terrorist attacks.The barrier has also been moved and should continue to be moved when it can be done without compromising Israeli security and while minimizing the hardship it places on Palestinians.
Unabated Military Support for Israel
As the only elected official in the Massachusetts Senate – and the only candidate in this race -with military experience, I understand the importance of a strong defense. I am a proud member of the Massachusetts National Guard, where I have served for nearly three decades and currently hold the rank of Lt. Colonel in the Judge Advocate Generals (JAG) Corps. I was also awarded theArmy Commendation Medal for meritorious service in homeland security following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
With a clear sense of our shared threats, I unequivocally support the recently executed ten-year memorandum of understanding between the U.S. and Israel which will provide $30 billion in military aid to Israel until 2017. Since the vast majority of that aid is spent on American products, it is good for both American employment and the American economy. This provision, along with allowances to provide Israel with advanced systems required to defend against current threats,will allow Israel to maintain the military superiority required to protect itself while sending amessage of support to Israel and the world.
Countering the Iranian Threat
Iran, the brutal theocracy run by a cabal of mullahs and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, represents an existential threat to Israel and a menace to United States interests. With visions ofregional domination and international troublemaking, Ahmadinejad has stated with great claritythat the Holocaust did not occur and that Israel should be “wiped off the map.”
Iran is now backing up their words and plans with actions. Despite being a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran has used lies, secrecy, evasion and delay to develop anuclear weapons program. If left unchecked, Iran will have a nuclear weapon in short order. Withtraining, money and weapons Iran also supports tenacious proxy forces in Gaza (Hamas),Lebanon (Hizbullah). Having already supported deadly terrorism in Argentina, Iran has now found a new hemispheric partner in Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.
We should take these words and actions at face value, respond accordingly and without hesitation. If elected I would co-sponsor the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act of 2009 (S. 908) enhancing the President’s authority to sanction entities that export refined petroleum products to Iran. I would support the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act of 2009 (S. 1065) which would authorizestate pension funds to divest from companies that invest in Iran. I also would work to restore funding for the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC) which was recently cut by the Obama administration and support continued intelligence sharing by the Mossad and the CIA.
Locally, I have been a strident supporter the Iran Divestiture Bill currently working its way through the State Legislature. Massachusetts is not yet among the many states – including Florida and California – that have passed such important legislation which is designed to pressure Iran into ceasing its illicit pursuit of nuclear weapons. I look forward to the opportunity to vote on this measure soon.
The Palestinians & Peace
I stand with Israel and the majority of leaders in support a two-state solution as the best hope for peace between the Palestinians and Israel. Israel has made enormous sacrifices in an attempt to secure peace – including unilateral withdrawal from Gaza. However, with the Palestinian leadership now divided by a terrorist entity (Hamas) and the Palestinian Authority, we do not yet have the fundamental requirements in place to begin negotiations.
Hamas’ original charter states unambiguously that it is determined to destroy Israel. Believing that we can achieve a peace treaty with Hamas that would include recognition of the Jewish state and a disavowal of terrorism is a mistake. Israel is a willing partner in peace with a history of making peace whenever it has a legitimate partner interested in peace, such as with Egypt or Jordan. Until there is a non-terrorist entity on the other side of the table, negotiations can not start.
Ultimately, however, I support a two-state solution that:
• Is premised on security for Israel and is not imposed by outside parties;
• Recognizes that a strict return to the 1967 borders is both unrealistic and unsafe;
• Requires the Palestinians to abide by agreements signed by past Palestinian leaders; and
• Reaffirms Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel.
Also, in accordance to the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995,1 support moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem if available security measures make it safe to do so and Israel supports the move.
Improving Middle East Relationships
Israel’s unconditional right to live in peace is equal to that of all other nations of the world.This right begins with encouraging Israel’s neighbors to recognize its fundamental right to exist. Iwill support these rights by:
• Encouraging public alliances between Israel and other countries aiming to counter the Iranian threat;
• Speaking out against Arab boycotts of Israeli companies, goods and services;
• Calling out the demonization of Israel in all forms of communications including inchildren’s educational materials used by neighboring countries who employ such tactics as a means to distraction from their own failings; and
• Encouraging Israel’s neighbors to grant their own citizens the democratic rights andindividual freedoms enjoyed by their Arab brethren in the State of Israel.
I have a strong desire to visit Israel in order to gain a more profound understanding of the many complex security and strategic challenges that Israelis face each day. I am also eager to observe first hand how Israeli innovations in the arts, sciences, agriculture and aquaculture, renewable energies, bio and computer technologies can and will directly benefit the lives of the citizens of Massachusetts and the United States.