Week in Review 4-20-2018
Within 11 minutes of Israel declaring statehood in 1948, the U.S. announced its support and recognition of the new Jewish state. Thus began a 70-year relationship that has endured despite changes in Congress, the Knesset, prime ministers and presidents. Today, Israel still remains one of the closet allies of the U.S. in the world.
JAC was founded after the 1980 election when many friends of Israel in Congress were defeated by an emerging force in American politics. The Radical Right and other political groups opposed Israel and the values of mainstream American Jewry. They were funding candidates who favored an anti-Israel agenda.
Concerned Jewish activists reached out to their networks across the country to spread the message that they could support Israel, fight the Radical Right and become a positive force in the political process. By supporting candidates who shared this view, JAC could help build stronger backing for Israel in Congress.
In the decades that followed, JAC has remained committed to the U.S.-Israel relationship. The candidates we have worked to elect, such as Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI); and Reps. Ami Berra (D-CA) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV), have always stood with Israel.
Israel and the U.S. have always maintained a relationship built on shared values. Today cooperation between the two countries extends not only to security issues, but to economic interests as well. Bilateral trade between Israel and the U.S. is $35.4 billion, making Israel the the 22nd largest trading partner to the U.S.
Israel has been a leader in medical research, cyber security, agriculture and even even in politics. Golda Meir became Israel's Prime Minister 47 years before Hillary Clinton tried to shatter the glass ceiling in our country for women.
As Israel enters its next decade, the U.S. must continue its steadfast support for her. These are challenging times for both countries. We can face these challenges together to build a better, stronger relationship for the betterment of the U.S., Israel, and the region. But it can only be be done with a Congress that shares this commitment.