News Releases

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Senators Isakson, Perdue Support Measure to Strengthen Security Assistance to Israel

Introduce resolution to clarify, reaffirm U.S. commitment

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and David Perdue, R-Ga., members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today joined 14 colleagues in introducing a bipartisan resolution urging the Obama administration to support a new, robust long-term agreement with Israel to ensure that our strongest ally in the Middle East has the resources it needs to defend itself.

“From the threat of terrorism within its own borders to the challenge to its very existence by Iran, Israel is faced with increasing threats to its safety and sovereignty,” said Isakson. “At a time when threats are increasing worldwide and especially in the Middle East, we must commit to prioritize the defense of our greatest ally and friend in the region over anti-American regimes like Iran.”

“President Obama’s dangerous nuclear deal with Iran has made the Middle East even more dangerous for our friend and ally, Israel,” said Perdue. “Sanctions relief and other payments facilitated by the deal have allowed them to invest more in its military and fund proxies like Hezbollah to increase its anti-Israel campaign. Now, more than ever the United States must remain steadfast in our support of Israel to ensure our ally is a mainstay of security and stability that can defend itself against these radical and complex threats.”

The current agreement with Israel, referred to as a “memorandum of understanding,” that defines military assistance between the countries expires in 2018. Considering the increasing threats and growing instability in the region, this resolution reaffirms the United States’ commitment to ensure that Israel has the capacity and capability to defend itself from all credible military threats.

The Senate resolution, S.Res.508, was introduced by U.S. Senators Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Christopher Coons, D-Del., and a copy of the resolution can be viewed here. U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla.-27, introduced a companion resolution, H.Res.729, in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Specifically, this resolution:

  • Reaffirms that Israel is a major strategic partner of the United States;
  • Reaffirms that it is the policy and law of the United States to ensure that Israel maintains its qualitative military edge and has the capacity and capability to defend itself from all credible military threats;
  • Reaffirms United States support of a robust Israeli tiered missile defense program;
  • Urges the expeditious finalization of a new Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the United States and the Government of Israel; and
  • Supports a robust and long-term Memorandum of Understanding negotiated between the United States and Israel regarding military assistance which increases the amount of aid from previous agreements and significantly enhances Israel's military capabilities.

Additional Background:

In April 2016, Isakson and Perdue sent a bipartisan letter, signed by 83 U.S. senators, to President Obama emphasizing the need to extend the current agreement between the United States and Israel.

Also in April 2016, following the United Nations’ decision to allow the Palestinian Authority to join its climate convention, Isakson signed a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry demanding that the United States not send any taxpayer dollars to the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change because doing so would be against U.S. law.