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Published on May 10th, 2012 | by Jasmin Ramsey

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House Approves United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act

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Analysts have noted that while nuclear talks between Iran and the West are in progress Israel is unlikely to attack Iran or perhaps more accurately, pretend like it might as much as it has been. But that doesn’t mean the United States will stop strengthening Israel’s military capabilities or ensuring its regional superiority during the process. Indeed, Republicans and Democrats almost unanimously reasserted their allegiance to Tel Aviv on Wednesday with the now approved H.R. 4133 or the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012. The Hill has the story:

The bill says it is the policy of the United States to ensure Israel’s security, including by providing arms and developing a joint missile defense system, and to take other steps, such as fighting against anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations. It also calls on the United States to help produce an “Iron Dome” defense system that Israel could use to intercept short-range missiles.

The bill also calls for reports on how to speed the sale of F-35 fighter planes to Israel and the state of Israel’s military edge. And finally, it would extend a $9 billion loan guarantee program that can help Israel borrow more cheaply. The program was established in 2003, and $3.8 billion of the loan guarantee authority remains.

From the text of the bill:

SEC. 3. STATEMENT OF POLICY.

    It is the policy of the United States:
    (1) To reaffirm the enduring commitment of the United States to the security of the State of Israel as a Jewish state. As President Obama stated on December 16, 2011, ‘America’s commitment and my commitment to Israel and Israel’s security is unshakeable.’. And as President Bush stated before the Knesset on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel on May 15, 2008, ‘The alliance between our governments is unbreakable, yet the source of our friendship runs deeper than any treaty.’

    (2) To provide Israel the military capabilities necessary to deter and defend itself by itself against any threats.(3) To veto any one-sided anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations Security Council.

    (4) To support Israel’s inherent right to self-defense.

    (5) To pursue avenues to expand cooperation with Israel in both defense and across the spectrum of civilian sectors, including high technology, agriculture, medicine, health, pharmaceuticals, and energy.

    (6) To assist Israel with its on-going efforts to forge a peaceful, negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that results in two states living side by side in peace and security, and to encourage Israel’s neighbors to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

And here’s Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (the main pusher of an amendment to the now passed H.R. 1905 which would make it illegal for U.S. officials to even speak to Iranian officials unless a special waiver is issued 2 weeks in advance!) expressing her approval:

This bill expresses the sense of Congress that our country should support an increase to the totality of our bilateral security relations—from joint missile defense systems, intelligence cooperation, and military exercises between the United States and Israel, to increasing Air Force training, as well as providing increased excess defense articles and munitions to Israel.

This legislation also seeks to counter the Israel-bashing that has become common place in international forums such as the United Nations. The United States must not allow Israel to be isolated and demonized in international organizations, and must work together to withdraw U.S. participation in and funding from organizations that do so.

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Jasmin Ramsey is the deputy bureau chief for the international news wire service, IPS News.



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