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Congress – Israel’s Most Systematic Ally

The Israeli challenge

Since 1948, the US Legislature has systematically supported the US-Israel relationship, and pro-actively promoted enhanced US-Israel cooperation: militarily, industrially, technologically, scientifically, agriculturally, irrigation, space, etc. This Congressional position has been consistent with the worldview of most voters; and, sometimes inconsistent with the Executive Branch.

Congressional affinity toward Israel was demonstrated in February 2021, when the Senate voted 97:3 to fund and maintain the US Embassy in Jerusalem, Israel.

Moreover, in July 2019, the House of Representatives voted 398:17 to condemn the anti-Israel BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement.

However, the 17 House Representatives, who supported the anti-Israel BDS, included Congresswomen Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Betty McCollum (D-MN). The former is the new chairperson of the most critical Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, which overseas foreign aid and international commercial cooperation. The latter is the chairperson of the equally critical Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, which oversees the defense budget, including global defense cooperation.  These two prominent Congresswomen have been among Israel’s roughest critics on Capitol Hill.

In 2021, they represent an expanding minority among American voters, in general, and on Capitol Hill, in particular, constituting a major challenge for American and Israeli allies of the highly productive US-Israel collaboration.

They represent a growing segment of the US population, as well as legislators and staffers, who are estranged from the 400-year-old historical, cultural, moral and civic foundations of the US-Israel kinship; unfamiliar with Israel’s role as a unique force-multiplier for the US, and its contribution to the US defense industries, high tech sector, armed forces, counterterrorism and intelligence. They overlook the US-Israel mutual threats and challenges, which transcend the Palestinian issue; inattentive of the adverse effect on US interests of the proposed Palestinian state, and are oblivious to the Arab view of the Palestinians as a role model for intra-Arab terrorism, subversion and treachery. They are indifferent to Palestinian hate-education, which mirrors the Palestinian vision and breeds terrorists. They are uninformed about the enhancement of US interests by Israel’s control of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the Golan Heights. And, they are unaware of the deep incompatibility between Western values and norms, on the one hand, and the unpredictable, violent, treacherous Middle East reality, on the other hand.

American and Israeli supporters of US-Israel cooperation, should present their case on Capitol Hill and throughout the US, by focusing on “What’s in it for the USA in its ties with Israel?!” rather than on “What’s in it for Israel?”

The clout of Congress  

The US President is the Commander-in-Chief, but only as authorized and appropriated by Congress. According to the Constitution, the President proposes, but Congress disposes.

US Senators and House Members serve in the most powerful legislature in the world – which is the most authentic representative of the American people – playing a critical role in the shaping of US policy, domestically and internationally.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the US Constitution established the Legislature as a co-equal and co-determining branch of government on domestic and foreign policy. Unlike other democracies, US legislators derive their potency from the constituent, not from party bosses.  They are, mostly, accountable to the constituent, not to their party leadership and/or the President.

In order to avoid a monarch-like, excessive Executive the framers of the Constitution limited presidential indiscretion, diffused the power of government, and encouraged arm-wrestling, constructive tension, collective decision-making and shared-responsibility between the decentralized 535-member Legislature and the highly-centralized one-man Executive.

Thus, the Constitution limits the power and the term of the President, while establishing a uniquely powerful Legislature, which can serve unlimited terms, regulate, amend, suspend, overrule and effectively supervise and check the Executive. Furthermore, Congress is empowered to initiate programs/policies in the areas of national security and foreign policy through the “power of the purse,” authorization and termination of military involvement, ratification or rejection of treaties, confirmation and rejection of senior appointments, establishing and abolishing Executive departments and agencies, veto-override, impeachment, etc.

While House Representatives (especially) and Senators are preoccupied with district and state matters, which are the top concern of their constituents, they possess effective muscle in the area of international relations, which is flexed whenever they deem it necessary.

For example, in 2017 and 2012, Congress legislated sanctions on Russia and Egypt, in defiance of Presidents Trump and Obama. Most sanctions against foreign countries were initiated by Congress. In 2015, the Senate refused to ratify the Iran nuclear accord (JCPOA), thus, enabling the US to withdraw from the agreement in 2018. On July 15, 2014, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, chaired by Senator Durbin (D-IL), appropriated for the Iron Dome missile defense US-Israel program twice as much as requested by President Obama.  On August 1, 2014, during Israel’s war against Hamas terrorists, Democratic Senators forced President Obama to de-link a $225mn funding of additional Iron Dome batteries to Israel from the $2.7bn Immigration and Border Security Bill. In 2012, Congress cut foreign aid to the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, and imposed additional sanctions on Iran, despite presidential opposition. On February 17, 2011, Democratic Senators forced President Obama to veto a UN Security Council condemnation of Israel’s settlements policy. In May, 2009, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) foiled President Obama’s attempts to close down the Guantanamo detention camp. In 2009, the Democratic-controlled Senate rejected Obama’s appointment of Chas Freeman to head the National Intelligence Council. Since 1999, the Senate has not ratified President Clinton’s Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. In 1990-1992, Congress significantly expanded US-Israel defense cooperation in spite of President Bush’s and Secretary Baker’s opposition. In 1986, Congress imposed severe sanctions on South Africa, overruling President Reagan’s veto. In 1984, 1976 and 1973, notwithstanding opposition by Presidents Reagan, Ford and Nixon, Congressional legislation led to the termination of US military involvement in Nicaragua (the Boland Amendment), Angola (the Clark Amendment) and Southeast Asia (the Church-Case Amendment) respectively. In 1973, Congress overrode President Nixon’s veto of the War Powers Act, which limits presidential authority to commit US forces abroad without Congressional consent. In 1974, Congress passed the pivotal Jackson-Vanik Amendment, despite fierce opposition by President Nixon and Secretary of State Kissinger.

The bottom line

While American and Israeli supporters of the win-win US-Israel cooperation should cultivate lines of communications with President Biden, Secretary of State Blinken, Deputy Secretary of State Sherman, National Security Advisor Sullivan and other prominent foreign policy and national security Executive players, there should very frequent communications with US legislators and staffers.

The latter have demonstrated their effective impact in the areas of foreign policy and national security as a co-equal and co-determining branch of government.

While all Presidents, during 1948-2017, pressured Israel, Congress has systematically supported Israel and bolstered US-Israel military and commercial cooperation, expressing the worldview of most US constituents, even when it conflicted with presidential policy.

Will supporters of the US-Israel strategic cooperation upgrade communications with the US Legislature, and rise to the challenge presented by the recent erosion of support on Capitol Hill?

Support Appreciated



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US-sponsored anti-Israel UN Security Council statement – acumen

*The US’ co-sponsorship of an anti-Israel UN Security Council Statement reflects the return of the State Department’s worldview to the center stage of US foreign policy-making. This was the first time, in six years, that the US enabled the UN Security Council to act against Israel.

*This is not merely a worldview, which is highly critical of Israel, as has been the case since 1948, when Foggy Bottom led the charge against the re-establishment of the Jewish State.

This worldview has systematically undermined US interests, by subordinating the unilateral, independent US national security policy (on Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestinian issue, etc.) to a multilateral common denominator with the anti-US and anti-Israel UN and international organizations, as well as the vacillating and terrorists-appeasing Europe.

*It has sacrificed Middle East reality on the altar of wishful-thinking, assuming that the establishment of a Palestinian state would fulfill Palestinian aspirations, advance the cause of peace, reduce terrorism and regional instability; thus, enhancing US interests.

*However, the reality of the Middle East and Jordan and the rogue Palestinian track record lend credence to the assumption that a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would doom the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River, yielding traumatic ripple effects, regionally and globally:

^Replace the relatively-moderate Hashemite regime with either a rogue Palestinian regime, a Muslim Brotherhood regime, or other rogue regimes;
^Transform Jordan into a chaotic state, similar to Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, which would be leveraged by Iran’s Ayatollahs to intensify their encirclement of the pro-US Saudi regime;
^Convert Jordan into a major arena of regional and global Islamic terrorism;
^Trigger a domino scenario into the Arabian Peninsula, which could topple all pro-US, oil-producing Arab regimes;
^Imperil the supply of Persian Gulf oil, which would be held hostage by anti-US entities, catapulting the price at the pump;
^Jeopardize major naval routes of global trade between Asia and Europe through the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea and the Suez Canal;
^Intensify epicenters of regional and global terrorism and drug trafficking;
^Generate a robust tailwind to US’ adversaries (Russia and China) and enemies (Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS) and a powerful headwind to US economic and national security interests.

*The State Department assumes that Palestinian terrorism – just like Islamic terrorism – is driven by despair, ignoring the fact that Palestinian terrorism has been driven (for the last 100 years) by the vision to erase the “infidel” Jewish entity from “the abode of Islam,” as stated by the charters of Fatah (1959) and the PLO (1964), 8 and 3 years before the Jewish State reunited Jerusalem and reasserted itself in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).

*Aspiring for a Palestinian state, and viewing Israel’s control of Judea and Samaria as an obstacle to peace, ignores the Arab view of the Palestinians as a role model of intra-Arab subversion, terrorism, corruption and treachery. Moreover, the State Department has held the view that the Palestinian issue is the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict and a central to Arab interests, which has been refuted by the Abraham Accords. The latter ignored the State Department, sidestepped the Palestinian issue and therefore came to fruition.

*The State Department overlooks the centrality of the Palestinian Authority’s hate education, which has become the most effective production-line of terrorists, and the most authentic reflection of the Palestinian Authority’s worldview and vision.

*The State Department has also taken lightly the Palestinian Authority’s mosque incitement, public glorification of terrorists and monthly allowances to families of terrorists, which have documented its rogue and terroristic nature (walk), notwithstanding its peaceful diplomatic rhetoric (talk).

*The State Department’s eagerness to welcome the Palestinian issue in a “red carpet” manner – contrary to the “shabby doormat” extended to Palestinians by Arabs – and its determination to promote the establishment of a Palestinian state, along with its embrace of Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Muslim Brotherhood, have been interpreted by rogue regimes and organizations as weakness.

Experience suggests that weakness invites the wolves, including wolves which aim to bring “The Great Satan” to submission throughout the world as well as the US mainland.

Support Appreciated



The post-1967 turning point of US-Israel cooperation

Israeli benefits to the US taxpayer exceed US foreign aid to Israel

Iran - A Clear And Present Danger To The USA

Exposing the myth of the Arab demographic time bomb