Netanyahu Tells U.S. Reps: Alliance with U.S. is ‘Our National Security’
JP Updates by Sol Rieger
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with a bipartisan Congressional delegation led by Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX), where the group discussed Israeli counterterrorism efforts and the importance of the relationship between the United States and Israel.
The U.S. delegation included Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) Pete Sessions (R-TX), Vern Buchannan (R-FL), Bill Keating (D-MA), John Katko (R-NY), Will Hurd (R-TX), and Barry Loudermilk (R-GA). The group met in Israel with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon, Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, and other Israeli officials.
“The support and the alliance with the United States is a foundation of our national security,” Prime Minister Netanyahu told the delegation. “It’s a bipartisan position. It’s also bipartisan here. I think there’s complete unanimity about the importance of the relationship with the United States.”
“Israel is our closest ally in the region, and every dollar we invest in Israel’s security is a direct investment in American homeland security,” New York’s Rep. Rice said of the meeting. “No matter how partisan the atmosphere in Washington has been or may become, we have a responsibility to ensure that support for Israel always remains a bipartisan priority. We made it clear to Prime Minister Netanyahu that we take that responsibility very seriously and we’re eager to continue working with him to enhance the security of both our countries and protect the people we serve.”
The delegation is traveling to countries in the Middle East and Europe to examine evolving security threats to the U.S. homeland, including the flow of foreign fighters from Western countries to Syria and Iraq and recent terrorist plots and attacks against the United States and European allies.
The focus of the visits will be the U.S. government’s efforts, working with our allies, to identify known or suspected terrorists and foreign fighters who pose a threat to the homeland and to prevent them from traveling to the United States.
The delegation will assess European counterterrorism programs, best practices to counter violent extremism, and the U.S.-Coalition strategy to eliminate the terrorist sanctuary in Syria and Iraq. The delegation will also focus on the Israeli perspective, including border security and threats emanating throughout the region near its borders.