Augusta Free Press

Bob Goodlatte: I stand with Israel

The United States and Israel share a strong bond. Since Israel declared its independence in 1948, the U.S. has developed a positive relationship with Israel based on shared democratic values and common security interests. Israel has proven to be a valuable American ally since.

As the news headlines report each day, the situation in the Middle East is exceedingly complex and instability continues to pose a threat to the security of the entire global community. With enhanced security threats from Iran, escalating violence in Syria, and the Palestinian government’s alliance with the terrorist group Hamas, the safety of the democratic and free State of Israel is at great risk – with American interests at risk with it.

Just a few days ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress. While controversy encircled Prime Minister Netanyahu’s invitation to address Congress, it was an important message that all Members of Congress needed to hear.

From the dais of the House of Representatives, Prime Minister Netanyahu issued a stern warning regarding the potential consequences of ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran. These negotiations, led by the United States, have raised many questions about how effective the result would be in preventing Iran’s access to nuclear weapons. The threat presented by a nuclear Iran is serious for Israel, the Middle East as a whole, and the United States. I have many questions about the Administration’s Iran policy, and, unfortunately, these negotiations with Iran provide little confidence that a workable resolution will be reached.

Iran’s aggressive actions continue to prove that it cannot be trusted. Allowing Iran access to nuclear weapons is completely unacceptable. The President, Congress, and the American people should be highly critical of any “deal” that does not truly and transparently cut-off Iran’s access to a bomb. I agree with Prime Minister Netanyahu that the result of these negotiations is likely to be a “bad deal.”

On the heels of Prime Minister’s address, there is a question we must answer as a nation. Do we stand with Israel or do we not? As much of the Middle East remains unstable, the United States continues to face a flurry of threats and dangers from those who do not support the principles of freedom and liberty that define this nation. However, one nation has firmly stood as our ally and an advocate of democracy in the region. Israel has proven to be one of our greatest allies and friends in a part of the globe where those who wish to destroy our very way of life are plentiful. There is no question that the U.S. must stand with Israel.

Bob Goodlatte represents Virginia’s Sixth District in Congress.