September 21, 2014 — New York, New York
AJC hails unanimous U.S. Senate adoption of the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act (S. 2673). This important measure, co-sponsored by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), recognizes Israel is a major U.S. strategic partner, and broadens the U.S.-Israel alliance by promoting greater cooperation on security, energy, and trade. AJC regional offices across the country played a vital role in advocating for solid bipartisan support of the legislation.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed in March by 410-1 a similar bill (H.R.938), authored by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Ted Deutch (D-FL).
“The U.S.-Israel relationship today, as always, is strong, based on shared values and common goals,” said Jason Isaacson, director of AJC’s Office of Government and International Affairs. “Given the new and growing security challenges in the region, and beyond, the Strategic Partnership Act not only reaaffrims but further deepens the all important U.S.-Israel alliance.”
The Act states that the U.S. should continue to provide assistance for acquisition and maintenance of Iron Dome and other life-saving missile defense systems, and encourages accelerated U.S.-Israel cooperation on cyber-security. The Iron Dome proved to be invaluable during the summer war between Israel and Hamas, the terror organization ruling Gaza that fired more than 4,000 rockets and missiles into Israel.
Included in the Strategic Partnership Act is the United States-Israel Energy Cooperation Act, legislation introduced by Senators Mary L. Landrieu (D-LA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), strengthening collaboration between the U.S. and Israel on energy development.
The Senate measure also calls on the Secretary of Homeland Security to designate Israel as a visa waiver program country so long as Israel satisfies the requirements for inclusion in that program.