Zeldin Meets With V.P. Pence on Relationship with Israel

zeldin pence Israel Us relationship

Photo of Congressman Zeldin with VP Mike Pence prior to meeting to discuss US Relationship with Israel.
Photo Courtesy of Congressman Lee Zeldin's Office

Congressman Zeldin has hit the ground running in his second term.  On Monday, February 13, the member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus, sat down with Vice President Mike Pence to discuss the Nation’s relationship with Israel. The meeting took place in the Capitol, in anticipation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with President Donald Trump this week.

“There is no greater friend and reliable ally to the United States than Israel. It’s essential that we remain committed to building a stronger relationship with Israel, especially with the turmoil and unrest we see in the Middle East and around the world. Though the bond between our two countries will always remain strong, there is still so much room for growth in this relationship, especially under new American leadership.” – Congressman Lee Zeldin

Congressman Zeldin suggested policy improvements that include moving the US embassy to Jerusalem (currently in Tel Aviv) and giving formal recognition of Jerusalem as the “unquestionable capital of Israel.”

“The United States should pledge to veto any future anti-Israel, anti-Jewish U.N. resolutions, like the Security Council resolution that passed at the end of this past December. Without doubt, the United States should stand shoulder to shoulder with innocent Israelis when they are targeted by Palestinian terrorists.” – Congressman Lee Zeldin

The Congressman suggested holding Palestinians accountable for supporting terrorism, whether encouraging violence or financially supporting and rewarding terrorism. Zeldin proposed withholding U.S. taxpayer funds to the Palestinians while they continue to support terrorist acts.

Congressman Zeldin’s statement:

“When it comes to protecting our interests at home and abroad, the United States must pursue a better and more consistent foreign policy: one that strengthens our relationships with our allies and treats our adversaries as our adversaries. The United States’ position towards Iran should be repostured from a position of weakness to a position of strength in order to prevent this challenge from growing. We also must move in a better direction to try to help stabilize Syria. President Trump has already indicated a willingness to do so.

As for discussion on a two-state solution, a viable two state solution includes not only Israel’s willingness to recognize the Palestinians’ right to exist, but also the Palestinians recognizing Israel’s right to exist. If an election was held today among the Palestinians, Hamas would win. More and more of the Palestinian leadership is being influenced by elements that will not rest until Israel is wiped off the map. I believe Israel is willing to negotiate away large swaths of land to achieve long term peace. Unfortunately, when I met with Prime Minister Hamdallah in Ramallah in 2015, he said in no uncertain terms that it is non-negotiable that they would ever recognize Israel as a Jewish state. I believe that President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu would prefer a two state solution and hopefully they will be candid about the present day viability of that pursuit.

Some other areas of common concern that must be addressed are the Iran Nuclear Deal, outreach to Muslim nations in the Middle East that share concern about Iran’s bad activities, settlement activity, U.S.’ continued financial support towards Israel’s missile defense program and other important causes, possible bilateral trade negotiations, the rising BDS movement in the United States and globally, plans to work together to defeat terror, and lessons learned regarding energy development, technology, intelligence sharing, and advancements in homeland security capabilities.”

President Trump will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday, which is said to be a huge step forward in strengthening the US-Israel Alliance.

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