In this time of great international uncertainty, it is now more important than ever before to reaffirm as a people, and as a nation, our unequivocal support for the state of Israel, the lone Democracy in the Middle East and one of our closest, and strongest, allies across the globe.

As your next congressperson, I pledge to be a supportive voice for Israel in Washington, and will defend Israel’s right to exist and to thrive in the years and generations to come. That means supporting Israel both economically and militarily, so they are able to defend themselves in a dangerous part of the world; it means defending Israel diplomatically and playing an active role in ongoing efforts to forge a peace agreement centered on a two-state solution; and it means calling out not just antisemitism at home and abroad, but also those policies that we believe are harmful to the state of Israel and the United States, to democracy, and to human rights and justice.

A Strong, Secure Israel

The United States must continue to strongly support Israel and the Israeli people. Israel has the right to defend itself from those who view a Jewish state as an enemy to be destroyed.

A secure Israel means an Israel free from the threat of nuclear attacks from their enemies. Failed negotiations and capitulations over the years have allowed Iran to continue progress toward acquiring a nuclear weapon, an existential threat to Israel’s very ability to exist. It is paramount that we come to a new agreement with Iran, with the result of actually forcing them to give up on nuclear weapons; any such agreement must include stringent oversight mechanisms that prevent their future development. Until such an agreement is reached, we need to continue to apply strict sanctions against Iran to bring them to the negotiating table and hold them accountable.

An Unshakeable U.S.-Israel Bond

A strong and secure Israel and a strong and secure United States of America go hand in hand. It is crucial not only for Israel, but for the United States, for our country to maintain this key ally in an unstable region.

Our nations’ bond dates back decades, since we became the first nation to officially recognize the Jewish state, in 1948. Those historical ties have continued to this day. No matter who was president or which political party was in control of Congress, our nation has remained steadfast in our support, both economic and military, for Israel and the Israeli people, and that will never change. We should pursue ongoing national security and military partnerships with Israel, as we have done in recent years, including the historic arms deal under the Obama administration and, more recently, a significant new arms deal approved by the Biden administration. We also should maintain the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem as we build on our longstanding diplomatic ties to Israel; and work to strengthen trade between our two nations and with the state of Michigan.

A Two-State Solution

One thing is clear: Only a two-state solution will bring an end to the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. A peaceful resolution of the decades-long crisis can be achieved only if both sides do their part in the name of shared peace and prosperity and negotiate an agreement in good faith, with the support of the international community.

The United States can, and should, play a crucial role in resolving the conflict. With U.S. leadership and diplomacy, we can reach an agreement that satisfies the needs of all parties, including Israel’s ability to continue to exist as a Jewish democracy, with borders that satisfy its security needs now and in the future. While Israel must respect the human and civil rights of Palestinians, Palestinian leadership must condemn the violence perpetrated by Hamas and recognize the state of Israel’s right to exist. I believe this is an achievable goal, and that with strong leadership from the United States we can achieve a two-state solution, with a shared capital in Jerusalem and peace throughout the Middle East.

Defending Israel Abroad

Israel can rest assured that the United States will continue our unerring commitment to defending our ally in the Middle East, not just militarily, but diplomatically as well. We will continue to oppose antisemitic and anti-Israel actions and statements on the world stage, including when the U.N. Human Rights Council unfairly singles out Israel. And we will prevent any attempts by opponents of Israel to unilaterally declare Palestinian statehood, which would make a negotiated two-state solution less, not more, likely to be reached in the coming years.

Debating Israel at Home

While our nation’s support for Israel remains constant, a strong Jewish state based upon democratic ideals must leave room for respectful debate. Indeed, closing off such debate will do more to hinder Israel’s well-being than will any airing of disagreements or criticisms. That said, any policies, whether enacted by the state of Israel or by Congress, that create barriers to peace and security in the region, for Israelis and Palestinians alike, should be called out for what they are; and any statements that deny the humanity of individuals or societies, Jewish or Muslim, must be loudly condemned.

Because it is our duty, as a close partner, to help bolster Israel both economically and militarily, I oppose the BDS movement, which I believe is both ill-advised and antithetical to the health of our close ally in the Middle East. At the same time, I support the provision of economic and humanitarian aid to help millions of Palestinian refugees – aid that was inhumanely cut off by the Trump administration before being restored by the Biden administration last year. The fact is, reducing this sort of financial assistance to those in need in the name of support for Israel has precisely the opposite intended effect – destabilizing an already unstable region and creating the conditions for more violence and more extremism.

Israel has a friend and an ally in the United States, and the United States has a friend and an ally in Israel. As a member of Congress, I promise to do all I can to allow that friendship to flourish.