— by Elanna Cahn
Congress passed the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014, introduced by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), which strengthens the relationship between the U.S. and Israel on issues such as defense and energy:
- increasing the value of the U.S. forward-deployed weapons stockpile in Israel and authorizes additional defense transfers;
- requiring the administration to take steps toward allowing Israel to be included in the top-tier category for license-free exports of certain U.S. technologies and products;
- encouraging government and private sector cooperation between the two countries in several areas such as energy, water, agriculture, cyber-security, and alternative fuel technologies;
- stating U.S. policy should include Israel in the list of countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program, when Israel satisfies the requirements for inclusion;
- requiring the administration to provide more frequent and more detailed assessments on the status of Israel’s qualitative military edge over its neighbors;
- strengthening collaboration between the U.S. and Israel on energy development and encourages increased cooperation between the two countries’ academic, business and governmental sectors.
The National Democratic Jewish Council’s chair, Greg A. Rosenbaum, said that the Act “sends a clear, bipartisan message that the U.S.-Israel bond is unbreakable.”
As we have said time and time again, Israel must not become a partisan wedge issue. No party has a claim on being a ‘better’ friend to Israel, and any attempt to claim that is absurd.