Legislation would broaden U.S.-Israeli economic, security partnerships

Bipartisan legislation introduced on Monday by Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) outlines stronger economic and security partnerships between the United States and Israel.

The U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act would reauthorize cooperation between the two countries on the Iron Dome missile defense system and renew U.S. support for a political settlement between Israelis and Palestinians, according to a press release.

“I’m pleased to help lead this bipartisan effort to reassert Congress’ commitment to Israel’s security and deepen our country’s defense relationship with our ally during this extremely critical moment in the Middle East region,” Blunt said. “America’s long-standing relationship and strong cooperation with Israel dates back to the presidency of fellow Missourian Harry S. Truman, and this bill will reaffirm and broaden the important U.S.-Israel alliance through security, energy and trade.”

The measure would authorize a $200 million increase in the value of U.S. weapons held in Israel, which would bring the total value to $1.8 billion. It would also authorize the president to collaborate with Israel on energy, water, homeland security and alternative fuel technologies.

“While we work toward a just peace in the Middle East and an end to the tragedy of war, it is critical that we reaffirm our enduring commitment to Israel’s security and the historic ties between our two nations,” Boxer said. “This legislation sends a clear message that America’s bond with Israel remains unbreakable, and I am proud that it has the support of more than three-quarters of the Senate.”

Additionally, the measure would encourage more cooperation between the academic and business sectors of the two countries.