Israel has been a historic ally of the U.S. since it was founded in 1947. America was the first country to formally recognize the new state, doing so the same day that Israel declared itself a nation.
The U.S. - Israel alliance has been mutually beneficial over the decades, both in terms of military and political intelligence, but also for economic innovation. America is the leading trade partner for Israel for exports and imports.
The collaboration on defense led to the development of Iron Dome — a missile defense system that has shot down over 80% of the missiles launched into Israel from Gaza and Lebanon. Their collaboration has also drawn criticism when U.S. missiles were used by Israel to attack Hamas rocket launchers in Gaza — a tactic that lead to civilian casualties.
Recently, this military alliance has grown even more important as some of Israel’s neighbors have grown more belligerent — namely Iran, whose leaders have been openly hostile to Israel.
S. 2673 would authorize the president to share and exchange research, technology, intelligence, information, equipment, and personnel with Israel, on that condition that such action would improve U.S. national security.
The Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) would be authorized to enter into pilot programs to improve Israel’s border, maritime, and aviation security capabilities. This would include explosives detection and emergency services. Israel would be included in the U.S. visa waiver program as long as it continues to satisfy the program’s requirements.
S. 2673 would create a certification requirement for the sale or export of any major defense equipment to a Middle Eastern country. Under this legislation, a joint U.S-Israel center focusing on offshore energy development and academic energy innovation cooperation would be established. This includes energy-related technology and engineering, water science, technology transfer, and analysis of the geopolitical implications of new natural resource development.
The grant program that funds U.S.-Israel research, development, and commercialization of renewable energy or energy efficiency would be extended until 2024. It would be expanded to include natural gas energy, water desalination improvement, and other water treatment technologies.
Sponsoring Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) Press Release
Times of Israel
AIPAC (In Favor)
J Street (In Favor)
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