Capitol Hill is playing with fire

Opinion: Stalling or blocking aid to Israel in its fight against terror harms US interests in the region, and will ultimately exact a heavy toll in American blood and treasure
Duvi Honig|
Capitol Hill has no time to play politics and must recognize the consequences and act in the best interest of the United States and its allies or they might just learn the hard way with U.S. voters punishing them at the ballot box, by calling for a new change in leadership sending many of them home.
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The American people are not stupid and deserve leaders who will make decisions that protect America's interests and keep us safe at home and abroad.
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עצרת פרו ישראלית בוושינגטון ליד בניין הקונגרס
עצרת פרו ישראלית בוושינגטון ליד בניין הקונגרס
Pro-Israeli rally outside Capitol Hill, Washington DC
The ongoing threats from terrorist groups and Iran pose a direct risk to American national security, specifically in the Middle East. Denying or delaying Israel the necessary funding to fight Hamas, Iran and its proxies only intensifies that risk.
Sen. Bernie Sanders' recent move to force a vote on potentially limiting U.S. military aid to Israel marks a significant dent in the long-standing bipartisan support for Israel in Congress which will without a doubt hurt American interests and endanger American servicemen and American interests in the Middle East.
By utilizing a rarely invoked law, Sen. Sanders is challenging the traditional approach to U.S. support for Israel.
Recent discussions on Capitol Hill regarding the denial of funding to Israel in favor of prioritizing support for Ukraine have sparked widespread concern and frustration among the American people. This decision, which seemingly serves political tactics over the safety and security of America and its allies in the Middle East, is not convincing to many.
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הסנאטור ברני סנדרס
הסנאטור ברני סנדרס
Senator Bernie Sanders
It is well known that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and plays a crucial role in combating terrorism and protecting U.S. interests in the region. By denying or delaying necessary funding to Israel, Capitol Hill endangers the national security of the United States and its soldiers in the Middle East.
Moreover, Israel's fight against terrorism directly supports the United States' efforts in the region, ultimately safeguarding American lives and taxpayer dollars. Israel's military and intelligence capabilities have been invaluable in preventing terrorist attacks and defending against hostile forces in the region. Furthermore, by supporting Israel, the United States effectively avoids engaging in a conflict that it would otherwise have to face on its own.
Bottom line, Israel is on the front lines in the fight against dozens of terrorist and radical groups that are proxies of Iran, with Tehran openly stating its intent to use nuclear weapons against Israel and ultimately the United States, calling Israel the "Small Satan" and the U.S. the "Big Satan."
Being the only democracy in the region, Israel has been the sole key ally in the fight against terrorism in the Middle East. Let’s not forget how many American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars America lost in Iraq and Afghanistan with not much to show for it.
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הפגנה להחזרת החטופים בוושינגטון, ארה"ב
הפגנה להחזרת החטופים בוושינגטון, ארה"ב
Pro-Israeli rally outside Capitol Hill, Washington DC
(Photo: Stefani Reynolds / AFP)
With over 100 attacks by pro-Iranian militias on U.S. troops in the past month alone in the Middle East region on American army bases, it is clear that the threat of terrorism in the region is not just on Israel, but on the U.S. directly as well.
Going back to the war in Ukraine, which is certainly important, it does not directly threaten U.S. national security the same way the ongoing attacks and threats from terrorist groups in the Middle East do. U.S. aid to Israel should not be contingent upon Ukrainian aid packages.
Let's not forget Europe, where nearly all nations are under threat from Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Many of these countries, being nuclear-armed and financially robust, have a duty to actively support Ukraine. Their involvement is crucial, especially considering the conflict's potential impact on their own security and stability. The burden should not fall on U.S. taxpayers alone, as European countries have the necessary resources to contribute.
Wake up, Capitol Hill, and act like adults, recognize the potential implications of the decision blocking or limiting funding to Israel to protect itself and U.S. interests, leveraging a bill with other outside interests is unacceptable and childish. The ramifications of such a decision could have serious and far-reaching consequences for the safety and security of Americans around the world.
Duvi HonigDuvi HonigPhoto: Avi Deutch, Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce
As Americans, it is important to remember that Israel is fighting a war on behalf of the United States. If not Israel, we would need to fight these wars ourselves, which could cost us American lives and much more taxpayer dollars.
America must acknowledge how Israel has a track record of being sensitive and surgical in their military operations, risking their own to take great precautions to minimize civilian casualties. Attention, General Bernie Sanders
FYI: If the U.S. were to fight this conflict ourselves as we did in Iraq and Afghanistan, we would not have operated with the same level of precision and sensitivity to protect civilian lives as Israel does.
  • Duvi Honig is founder and chief executive officer of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce. The Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce is a global umbrella of businesses of all sizes, bridging the highest echelons of the business and governmental worlds together stimulating economic opportunity and positively affecting public policy of governments.
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