WASHINGTON – The top two US senators are urging President Barack Obama to stand by Israel in the face of recent global pressure following the lethal raid on the Gaza-bound Marmara ship.
Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote a letter to the President, urging him to show strong support for Israel in international bodies, insist on the Jewish State's right for self-defense, and look into the terror connections of the Turkish organization that led the violent Gaza sail.
The letter constitutes a clear message to Obama, letting him know that both Democratic and Republican senators are united in their objection to an international probe of the sail, as well as any changes to the Gaza blockade policy.
The top senators will be circulating the letter among the other senators in a move expected to be completed by Wednesday, when the document will be handed over to the president.
The senators wrote that the US traditionally stood by Israel because this is an American security interest, and that this attitude must continue. They also noted that Israel is America's strongest Mideastern ally, a partner to the US on military and intelligence matters, and also a vital democracy.
As to Turkish aid group IHH, which organized the recent Gaza-bound flotilla, the senators recommend that it be included in the US list of terror organizations following a review by the intelligence community, State Department, and Treasury.