Protecting Israel's Security
Ted first gained national recognition as a leader in the pro-Israel community as a member of the Florida State Senate, where he passed the nation’s first law mandating that public pension funds not be invested in Iran’s illicit quest for nuclear weapons. His work led him to testify before Congress on Iran sanctions, hold strategy discussions with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and eventually pass his own legislation in the House of Representatives to crack down on companies that financially support Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
Ted was traveling on a fact-finding mission in the Middle East in the summer of 2014 when three Israeli innocent teens, Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frankel and Eyal Yifrac, were murdered by Hamas terrorists. After mourning the victims, Ted condemned their killings as well as the murder of a Palestinian teen in the days thereafter. When Hamas then launched a campaign of rocket attacks against Israel, Ted played a leading role in condemning the use of innocent Palestinian civilians as human shields in an effort to incite international criticism of Israel’s defense operations. In July, Ted passed a bipartisan resolution through Congress condemning the use of human shields by Hamas and other terrorist groups that violate international law.
Ted has also passed legislation enhancing U.S.-Israel cooperation in new areas like energy, agriculture, and cybersecurity. The U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act, co-introduced with Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in December 2014.
More recently, Ted led the effort in the House of Representatives to support the swift conclusion of a new ten year Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and Israel. This new agreement provides Israel with the largest ever security assistance package to ensure Israel can defend herself against any and all threats.
Ted will continue to work across the aisle in the 115th Congress to advance Israel’s security and promote a strong U.S.-Israel relationship. He will also continue to oppose any effort to circumvent direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Lasting peace, with two states for two people, can only come through direct negotiations between the two parties. Fighting efforts to delegitimize Israel on the world stage, maintaining strict oversight of the Iran nuclear agreement, and promoting security in the Middle East will remain among his top priorities.