Israel’s Expertise Comes from Experience Not Rhetoric

There has been a lot of talk in the media about the special friendship between Israel and the United States even though some have said that the lack of movement in the peace process has led to a 'falling out' between our two governments.

Well, I have to say I am never pleased to see disagreements between two friends; especially friends like Israel and America who share so much. We have the same core values, a belief in democracy and freedom, a belief in equality and opportunity, and a belief in standing up to extremism and hatred.

However, one positive thing that has arisen from the recent difficulties in US-Israel relations is the sheer number of Americans who have spoken out in favor of strengthening ties between the United States and the State of Israel.  This has included everyone from senior politicians, to top military leaders, to faith and business leaders plus countless others across this great nation.

Like them, I believe that supporting Israel - not just standing behind, but alongside Israel - is of vital importance to our own country and here’s the reason.

Firstly, while Washington sends annually $3 billion worth of aid to Israel, most of this is used to purchase American military equipment thus creating jobs and boosting the defense industries of both countries as well as making crucial advances in the development of military defenses and high-tech industries. There is no doubt that Israel is a world leader in high-tech development and manufacturing – and because Israel shares their expertise, our security services here in the US are better equipped to keep America safe.

Israel’s expertise comes from experience. In the past decade alone Israel has faced over 10,000 rockets, mortars and missiles on its southern border.  With Hezbollah stockpiling missiles in the north, Israel is working with cutting edge defense systems and mechanisms to shield its citizens in the face of this threat.

Projects such as the Arrow 3 and David's Sling defense systems, which have benefited from US-Israel cooperation, are just two examples of how America has as much to gain as Israel does from the strong bonds between our people.

In addition to Israel's military skills and know how – which have ensured its own survival through decades of threats – Israel's strategic and geographical location is used for the good of American troops.  As Steven Rothman, Congressman for New Jersey recently wrote: "With access to the Red Sea and other vital international shipping and military lanes of commerce and traffic, it is critically important to the U.S. that Israel continues to serve as a port of call for our troops, ships, aircraft and intelligence operations."

These areas of cooperation are the expression of a strong and special friendship, rich in mutual interests, and shared values – none more so than the absolute need to keep ones citizens safe and secure.

For the first time in a long time, the White House seems to be recognizing that a strong Israel is necessary for a strong America.  America benefits greatly from Israel’s intelligence services and their willingness to share information.  I applaud the White House for their recent decision to sell to Israel military equipment such as the V-22 Osprey aircraft, advanced radar for fighter jets and anti-air defense missiles.  According to US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, America is now sharing with Israel equipment “that we have not given to any other country.”  May God bless Israel and America.