The Edmond Sun

Opinion

February 26, 2014

Israel remains a valuable friend, ally

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have been a strong supporter of Israel and its right to exist. Like the United States, Israel is committed to living peaceably, fighting terrorism, defending freedom and protecting democracy. As we remain grounded in similar ideals and aware of the threats in our midst, we must continue fostering our relationship with Israel, our valuable friend and only democratic ally in the Middle East.

During a recent trip to Israel, sponsored by the American Israel Educational Foundation, I had the great privilege of sitting down with notable Israeli and Palestinian leaders and representatives from various walks of Middle Eastern society. Our conversations during these high-level briefings reaffirmed the importance of our partnership with Israel and also provided great insight about issues such as security, diplomacy, technology, defense, finance and agriculture.

While in Israel, I was reminded that, even with our fine military and several allies across the globe, we still live in a dangerous world. In order to defend and protect the United States and our allies, it is critical that we remain ready and well-equipped to fight the imminent threat of terrorism. Not only do the Israeli people stand at our side, but they are shining examples of strength, innovation, courage and bravery. Israelis are proven experts in fighting terrorism and valuable teachers for improving our nation’s own strategies and processes. We should be inspired by the way Israel has handled trials and hardships, established democracy, embraced freedom and protected its people.

During times of unrest and tension in the Middle East, it is vital to our national security to deter dangerous organizations and regimes from attaining enough power to mount attacks on the United States or other nations. Israel is helping in this fight every day. In fact, we are already partnering with Israel to find ways that meet and anticipate the security needs of both our countries. During the trip, I was able to learn more about the value of this strategic collaboration, especially as it relates to our military, intelligence and weapons development.

In addition to proven excellence in matters of defense and military readiness, Israel is a valuable free trade partner. The innovative Israeli mindset spans the whole of their society, resulting in a spirit of entrepreneurship and development of various sectors and industries. Their success and advancement in various fields make Israeli companies attractive business partners for American job creators, either through trade or collaboration.

Israel is one of America’s most important and loyal allies. Our positive relationship with Israel is critical in promoting democracy and inspiring peace in the Middle East. It is imperative that we continue to face threats together, support each other and collaborate when and where possible.

U.S.  REP. TOM COLE, R-Moore, represents Oklahoma’s 4th Congressional District.

 

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Poll

Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

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