HR 4133 - Commitment to support a "Jewish" State?I have appended below the text of the bill and my message to Eric Cantor.
I write this morning about Representative Eric Cantor's bill HR 4133, now apparently stuck in Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Its purpose: "To express the sense of Congress regarding the United States-Israel strategic relationship, to direct the President to submit to Congress reports on United States actions to enhance this relationship and to assist in the defense of Israel, and for other purposes."
We need have no Rocket Science pedigree to understand the above sense. Israel, a tiny little enclave of polyglots on the Eastern Mediterranean coast somewhat sentimentally attached to the USA, needs US financial and military support. Hostile Islamic hordes surround their land. The sentimental attachment exists because the US saved the survivors of numerous German concentration camps and Russian pogroms, and many of Israel's residents hail from America.
However, radical fundamentalist Jews seem just as terrifyingly foam-at-the-mouth horrible as their Christian, Muslim, and Hindu counterparts. No one should have to suffer them at the helm of any government. I consider them idiots because they miss the bigger picture of their own religion's ideals.
Well, it turns out that many Americans consider Israel their national bosom buddy. I see several reasons for this. I have already mentioned the family connection. Many millions of Jews live in the USA. So, there religious connection exists. And becomes even bigger considering that the world contains 2 billion Christians. Many, if not most consider themselves Jews because they follow and love Jesus of Nazareth as their father/brother, and they think Jesus was a Jew. That makes all Christians Jews too, in Christians' minds.
But not in Jews' minds, of course. When it boils down to religion itself, Jews could not care less whether Christians or any others embrace Judaism in their personal beliefs. In fact, most Jews seem to prefer that Christians and Muslims stay out of their religion because they lack the "blood" connection - they don't have Jewish mothers. In other words, in their minds one becomes a Jew not only through cultural and religious heritage, but also through blood lines - birth. It seems like a confusing mess to most non-Jews.
But Israelis feel delighted over that strange connection foreigners feel to their country. Why? It means the foreigners will support them politically and endorse their efforts to maintain hegemony over Muslims and Christians in the area of Palestine. And it means that at least some leaders in the USA will encourage US Government to help Israel defeat whatever enemies become a threat to Jewish hegemony in Israel.
By "leaders" I mean leaders like House Majority Whip and conservative Jew Eric Cantor. Cantor stands first in line to become House Speaker when Boehner retires. He has enormous power, so much that he introduced House Resolution 4133 and gleaned 304 co-sponsors.
Pesky Questions about HR 4133
I could ask pesky questions like these about the bill:
- How could the US guarantee loans to Israel when the US already spends a trillion dollars more than it takes in every year?
- Why should the people of America support ANY openly religious government anywhere?
- Which governments in the Mideast actually threaten the USA militarily?
- Why does the US need Israel to further US defense efforts?
- How does 'common defense' in the PREAMBLE to the US Constitution constitute an enumerated power? (I see no such enumerated power INSIDE THE BODY of the Constitution)
- Why should the US give Israel a 'blank check' for maintaining a qualitative edge in its military power?
- Why should the US people presume that just because so many consider themselves Jews, the Jews of Israel have a corresponding sentiment toward the US?
- If Israel wants American support so much, why doesn't it petition the US Government for US statehood?
- Why does America owe the Christians, Muslims, and Jews of Israel the guarantee of a "Jewish" state there?
- What part of "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" don't Cantor and the cosponsors of HR 4133 understand?
Regardless of the common defense ideal, I have expressed serious misgivings about the bill in pesky questions 9 and 10 above. I expressed the core point in my letter to Rep. Eric Cantor this morning. You might have your own questions to express, here: http://cantor.house.gov/contact.
Message to Eric CantorDear Representative Eric Cantor:
I found one point in HR 4133 seriously objectionable: calling Israel a "Jewish" State. Some members of the Knesset are not Jewish. State government does not operate under any Jewish law. To my knowledge, the last Jewish government before 1948 was a monarchy. THAT would constitute "Jewish" government. By highlighting "Jewish" State, rather than "sovereign" or "independent" the law makes a mockery of the US Constitution Amendment One separation of church and state doctrine. I don't see that Jews have any more right to a national government than do Muslims, and the world has replete examples of the onerous nature of Islamic government.
You might recall from history that the diaspora of 70 AD came as a consequence of Zealots (Jewish Nationalists) raiding their own countrymen's homesteads. Vespasian's legions gave every city/town's leaders an opportunity to capitulate to Roman rule or die. The cream of the Jewish race expired during that campaign, and the streets of Jerusalem ran red with the blood of Jews as Zealots and their countrymen murdered one another before the Roman army crushed or crucified their remnants and made slaves of those who didn't scatter quickly enough. This is what happens to "religion" states. A similar destruction happened to Christian interlopers at the end of the Crusades. And we can see these days the bloody encounters between disparate fundamentalist Islamic groups - the Sunni and Shia, exemplified in all their glory by the Taliban and Al Quaeda and tribal leaders like Saddam Hussein.
Our lessons from history reveal that NO state's people should suffer rule by a religious sect. I would loathe rule by fundamentalist Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus... you name it. And I do not endorse military support to any government run by a religious sect. Nor should you.
If you get a chance, I encourage you to correct that one glaring fault in HR 4133.
HR 4133 Text
United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012
(Engrossed in House [Passed House] - EH)
[Congressional Record Volume 158, Number 35 (Monday, March 5, 2012)]
[Page H1153] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
By Mr. CANTOR: H.R. 4133.
Congress has the power to enact this legislation pursuant to the following: Congress has the authority to enact this legislation pursuant to Article I, Section 8, clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution, the power to ``regulate Commerce with foreign Nations'' and pursuant to Article I, Section 8, clause 1, the power to ``provide for the common Defence.''
HR 4133 EH
- Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
- This Act may be cited as the `United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012'.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
- Congress finds the following:
- (1) Since 1948, United States Presidents and both houses of Congress, on a bipartisan basis and supported by the American people, have repeatedly reaffirmed the special bond between the United States and Israel, based on shared values and shared interests.
- (2) The Middle East is undergoing rapid change, bringing with it hope for an expansion of democracy but also great challenges to the national security of the United States and our allies in the region, particularly our most important ally in the region, Israel. Over the past year, the Middle East has witnessed the fall of some regimes long considered to be stabilizing forces and a rise in the influence of radical Islamists.
- (3) Iran, which has long sought to foment instability and promote extremism in the Middle East, is now seeking to exploit the dramatic political transition underway in the region to undermine governments traditionally aligned with the United States and support extremist political movements in these countries.
- (4) At the same time, Iran may soon attain a nuclear weapons capability, a development that would fundamentally threaten vital American interests, destabilize the region, encourage regional nuclear proliferation, further empower and embolden Iran, the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, and provide it the tools to threaten its neighbors, including Israel.
- (5) Over the past several years, with the assistance of Iran and Syria, Hizballah and Hamas have increased their stockpiles of rockets, with more than 60,000 rockets now ready to be fired at Israel. Iran continues to add to its arsenal of ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, which threaten Iran's neighbors, Israel, and United States military forces in the region.
- (6) As a result, the strategic environment that has kept Israel secure and safeguarded United States national interests for the past 35 years has eroded.
SEC. 3. STATEMENT OF POLICY.
- It is the policy of the United States:
- (1) To reaffirm the enduring commitment of the United States to the security of the State of Israel as a Jewish state. As President Obama stated on December 16, 2011, `America's commitment and my commitment to Israel and Israel's security is unshakeable.'. And as President Bush stated before the Knesset on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel on May 15, 2008, `The alliance between our governments is unbreakable, yet the source of our friendship runs deeper than any treaty.'.
- (2) To provide Israel the military capabilities necessary to deter and defend itself by itself against any threats.
- (3) To veto any one-sided anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations Security Council.
- (4) To support Israel's inherent right to self-defense.
- (5) To pursue avenues to expand cooperation with Israel in both defense and across the spectrum of civilian sectors, including high technology, agriculture, medicine, health, pharmaceuticals, and energy.
- (6) To assist Israel with its on-going efforts to forge a peaceful, negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that results in two states living side by side in peace and security, and to encourage Israel's neighbors to recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.
SEC. 4. UNITED STATES ACTIONS TO ASSIST IN THE DEFENSE OF ISRAEL AND PROTECT AMERICAN INTERESTS.
- (a) Sense of Congress- It is the sense of Congress that the United States should take the following actions to assist in the defense of Israel:
- (1) Provide Israel such support as may be necessary to increase development and production of joint missile defense systems, particularly such systems that defend the urgent threat posed to Israel and United States forces in the region.
- (2) Provide Israel assistance specifically for the production and procurement of the Iron Dome defense system for purposes of intercepting short-range missiles, rockets, and projectiles launched against Israel.
- (3) Provide Israel defense articles and defense services through such mechanisms as appropriate, to include air refueling tankers, missile defense capabilities, and specialized munitions.
- (4) Allocate additional weaponry and munitions for the forward-deployed United States stockpile in Israel.
- (5) Provide Israel additional surplus defense articles and defense services, as appropriate, in the wake of the withdrawal of United States forces from Iraq.
- (6) Strengthen efforts to prevent weapons smuggling into Gaza pursuant to the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access following the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and to protect against weapons smuggling and terrorist threats from the Sinai Peninsula.
- (7) Offer the Israeli Air Force additional training and exercise opportunities in the United States to compensate for Israel's limited air space.
- (8) Expand Israel's authority to make purchases under the Foreign Military Financing program on a commercial basis.
- (9) Seek to enhance the capabilities of the United States and Israel to address emerging common threats, increase security cooperation, and expand joint military exercises.
- (10) Encourage an expanded role for Israel within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), including an enhanced presence at NATO headquarters and exercises.
- (11) Support extension of the long-standing loan guarantee program for Israel, recognizing Israel's unbroken record of repaying its loans on time and in full.
- (12) Expand already-close intelligence cooperation, including satellite intelligence, with Israel.
- (b) Report on Israel's Qualitative Military Edge-
- (1) STATEMENT OF POLICY- It is the policy of the United States--
- (A) to help Israel preserve its qualitative military edge amid rapid and uncertain regional political transformation; and
- (B) to encourage further development of advanced technology programs between the United States and Israel given current trends and instability in the region.
- (2) REPORT- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate a report on the status of Israel's qualitative military edge in light of current trends and instability in the region.
- (c) Reports on Other Matters- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on each of the following:
- (1) Taking into account Israel's urgent requirement for F-35 aircraft, actions to improve the process relating to Israel's purchase of F-35 aircraft to improve cost efficiency and timely delivery.
- (2) Efforts to expand cooperation between the United States and Israel in homeland security, counter-terrorism, maritime security, energy, cybersecurity, and other appropriate areas.
- (3) Actions to integrate Israel into the defense of the Eastern Mediterranean.
- (d) Definitions- In this section:
- (1) APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES- The term `appropriate congressional committees' means--
- (A) the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Armed Services, and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives; and
- (B) the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Armed Services, and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate.
- (2) QUALITATIVE MILITARY EDGE- The term `qualitative military edge' has the meaning given the term in section 36(h)(2) of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2776(h)(2)).
SEC. 5. EXTENSION OF AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE LOAN GUARANTEES TO ISRAEL.
- (a) In General- Chapter 5 of title I of the Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2003 (Public Law 108-11), as amended, is further amended in the item relating to `Loan Guarantees to Israel'--
- (1) in the matter preceding the first proviso, by striking `September 30, 2011' and inserting `September 30, 2015'; and
- (2) in the second proviso, by striking `September 30, 2011' and inserting `September 30, 2015'.
- (b) Effective Date- The amendments made by this section take effect on the date of enactment of this Act.
Passed the House of Representatives May 9, 2012.
To express the sense of Congress regarding the United States-Israel strategic relationship, to direct the President to submit to Congress reports on United States actions to enhance this relationship and to assist in the defense of Israel, and for other purposes.