Flagging their unflinching bipartisan support for Israel, leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee pledged strengthened cooperation in countering common strategic threats.
Visiting here less than a week after Israel’s 50-day war in Gaza and just a day after it downed a Syrian-launched drone that had breached its northern border, lawmakers vowed to stand “side by side” with the “our only true friend in the Middle East.”
Meeting Monday in Jerusalem, Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that despite partisan differences, “If there’s one thing that we concur on … [it’s] support for our only true friend in the Middle East, and that’s Israel.”
Meeks was responding to Netanyahu’s calls for a common effort against Hamas, Hizbollah and Islamist terrorist groups whose fierce battles with the Syrian Army have repeatedly leaked across and threaten to spill over Israel’s northern border.
“We understand that what affects you affects us,” he said.
In his meeting with the four-man delegation, led by Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Netanyahu said Israel was closely monitoring events on the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, where al-Nusra militants kidnapped UN peacekeepers.
“What we see is that al-Nusra, Hamas, Hizbollah — backed by Iran, al-Qaida and these other terrorists groups — are basically defying all international norms, breaking them whether in Lebanon, in Syria or in Gaza,” Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu thanked the lawmakers and the US government for resisting UN pressure to condemn Israel for its recent Protective Edge campaign in Gaza.
“I think the UN would do itself a great favor if instead of the automatic Israel bashing, they actually turn their attention and their investigative committees against these terrorists who trample every norm on which the UN was founded.”