Skinner, Strawn Highlight a Bipartisan Cause to Support
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April 19, 2013
Cedar Rapids Gazette
Bipartisan cause to support
By Ed Skinner and Matt Strawn
Following President Obama’s recent visit to Israel and a subsequent visit by Secretary of State John Kerry, we are reminded of the importance Israel has to America’s strategic interests in the volatile Middle East.
As President Obama said, “America’s commitment to the security of the State of Israel is a solemn obligation, and is non-negotiable … in stepping foot on this land, I walk in the historic homeland of the Jewish people. More than 3,000 years ago, the Jewish people lived here. And, the founding of the Jewish state was a rebirth, a redemption unlike any in history.”
These official visits serve to reinforce our country’s support and defense of the world’s only Jewish state. For that, we are grateful. This most important alliance for both countries comes at a critical time.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “Today, the accumulated threats against the State of Israel are greater than in the past, both the IDF and our security services are stronger than ever. We will continue to strengthen our security, we will continue to aspire for peace with our neighbors, and we will continue to ensure the future of our country.”
At this time, peace efforts require funding of the Iron Dome defense system to protect Jewish civilians from ongoing terrorist bomb attacks and the threat of nuclear weapons development in Iran while addressing geopolitical instability in the region. In the future, improved economic measures and the requirement of consistent and mutually verifiable borders will hopefully advance peace.
As members on both sides of the political aisle, we agree that America’s interests are best served by a strong and secure Israel as a stabilizing force for peace in the Mideast.
As the path to the presidency begins with the Iowa caucuses — the first step to choosing the leader of the free world — Iowans’ support of Israel should be declared as significant.
America must stand strong in support of Israel, the birthplace of America’s Judeo-Christian traditions of faith, especially now. Any retreat is misguided.
We affirm our commitment to the preservation of the Judeo-Christian values that were often learned at a mother’s knee and have indelibly shaped our families, traditions and beliefs.
America must continue to stand tall, together with our ally Israel, with the moral imperative of a world leader. As Iowans, we declare that with our unending support, Am Yisrael chai — the people of Israel will live and prosper to inspire lovers of freedom for generations to come.
Ed Skinner, Altoona, former state Democratic legislator, leader and activist, and Matt Strawn, Des Moines, former Iowa GOP chairman, are forming a group called Iowans Supporting Israel. Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com