Lankford Senate

Faithful, Conservative Leader

Israel and the United States have a unique relationship and a special bond among nations. Israel is America's closest friend in the Middle East and she is a solid partner in research, strategic defense and freedom. Both nations rose up out of incredible adversity to form a prosperous and free democracy, in spite of incredible opposition. Both nations forcibly defended their right to exist as a free and independent nation for years after the signing of their Declaration of Independence. Both nations have stood strong for free market economics and basic human rights. Both nations are a melting pot of people who have immigrated from all over the world. No other nation in the Middle East has the same commitment to freedom, justice and peace. But, while the United States reaches its history back in centuries, Israel traces her history in millennia.

The United States enjoys a peaceful relationship with Canada and Mexico, but Israel lives each day with neighbors who do not recognize Israel’s right to exist. Both the United States and Israel face a common threat that does not regard country or borders, radical Islamic fascism. The current movement to economically boycott Israel is irrational and irresponsible. Technology innovation and shared human interest tie our countries together by driving job growth in our mutual economies. Israel is a world leader in business innovation and advancements in technology inextricably linked to a healthy global economy. Israel finds great strength and success being one of the most physically and ideologically diverse and yet harmonious countries in the world. This truth coupled with the inspired vision and values of the Israeli people offers the United States and other freedom loving world powers the continued opportunity for a prosperous and unique partnership that should be cherished and protected. The United States should work with our allies to assure that the free exchange of ideas and commerce continues around the world. I have stood with the IDF at an Iron Dome launch site, walked the streets of Hebron, talked with professors in Ariel and stood at the natural gas facility in Ashdod. From investment companies and start ups in Tel Aviv, to orchards in the desert, to places of deep faith from border to border, Israel faces unique threats and holds incredible opportunity.

Peace Process

In the past few years, the Obama Administration has changed our relationship with Israel and the rest of the Middle East toward a neutral position in negotiations, even occasionally demonstrating an inexplicable deference to the Palestinians. This ambiguity creates a destabilizing effect on the region and increases the possibility of aggression. America has a clear ally in the region, Israel. Peace will develop when the Islamic nations around Israel see that Israel stands strong and does not stand alone. Palestinian leaders have demonstrated an inability to develop stable and peaceful governmental structures in Gaza and the West Bank. The instability has created fertile ground for extremist groups and terrorism. Peace has been the dream and the primary task of the nation of Israel since its rebirth in 1948. While Israel has given land and participated in endless peace talks, their outreach has been met with a continued resolve for their destruction. Peace cannot be imposed from any outside party, including the United States. Israel is a sovereign nation that is capable of self-determination, but Israel's neighbors must accept Israel’s right to exist under the U.N. Security Council Resolution 242.

Nuclear Middle East

The community of nations worldwide must oppose any capability of Iran to build a nuclear weapon. The official American position states that Iran will not have the capability to build a nuclear weapon, but after personally meeting with Vice President Biden it is apparent that the private goal of the Administration is to only prevent Iran from developing the capability to deliver a nuclear weapon with a long range missile. The current nuclear talks and the suspension of the sanctions seem to give Iran the gift of time and billions of dollars in frozen assets for the promise of future change which is the best deal possible for Iran.

Protecting Israel’s Borders

I support Israel’s right to protect its people by maintaining border security on land and by sea. Examining vehicles, cargo and personnel is a practical task of self-preservation at all border crossings and sea routes. The security fence is also unfortunately necessary in many areas of Israel. Israel has the authority to develop missile defense programs, eliminate shipments of advanced weapons into border areas and proactively defend its right to exist.

Iran

As an eleven year old boy, I remember watching the news in 1979 with my family as the Shah of Iran fled and the nation was taken over by the radical Islamic dictator Ayatollah Khomeini. Later that year, I remember when the American Embassy in Iran was stormed and 52 staff were taken hostage for 444 days. The lesson of that time was clear, the Islamic Republic of Iran does not share the same values as most nations of the world and they do not respond to weakness. As a member of Congress, I met in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Netanyahu and several members of the Kinneset to discuss the 2013 P5+1 agreement with Iran. This agreement gives Iran time and money, the two elements they need to develop advanced nuclear capability. It is clear Iran is not seeking medical or power generation from nuclear fuel, they are working toward a bomb. I believe that it is essential that the international sanctions remain on Iran to give the maximum opportunity for a world free of Iranian nuclear despotism.

Aid to Israel

It is in the national interest of the United States to have a stable democracy in the Middle East which is consistent with our national values to stand with Israel and abide by the financial commitment made in 2007 in the US-Israeli Memorandum of Understanding. Israel provides critical intelligence sharing, security expertise, technology, medical developments, defense employment and more. America should stand with Israel through direct aid, shared expertise, technology and intelligence. I will reinforce the significant relationship that our governments share and the importance of maintaining open communication lines between our nations. Israel is a significant ally and an important element in the American economy, a benefit for both nations to maintain a consistent trade and foreign aid relationship.

Jerusalem

Jerusalem is not a settlement, it is the Capital. Israel should have the right to build housing and function in her own capital. I support Israel’s right to live and work within her capital and the right of the United States to locate our Embassy in Jerusalem.