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Bipartisan lawmakers introduce ‘US-Israel Military Technology Cooperation Act’

CM 23/09/2021

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WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a new bill on Tuesday, the US-Israel Military Technology Cooperation Act. House Representatives Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina), Brad Schneider (D-Illinois) and Stephanie Murphy (D-Florida) spearheaded the bill, which was submitted as an amendment for inclusion in the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act.
If signed into law, it would require the creation of a United States-Israel Operations-Technology Working Group.
“Developed in collaboration with Israel, this group would address methods and practices to best share intelligence-informed, military capability requirements, and provide a stand-alone forum designed to further strengthen our efforts to meet and overcome current and future threats,” the group said in a statement.

“The US-Israel alliance is crucial for both of our countries. It is long-standing and we face common threats that are evolving and changing,” Schneider told The Jerusalem Post. “We need to make sure that we’re always one step ahead of those who seek to do us harm.”
He said creating additional capabilities is something that would benefit both the US and Israel.

Iron dome, F-16s and Israeli Navy fleet (credit: REUTERS)Iron dome, F-16s and Israeli Navy fleet (credit: REUTERS)

“Creating a formal structure like this is something that will bring hopefully greater opportunities to cooperate and coordinate.”
The bill was introduced the same day when a group of progressive lawmakers blocked a continuing resolution that would have replenished Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system.
“It’s still a fringe group, but when you have a little margin at the House any group of four on any issues that can cause disruption,” Schneider said. “At the end of the day, Iron Dome will be funded; there’s no question about that.”
“We’ll have a vote this week, a stand-alone vote, on the interceptors; on the one hand, there is an advantage because this will be a bipartisan vote. Democrats and Republicans. They delayed it, but they didn’t change it,” Schneider said, and added that he was confident the funding would pass the House with overwhelming support.

Is bipartisan support for Israel eroding?

“I’ve been concerned about threats to the bipartisan support for Israel for a long time and from both sides. You see what happened [on Tuesday] with ‘the squad,’ but there are folks on the right side who try to use US support for Israel as a partisan battering ram. Any time anything becomes a partisan battering ram, it’s not good for whatever the issue is. I think with respect to Israel, it is particularly dangerous because for a long time Israel has been the one issue [that enjoyed] bipartisan support. I’m committed to making sure that it always remains bipartisan.”


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