Senator David Perdue’s ‘Letter to the Jewish Community’

Senator David Perdue’s ‘Letter to the Jewish Community’

The AJT requested the four candidates running for U.S. Senate in the Jan. 5 runoff election to write exclusive letters to the Jewish community. Read Senator David Perdue's below.

Republican Sen. David Perdue in a Jan. 5 runoff.
Republican Sen. David Perdue in a Jan. 5 runoff.

Since Israel’s founding, the United States has been a steadfast ally and friend of Israel, united by our shared values of freedom and democracy. However, in 2015, when I was sworn in, that special relationship had been severely damaged by the [former president Barack] Obama administration. My first international trip as a U.S. senator was purposefully to Israel, where I personally met with Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu to reaffirm that America stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the State of Israel.

Over the last four years, the U.S.-Israel relationship has rightfully been restored as a top priority, demonstrated best by our long overdue recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and subsequent move of the American embassy. This unwavering support has helped facilitate Israel’s recent diplomatic breakthroughs with the Arab world, which will not only increase Israel’s standing in the world, but also tectonically change the Middle East for the better.

Despite these positive developments, Israel continues to face threats at every border. From Hezbollah and the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] in the North, to Hamas and ISIS in the South, Israel’s enemies will stop at nothing to attack and kill innocent Israelis. In light of Israel’s rising security challenges, I have strongly supported providing Israel the resources it needs to defend itself.

This support should continue to be robust and never be made conditional, period.

A nuclear-armed Iran would spell disaster for the Middle East, but in particular, Israel. The dangerous Iran nuclear deal served only to embolden Iran and provide it with a free path to accelerate its nuclear efforts. It’s important to remember that without a Republican Congress, there would’ve never ever been a vote on the Iran deal, nor would the American people have been able to see what was even in it.

Still, I strongly supported the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] and impose a maximum pressure campaign to comprehensively address all forms of Iranian malign aggression and cripple the Iranian regime.

I have also been a proud defender of the Jewish community here at home. Since arriving in the Senate, I have made fighting anti-Semitism in all forms and at all levels a top priority, including standing up to the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which has served as a catalyst to the rising frequency of attacks against Jews.

Unfortunately, we saw this issue at the forefront in 2017 after a string of bomb threats at Jewish community centers across the country. That was appalling, and I worked with national security officials in the Trump administration to make sure there would be a long-term strategy to protect these JCCs and other places of worship.

There are efforts underway to undermine our alliance with Israel and our commitment to the Jewish people around the world. These movements must be called out and forcefully rejected.

The future of our essential partnership with Israel is on the ballot in this election. The [President-elect Joe] Biden foreign policy agenda my opponent would enable in office risks emboldening enemies like Iran and making the world less safe. Jon Ossoff has chosen to stand side-by-side with and defend his running mate Raphael Warnock, whose unacceptable positions include comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa, celebrating renowned anti-Semite Jeremiah Wright, and likening Israel’s sitting prime minister to segregationists.

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