Good news for Israel, GOP Congress

There is loathing between the White House and Prime Minister Netanyahu. However, there is no such loathing in the new Republican controlled Congress. And this is good for Israel. As I wrote in my post the day before the U.S. midterm elections, a GOP win would be good for Israel. Here is more proof.

Specifically, when the ‘whose who’ of key committees leadership is reveled it is most heartening, because the new Republican leaders are known for their support of Israel and have firm opinions on defense and national security.

The chair of the House Armed Services Committee is Rep. “Mac” Thornberry (R-TX), whose reputation as a strategic thinker, and critic of Pentagon inefficiency is good for the tough decisions going to be made about fighting ISIS, the mission in Afghanistan, and negotiating with Iran. In the Senate, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), the fire-and brimstone defense giant will assume the chair of the Armed Services Committee. This committee’s significance is in their vote on a new resolution authorizing the use of force in the Middle East. From McCain’s reputation and general tendency of Republicans to be more assertive on use of military power, this key committee will be an ally to Israel in the assertion of using American military power in the region.

Yes, President Obama will make the policy, but support will come from a willing Congress, in particular the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), is the new chair. Corker has a more confrontational policy style, specifically his disagreement with the president over Iran. This is good for Israel, anxious about any possible nuclear program deal with the West. Sen. Corker wants to restrain Iran’s nuclear program and to strengthen the sanctions on Iran.

Even the amount of money, as related to national security, is good news for Israel. While, it is not an Armed Services committee issue, rather a Budget Committee issue, the new chair of the Senate Budget Committee is Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) a known hawk who has an ally in the House in new Budget Committee Chair, Rep. Tom Price (R-GA). Both men urge higher levels for defense than those provided in the Budget Control Act. So, while detractors may point out that most of the faces in the House and Senate are already ‘known’ politicians, this in fact is not a negative.

For Israel, for the Netanyahu government, the election results were good news indeed. A positive step in showing the world, hostile to Israel and seeking to further weaken the United States, that the special and strategic relations shared between the two nations will remain strong.

About the Author
Dr. Aaron Walter teaches International Relations. He writes on American foreign policy towards Israel. In addition to topics directly related to U.S.-Israeli politics, he has written on the presidency and security studies as linked to U.S., Europe, and Israeli studies