Supporting a Strong Relationship with Israel
Senator Casey is committed to the long-standing bond between the United States and Israel and to promoting peace and security throughout the Middle East. A stable and secure Israel is in our national security interest and has been a cornerstone of our foreign policy for more than half a century. The United States benefits enormously from cooperating with Israel on counterterrorism, intelligence and defense.
Senator Casey has visited Israel five times during his tenure as Senator (May 2009, July 2010, April 2013, February 2016, and September 2016) to discuss cooperation between our two countries with senior Israeli officials. Senator Casey believes that supporting a strong relationship with Israel promotes U.S. security and advances our national interests.
Security Assistance to Israel
Senator Casey is a consistent and vocal advocate for robust security assistance to Israel.
His top foreign assistance priority is full funding for cooperative missile defense programs like Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and Arrow, as well as cooperative research and development on technologies to counter terrorists’ use of tunnels. Each year, Senator Casey advocates to the Appropriations Committee in support of full funding for these programs.
In May 2017, Senator Casey joined a bipartisan group of Senators in writing to the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act conferees in support of funding for cooperative missile defense programs with Israel. Senator Casey cosponsored of S. 2497, the U.S.-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018. This bill would increase military and humanitarian cooperation between the U.S. and Israel, ensuring legislative support for the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding on defense cooperation. Senator Casey supported final passage of S. 1, a package of bills which, among other things, extended U.S. security assistance to Israel for ten years.
Senator Casey pushed the Obama Administration to reach a new ten-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that constituted a “transformational investment” in our defense cooperation with Israel. On September 14, 2016, former-President Obama signed a new, ten-year MOU. This MOU guarantees $3.8 billion per year to Israel, totaling $38 billion over the ten year period. $33 billion of these funds will help finance the Israeli military, and $5 billion will be used for missile defense systems. This MOU will allow our militaries to address current threats and plan for future challenges.
He is also a signatory to an April 2016 letter, led by Senators Coons and Graham, which expresses the bipartisan commitment in the Senate to provide Israel with the resources it needs to counter threats to its security.
Countering Iranian Aggression
Throughout his Senate tenure, Senator Casey has supported measures, including the imposition of tough sanctions, which brought the Iranian regime to the table for negotiations that led to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Senator Casey is working to counter Iranian aggression and threats to Israel’s security, and he believes that we must ensure Iran never acquires a nuclear weapons capability.
Senator Casey introduced S. 358, the Stop Terrorist Operational Resources and Money (STORM) Act, which would levy penalties against countries that do not pull their weight in the fight against terrorism financing, including those that support Iranian-backed groups like Hezbollah and Hamas.
Senator Casey was an original cosponsor of the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017, which was enacted into law on August 2, 2017, as part of a larger package of legislation called the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. He supported enactment of this legislation as an important step in combatting the Iranian regime’s dangerous non-nuclear behavior. This legislation requires the development of a strategy to counter Iranian threats, imposes additional ballistic missile and terrorism related sanctions and mandates that the President impose sanctions against those who contribute to Iran’s ballistic missile or weapons of mass destruction programs.