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.

  • Senator Casey was a cosponsor of S. 615, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which became Public Law 114-17 on May 22, 2015. This legislation created a mechanism for Congressional review of the JCPOA with Iran.

  • Senator Casey was an original cosponsor of S. 269, the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2015. This legislation was intended to make clear to the Iranian regime the consequences – in the form of additional sanctions – if they failed to reach an agreement.

  • Senator Casey was an original cosponsor of S. 1881, the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013, which authorized increased sanctions on Iran relative to their pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.

  • Senator Casey introduced, with Senators Graham and Lieberman, Senate Joint Resolution 41, stating that containing a nuclear-armed Iran should not be an option for U.S. policy. The resolution passed on September 22, 2012 with a vote of 90 to 1.

The Peace Process

Senator Casey has said that the path to peace between Israel and the Palestinians must be through direct talks between the parties. The prospect of a negotiated, two-state solution to the conflict must be based upon a full recognition of Israel’s right to exist. In addition, Israel cannot be expected to negotiate with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas unless it renounces violence, recognizes Israel’s right to exist and abides by past agreements. Senator Casey opposes efforts to internationalize the conflict through multilateral organizations and external pressure on Israel through efforts like the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

  • In April 2017, Senator Casey signed a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres with all 100 of his colleagues, asking for equal treatment of Israel at the United Nations and to seek institutional and rules changes that have been disproportionately used to target Israel. Senator Casey also met with Secretary General Guterres in June 2017 to discuss this issue personally.

  • On September 19, 2016, Senator Casey joined a bipartisan group of his colleagues in writing to President Obama to urge that he oppose any one-sided resolution at the United Nations that would “lock the parties into positions that would make it more difficult to return to the negotiating table.”

  • As a member of the Finance Committee, Senator Casey voted for legislation that would make countering the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement a major priority in trade and diplomatic talks.

  • Senator Casey was a cosponsor of the Taylor Force Act, which was enacted into law as part of the Fiscal Year 2018 omnibus appropriations bill on March 23, 2018. This bill places limitations on U.S. foreign aid to the West Bank and Gaza until the Palestinian Authority stops payments to families of Palestinians who have committed violence against U.S. and Israeli citizens.

  • In November 2015, he signed a bipartisan letter to EU High Representative Mogherini expressing concern about EU product labeling regulations that could contribute to a de facto boycott of Israeli goods.

  • Senator Casey is a cosponsor of S. 170, the Combatting BDS Act, which would reaffirm the legality of state and local government measures that counter BDS. He also supported final passage of S. 1, a package of bills that included the Combatting BDS Act.

  • Senator Casey cosponsored S. Res. 302, a resolution expressing the sense of the Senate in support of Israel and in condemnation of Palestinian terror attacks. The resolution was agreed to in the Senate on November 10, 2015.

  • In 2014, Senators Casey and Ayotte led a group of 88 Senators in urging the Administration to ensure that no assistance is diverted to Hamas, to support the Palestinian Authority’s effort to govern in Gaza, and discourage Palestinian unilateral measures at the United Nations and International Criminal Court that bypass direct negotiations and undermine the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.