Supporting a Strong Relationship with Israel

Senator Casey is committed to further strengthening the unbreakable 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.   In July 2016, Senator Casey signed a letter with 18 of his colleagues to the Armed Services committee leadership urging support for $601 million in funding for cooperative missile defense programs in Fiscal Year 2017. 
  • Senator Casey is an original cosponsor of the bipartisan S. Res. 508, which called for the finalization of a new, robust, and long-term Memorandum of Understanding on military assistance between the United States Government and the Government of Israel. 
  • 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 negotiating table.  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. 3125, the Stop Terrorist Operational Resources and Money (STORM) Act of 2016, 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 is a cosponsor of S. 3281, a bill that would extend the Iran Sanctions Act for ten years, maintaining the legal architecture to snap back sanctions against Iran.
  • 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. 

  • 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.
  • 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. 2531, the Combatting BDS Act of 2016, which would reaffirm the legality of state and local government measures that counter BDS. 
  • 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.