WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement on his support for Israel, his intention to introduce legislation to provide Israel with the tools it needs to defend itself, and the urgent need to confirm a U.S. ambassador to Israel.
“As President Biden said earlier today, the United States stands shoulder to shoulder with Israel in support of its right to defend itself against terrorism and do what is necessary in the coming days and weeks to protect its people. I mourn the loss of the innocent. I pray for those kidnapped from their homes, and for those who continue to be in harm’s way.
“I also know that in these coming days and weeks, it is incumbent upon the United States government, and the Congress, to offer the kind of assistance that has formed the bedrock of the U.S.-Israel relationship since its founding.
“And so, I intend to move forward legislation at the first opportunity that will focus on providing Israel what it needs to defend itself. That includes replenishment of missile defense for Iron Dome that ensures such interceptors are always available. I also urge consideration for supplemental funding for Israel’s defense as it navigates the immediate aftermath of this terrorist attack. Finally, I plan to lead a resolution reinforcing our commitment to the U.S.-Israel relationship.
“Right now, it is as critical as ever that we have a Senate-confirmed ambassador in Israel. That is why I hope my colleagues will join me in promptly confirming Secretary Jacob J. Lew as the new U.S. Ambassador to Israel.
“I look forward to working with my colleagues, both Republican and Democratic, in moving forward on such steps swiftly to demonstrate the longstanding bipartisan support for the U.S.-Israel partnership. And I look forward to supporting the administration in its efforts to do the same.”