Senior US Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Ed Royce (R-Calif) held a press conference together with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman Wednesday to emphasize the importance of the US-Israel alliance.
Royce, who is a Chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the reason for both the popular support for Israel among the American population, as well as strong bipartisan support in Congress, was Israel’s status as a beacon of democratic values amid a sea of brutality and turmoil in the Middle East.
Engel, who is also a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, echoed those sentiments.
“This is a very difficult and dangerous neighborhood, and the people (of Israel) are on the frontline every single day, defending their way of life, defending democracy,” he said.
“There’s a reason why when you look at the Middle East there’s only one democracy, and that’s because the people living in this country understand human dignity… and would rather put resources into the politics of living rather than put resources in the politics of hate,” he continued, contrasting Israel’s massive investment in measures to defend its citizens with Hamas’s use of international aid to fund incitement and terrorism.
Echoing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, he said that “Hamas and ISIS are the same,” referring to the radical Islamic State terrorist group sweeping through Iraq and Syria.
“Nobody can expect Israel to sit down with a terrorist organization and negotiate with them, when the very premise of that terrorist organization is to deny Israel the right to exist,” Engel added.