As a Kentucky Baptist pastor, I am deeply concerned about the U.S.-Israel relationship.
I feel strongly, as a Christian, that we must embody the scripture’s teaching when it calls on the need to support Israel. As it says in Genesis, “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Today’s alliance between our nation and the nation-state of the Jewish people is founded on this Biblical teaching and it is strengthened by the shared interests and shared values that both America and Israel ascribe to today.
Israel’s survival, safety and security are in America’s national interest. I have often spoken with my elected officials in Washington about the importance of U.S. leadership in supporting Israel through much needed security assistance which benefits both of our nations.
One of the hallmark pieces of legislation regarding the U.S.-Israel relationship is currently awaiting final approval in the Senate before it can go to President Trump’s desk for signature and become law. The U.S.-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018 (S. 2497) supports full funding of security assistance to Israel and seeks to ensure the Jewish state has the means necessary to defend itself, by itself, against a range of emerging threats. This important bipartisan legislation is being held up in the Senate by one individual…Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.
Earlier this year, Senator Paul offered an amendment to this bill in the Foreign Relations Committee that would have cut off all aid to Israel over 10 years. His amendment was defeated by voice vote and the legislation was subsequently agreed to by a vote of 20-1, with Senator Paul being the lone vote against.
Senator Paul has had an opportunity to voice his opinion on this subject and it is time for him to lift his hold on this important piece of legislation so the entire Senate can vote on security assistance to our ally Israel.
My request is simple: Tell Senator Paul not to block aid to Israel.
Steve Ayers is lead pastor at Hillvue Heights Church in Bowling Green.
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