Faso supports stronger ties with Israel after visit

Rep. John Faso voiced support for strengthening U.S. ties with Israel and pessimism about a “sustainable peace” with the Palestinians this week after returning from a seven-day visit to Israel with fellow House members from both parties.

The Kinderhook Republican said he and his colleagues met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli defense and economic officials; military and foreign policy experts; the opposition leader in the Israeli Knesset; and Rami Hamdallah, prime minister of the Palestinian Authority. Faso said his delegation also met with entrepreneurs in the high-tech industry, and with young Israelis serving their compulsory stint in the army.

Faso’s group was taken to the disputed Golan Heights, which Faso said Israel must continue to control. “Given Iranian and Hezbollah influence in significant parts of Syria it is all the more important that forces hostile to Israel never again have control of the Golan Heights’ strategic high ground,” he said.

“We all desire peace in the Middle East,” Faso concluded.  ”Recent political developments in the region cast doubt on the ability of the Palestinian Authority to enter into any sustainable peace treaty with Israel, especially given the malign influence of Iran and its proxies in the region. It is critical that the United States maintain its long-standing political, military and economic ties to Israel, the only democracy in the region. In Congress, I will continue to support efforts to strengthen our relationship with Israel, especially in areas such as missile defense, technology and agriculture.”

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