Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas

OLSON CONDEMNS POSSIBLE SANCTIONS ON CLOSE ALLY ISRAEL

December 8, 2014
Press Release

Washington, DC –Congressman Pete Olson (R-TX) today strongly condemned reports that President Obama is considering sanctions on America's close friend and ally Israel.

"Reports that President Obama is considering sanctions against America's close friend and ally, Israel, have not been denied by the White House," Rep. Olson said. "This flies in the face of 67 years as staunch allies, and is deeply troubling at a time when President Obama is urging an easing of sanctions against a hostile Iran with nuclear aspirations. It is unfathomable that we would turn our back on such a close ally under constant attack like Israel. I strongly oppose any such action and demand President Obama to reconsider and renew our nation's strong support for our friend and the only existing democracy in the Middle East - Israel."

Olson joined Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) and 46 other House colleagues in sending a letter to President Obama demanding clarification on recent reports indicating the Administration is considering imposing sanctions against Israel for constructing homes in East Jerusalem.

Text of the letter is below:

Dear President Obama:

Recent reports suggest that your Administration has held classified meetings over the past several weeks to discuss the possibility of imposing sanctions against Israel for its decision to construct homes in East Jerusalem. We urge you and your Administration to clarify these reports immediately.

Israel is one of our strongest allies, and the mere notion that the Administration would unilaterally impose sanctions against Israel is not only unwise, but is extremely worrisome. Such reports send a clear message to our friends and enemies alike that such alliances with the United States government can no longer be unquestionably trusted.

Further, at no point in time has Congress given the Administration the authority to sanction Israel. In fact, Congress has continued to show its unwavering support for Israel and has recently taken steps to increase our economic and military cooperation. At a time when you have requested an additional seven months to negotiate with Iran over its nuclear weapons program, any attempts to undermine the U.S.’s support of Israel will only further diminish the Administration’s ability to get Congressional support for any potential agreement with Iran.

While it is our hope that these reports are untrue, the fact that your Administration has failed to denounce or clarify them is deeply troubling.  The United States must stand firm in its commitments to Israel, or we risk fracturing our relationship with Israel and other key partners across the globe. We urge you to quickly and sharply address these concerns, as well as take the steps necessary to demonstrate America’s unwavering support for Israel.

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