No two other nations share a bond like that which exists between the United States and Israel. Partners in loving liberty and democracy. Partners in cherishing religious and political freedom. Partners in standing against tyranny and evil, both within our own borders and beyond.
The United States has shared Israel’s joys at realizing historic milestones, such as the recent 70th anniversary of the Jewish state.
Similarly, we have known Israel’s comfort when terror has struck our own country — a uniquely meaningful comfort given by a nation that has experienced terror’s onslaught. In return, we share Israel’s tears when terror seeks to destroy her.
Tragically, our joint tears flowed again recently with the murder of Ari Fuld, the 45-year-old, American-born Israeli father of four who was ruthlessly murdered last month during a routine shopping trip in Gush Etzion in the West Bank. Displaying a courage beyond understanding, Fuld, despite being mortally wounded, shot his 17-year-old terrorist attacker, preventing him from harming others.
Would that we could say such hatred is rare and similar attacks are nearly unheard of. But as we know, there remain those intent on destroying Israel and such attacks are all too commonplace, and even encouraged.
Hamas called Fuld’s stabbing “heroic and brave.” And the Palestinian Authority (PA) has reportedly not ruled out the possibility of rewarding the terrorist’s family with financial support, a perverse practice that defies all norms of human decency.
The United States is absolutely right in condemning any such payments to terrorists and their families. Furthermore, Congress and President Donald Trump were right when they recently passed and enacted the Taylor Force Act, which limits funding for the PA as long as it continues to financially reward terrorists and their families.
Unfortunately, despite this latest unprovoked attack that left a wife a widow, and four children fatherless, there remain some in the United States who lack understanding of the basic nature of terrorism: that it needs no incitement and is the fault of those who perpetrate it. Instead, some continue erroneously to fault Israel for her enemies’ actions.
In hopes of punishing Israel for its perceived sins, some Americans engage in efforts to undermine her economic strength through the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS). BDS blames Israel for Fuld’s murder, absurdly viewing Israel’s very presence in the West Bank as provocation. That misguided attempt to isolate Israel in the hopes of forcing her to submit to outside political demands will not succeed, but is deeply troubling nonetheless.
To be clear, the only ones responsible for Fuld’s death are the terrorists and those who support them.
As history has shown time and again, there is no reasoning with the type of blind hatred that murdered Fuld. Those out to destroy Israel — through terrorism, economic sanctions, or military action — will not be satisfied with the peace Israel cherishes. Instead, they want only destruction.
That is why the United States must continue to stand steadfastly beside our friend and ally, from standing up to the United Nations’ longstanding shameful treatment of Israel, to unequivocally supporting Israel’s right to defend herself.
To this end, I also applaud legislation currently moving through Congress — the United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act — which reaffirms U.S. support for Israel and would help ensure Israel has the means to defend itself against current, growing, and emerging threats.
Our two nations’ friendship and partnership have been forged over decades of trials and triumphs, through periods of peace and war, and in times of celebration and tears. Both our countries long for a day when peace replaces hatred, friendship replaces terror, and joy replaces tears, not just for our two nations, but for the entire world. Let us continue to strive together to see that day in our lifetimes.
Jay Webber is a Republican candidate for Congress in New Jersey’s 11th district, an N.J. Assemblyman, husband, and father of seven children.