Israel

The United States has a Natural and Permanent Alliance with Israel

America’s natural allies are those nations with whom we share common values. Our alliances with such countries are even stronger when confronted by a common enemy. Such a bond will always exist between the United States and Israel.

Israel and America Share Common Values and Common Enemies

Israel, like the U.S., is a country of pioneers, of entrepreneurial spirit, of innovation, of individual freedom, and of equality among its diverse population. And, Israel and the United States share a common enemy, pledged to our destruction as a matter of religious belief, under the principle of jihad. From the time of its founding, Israel has been surrounded, attacked, and threatened with annihilation and genocide for the sin of existing as the sole Western-style, non-Muslim, democracy in the Middle East.  I am a staunch advocate for the alliance between the United States and Israel, for strengthening the bonds between our two countries, and for ensuring that Israel maintains a decisive qualitative military edge over the countries that threaten its very existence.

Supporting Terrorist Governments Undermines New York and American Values

I oppose giving foreign aid to jihad-sponsoring governments, including the Palestinian Authority.  I also call for a re-evaluation of every so-called “alliance” with countries who say one thing publicly, all the while giving support and sanctuary to terrorists and their networks, and spending billions of oil dollars to export their virulent form of Islam worldwide.

How is it possible that all these years after 9/11, taxpayer money, including from those thousands of Long Islanders who lost friends and family members on 9/11, is still being given to the Palestinian Authority, which pays terrorists and their families salaries for their depraved acts? How can we tolerate our politicians doing this? Our international alliances should be based on shared heritage and values, and our friends must be true friends. International policy should be consistent with this common-sense principle.

The Iran Deal Rewards Terrorists and Ignores Victims

I have long opposed the ill-advised Iran deal from which the current administration recently withdrew.  That deal, in which the United States literally handed the Iranian government a massive amount of money also guaranteed that Iran, pledged to Israel’s destruction, would eventually acquire a nuclear weapon. But rescinding this terrible deal was not nearly enough. In my career, I founded a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing legal justice to victims of terrorism and their families. In Congress, I will support legislation such as the Justice for Victims of Iranian Terrorism Act, which sought to prevent President Obama from lifting sanctions on Iran until Iran paid out on judgments awarded by US courts to Iranian terrorism victims. Without forcing terrorist sponsors to pay, a symbolic vote against the Iran deal is an empty gesture.

Justice for Victims of Terrorism Should Be Available Though Our Federal Courts

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court denied review in Sokolow v. PLO, an action that was brought under the Antiterrorism Act by several U.S. citizens against the Palestine Liberation Organization for injuries and death suffered as a result of a series of seven terrorist attacks that occurred between 2001 and 2004.  The Sokolows, who are from Woodmere, were injured when a suicide bomber detonated explosives in a Jerusalem shopping district in 2002.  I was part of the plaintiffs’ team in the litigation of the Sokolow case.

After the plaintiffs won a record $655.5 million verdict against the PLO after a jury trial, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the verdict and dismissed the case.  Its reason?  According to the Second Circuit, foreign governments and terrorist organizations like the PA and PLO have constitutional due process rights, and these rights prevent U.S. courts from hearing actions brought by American victims of terrorism where the terror acts occur overseas.

This decision is dead wrong.  The Due Process Clause does not protect governments; it protects persons from governments.  It also does not protect governments like the PA that have not been recognized by the United States as sovereign.  And, most of all, our Constitution does not protect governments that provide material support for terrorist acts that maim and kill Americans.

Yet, by denying review of this decision, the Supreme Court has let the Second Circuit’s decision stand.  This has seriously degraded the Antiterrorism Act’s ability to deter international terrorism and has effectively gutted a statute that was vital to this nation’s counter-terrorism capabilities.   The decision also imperils the application of numerous federal statutes designed to combat terrorism, and undermines Congress’s constitutional authority to legislate for the protection of U.S. interests.

In a separate case, Jesner v. Arab Bank, the Supreme Court recently held that foreign corporations may not be sued under the federal Alien Tort Statute for providing material support to terrorist organizations and regimes.  In that case, the Arab Bank, which has branches in the U.S., kept accounts for known terrorists, accepted donations that it knew would be used to fund terrorism, and distributed millions of dollars in “martyrdom payments” to families of Hamas suicide bombers.  The lawsuit was brought against the bank by Israeli citizens for the bank’s role in funding terrorist attacks that occurred between 1995 and 2005 in Israel.

This decision absolves foreign corporations, like the Arab Bank, that materially support terrorist activity from being held responsible for their egregious behavior.  This makes absolutely no sense.  U.S. courts are precisely where justice for human rights violations should be found.

I support swift Congressional action to override these wrongheaded decisions and to restore full access to justice to victims of terrorism in our federal courts.

The United Nations is Anti-Israel and Anti-West

Our government also takes the hard-earned money of American taxpayers and gives an enormous amount of it to the United Nations – an organization with a pervasive anti-Israel bias, as seen for example in the disgraceful Durban Conference of 2001 and the 2017 UNESCO resolution, deliberately passed on Israel’s Independence Day,  stating that Israel has no legal or historical rights anywhere in Jerusalem.

I take inspiration from Rudy Giuliani, who famously ejected the terrorist Yasser Arafat from Lincoln Center in 1995.  As your representative in Congress, I will advocate for my deeply held belief that, as long as the United Nations continues to spew an anti-Israel and anti-West agenda, our tax dollars should not be used to support it.  I will also ardently fight against the “Boycott, Divest, Sanctions” or “BDS” movement which unfairly singles out Israel for criticism.  And, in Congress, I will go head to head with anti-Israel zealots like Keith Ellison, whose rise within the Democratic Party has caused such glee among the Palestinians and devotees of jihad.

You Have Choices. Choose Ameer Benno for Congress

Because we live in this great country, we can make changes. We can elect someone who will tackle the causes we believe in. Someone who will fight to preserve our alliance with Israel which is essential to our national security and stability in the Middle East. Someone who will not use your taxpayer dollars to support terrorist countries and ideals. I am that someone.

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