Senator Graham calls for US-Israel mutual defense alliance

Senator Graham says he wants to show the world that the relationship between the two countries is rock solid.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham reaffirmed his support for Israel on Saturday by suggesting that the United States and Israel should formalize a defense alliance, so that “an attack on Israel would be considered an attack against the United States.”

Speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), the 63-year-old senior senator from South Carolina said that it was especially important at present that the whole world know that the relationship between the two countries is unbreakable.

Israel’s enemies should know that if they want “to destroy the one and only Jewish state, you have to come through us to get them,” he told the audience that came to show support for enhancing the Jewish Republican voice in the halls of power in Washington, D.C.

Graham has been a staunch Israel supporter throughout his years in the legislature. Last month, while touring the Golan Heights with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, he called on the Trump administration to recognize the Golan Heights “as part of the State of Israel now and forever.”

The president subsequently signed a proclamation officially granting recognition when Netanyahu met with him March 25, saying that the move was good for Israel’s security as well as “regional stability.” Trump’s action was not accepted by any America’s European or Arab allies, although the Arab reaction was considered muted, overall.

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The senator showed that he is continuing to push on the issue, telling the conference that he’d like to see the upper house, which is the only one still controlled by the Republicans, back up the president by voting on formally recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the plateau. Doing so would also force the Democrats to go on record, showing who supports Israel on this issue and who doesn’t.

Israel conquered the strategic heights from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War and annexed it in 1981. Although no country recognized the move until now, a vast majority of its population has always considered it vital to the country’s security to hold onto the territory.

Graham is considered a hawk in defense matters, and is a supporter of an interventionist foreign policy. He has been in the senate since 2003, and this year became chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is also a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and heads the Senate’s Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism.