Statement of Robert Rechnitz, Chairman of the Iron Dome Tribute*
Congress approved the bill today adding another $225 Million of funds to the Iron Dome.
While this bill had overwhelming bipartisan support and was expected to pass, it did encounter some difficulties which required immense lobbying in the last 10 days. One has to wonder why this became a political issue at a time when Israel is under siege from the Iran backed Hamas.
The attempt to attach the Iron Dome funding to a larger spending bill was a blatant partisan move that undermines the strong relationship between the US Congress and Israel. We are thankful to the Members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, who sought to detach the requests and achieved victory. Israel's relationship with the United States and the US support of Israel is not a partisan issue. Any attempt to make it an issue ignores the common democratic interests of these two countries.
According to the IDF, the Iron Dome advanced anti-missile system has successfully destroyed 90 percent of its targets since the onset of the assault by Hamas three weeks ago.
Countless lives are being saved by the Iron Dome. Each time it is deployed, the danger to life is quite literally blown out of the sky. The project to develop the Iron Dome has been a close collaboration between Israel and the United States - Two countries for which there is no higher value than the sanctity of life. The initiative came to fruition after our friends in the US Congress, led by the late Senator Daniel Inouye fought with great commitment for its implementation.
Years of energetic lobbying efforts went into the eventual funding of the Iron Dome. Bringing the project to completion has required a committed bipartisan effort which continues to this day. Republicans and Democrats alike continue to show that when it comes to the security of the State of Israel, the United States stands as one.
We thank the United States Congress for its friendship, support, and sharing of democratic interests in the Middle East.
G-d bless America, G-d bless Israel.
*The IRON DOME Tribute was held on February 27, 2013. It was an historic event that forged closer the everlasting U.S.-Israel alliance and recognized the United States Congress for the Iron Dome Missile Defense System. Additionally, the IRON DOME Tribute is credited with increasing support for the close bi-lateral defense and security relationship between the United States and the State of Israel.
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