An American congressional delegation visited Israel this week after a stop in Ukraine. Arutz Sheva got a chance to speak with the senior American politicians to discuss relations between Israel and the US.
US Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN), both members of the Armed Services Committee, and Congressman Stephen Lynch (D-MA) reinforced the strong connection between America and the Jewish state, particularly in context of the Iranian nuclear threat.
"If we get to that position, which none of us hope we have to be, that we would have to use force to stop Iran's nuclear program, I believe that the United States should support Israel...to do so," stated Ayotte.
Ayotte at the same timed stressed the role of sanctions, noting that any real agreement with Iran must fully dismantle the Islamic regime's nuclear program, because "we're all skeptical" of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's "charm offensive."
Meanwhile Donnelly assessed that the chances of Israel conducting a lone strike on Iran's nuclear program are "not likely," saying that while Israel has the right to act alone, "there's a commitment and binding care" to act together with the US.
'PA must show commitment'
Regarding the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), Ayotte denied accusations that the PA is staying in talks merely to have terrorists released. Senior PA officials in the past have stated that Abbas is only continuing talks to secure the releases.
Ayotte stressed that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's decision to release terrorists showed "commitment," which must be reciprocated by the PA by not threatening unilateral action at the United Nations, or at the International Criminal Court against Israel.
Donnelly denied accusations that America is pressuring Israel more than the PA, saying America is striving to be an honest broker.
In terms of the demands by Israelis that America release Jonathan Pollard, now in his 29th year of incarceration for spying for Israel, Donnelly remarked "I understand that, and I support our government's position on that issue."
Congressman Lynch stressed that the relations between Israel and America are based on the underlying "love" between both nations' public, regardless of differences between leaders. The "underlying relationship maintains that friendship beyond the issue of the day," he added.
Ayotte concluded by announcing that a resolution she co-authored with Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) passed unanimously in the senate last week. According to it, President Shimon Peres would be awarded the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal.
Peres has made some controversial statements in the past, such as calling the demand for PA recognition of Israel as the Jewish state "unnecessary," and saying Jews have nothing to fear about living under the PA in Judea and Samaria.