newsU.S.-Israel Relations

Stefanik: No excuse for any American president to withhold aid to Israel

New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, who could become Trump's running mate, says there would be no weapons embargo on Israel if he returns to power.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) asks a question during a House committee hearing about antisemitism on campus with the presidents of Harvard, Penn and MIT on Dec. 5, 2023. Credit: Courtesy of the Office of Rep. Stefanik.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) asks a question during a House committee hearing about antisemitism on campus with the presidents of Harvard, Penn and MIT on Dec. 5, 2023. Credit: Courtesy of the Office of Rep. Stefanik.

At least a billion eyes watched the dramatic three minutes in which Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) forced the presidents of America’s leading universities to answer a rather simple question: “Does a call for the elimination of the Jewish people violate the rules of your academic institution?”

“It depends on the context,” the presidents of Harvard, MIT and the University of Pennsylvania told the lawmaker when she asked them that question at the House committee hearing in Washington five months ago. Stefanik rejected their responses. “No.” she told the professors, “Calls for the murder of Jews are not context-dependent.”

The clarity and determination displayed by Stefanik shook America’s prestigious campuses and, among other things, forced two of the presidents to resign from their positions. The power that Stefanik radiated and the enormous snowball effect that began rolling due to her words catapulted her as one of the most talked-about names as Donald Trump, the presumptive 2024 Republican nominee, searches for a running mate or future cabinet members.

In a recent interview with Israel Hayom, Trump committed to having a pro-Israel running mate. Stefanik meets that definition.

On Sunday, Stefanik arrived in Israel for a solidarity trip and visited communities affected by the recent conflict. However, she did not need to witness the difficult sights to stand in support of the State of Israel and the Jewish people, while harshly criticizing U.S. President Joe Biden’s attitude towards Israel.

She made it clear that one thing will not happen: If Trump is elected president, there will be no weapons embargo on Israel.

Q: Many Israelis are now disappointed with Biden’s line towards Israel, especially regarding the embargo he imposed two weeks ago. The question is, if Trump does win the elections in November and the war is still ongoing, what will his policy be regarding Israel, the war, Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran? What will he say to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or another Israeli prime minister if he becomes president?

A: Well, first of all, look at President Trump’s record in terms of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, the historic Abraham Accords, the biggest great breakthrough for peace normalization in 25 years, as well as moving Israel to U.S. Central Command, allowing the planning which was so critical to combating the Iranian strike against Israel with the hundreds of missiles that were sent. 

We know that President Trump makes a strong effort when it comes to U.S. support for Israel. And there is a stark difference. Look at Joe Biden’s statement to withhold military aid that the U.S. Congress passed overwhelmingly. 

There was no excuse for any American president to withhold that aid to our most precious ally in the region. Under President Trump, that would have never happened.

Q: What do you think about Biden not allowing entry into Rafah and not wanting, for example, Israel to encourage emigration from the Gaza Strip to other places in the world? Is it okay with you to allow Gazans to immigrate to other places, and this situation where Biden does not want us to operate in places where we know Hamas is still present?

A: Israel needs all the operational flexibility to eradicate Hamas. This is a just war. It was Hamas that committed terrorist atrocities against the Israeli people. So, this moral equivocation, this equivocation on policy from the Biden administration, there is no room for it.

And I’m here in Israel to send a message that the American people stand strongly with Israel to eradicate Hamas to protect Israel’s right to exist to protect the national security of Israel.

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

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