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newsU.S.-Israel Relations

Blinken tells AIPAC ‘America is more secure when Israel is strong’

The federal government’s chief diplomat affirmed that the U.S.-Israel partnership “touches on every aspect of our lives.”

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to reporters in Washington, Aug. 2, 2021. Credit: State Department Photo by Freddie Everett.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to reporters in Washington, Aug. 2, 2021. Credit: State Department Photo by Freddie Everett.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken addressed the 2023 American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Summit (AIPAC) at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C., saying, “the depth and breadth” of the alliance between the U.S. and Israeli governments “is matched only by the strength of the ties between our peoples.”

Speaking on Monday, Blinken pointed out that when President Harry S. Truman was considering recognizing the establishment of modern-day Israel in 1948, many government leaders, including Secretary of State George C. Marshall, opposed doing so, believing that the nascent state could not survive. Blinken then noted that his grandfather, Maurice Blinken, who founded the American Palestine Institute after World War II, wrote a report countering this view, persuading many skeptics.

Blinken described what the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden was doing to strengthen the relationship between Washington and Jerusalem. First, he said the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security was “non-negotiable” and “iron-clad.” Blinken laid out the levels of financial support that the United States provides, including $3.3 billion in military financing; $500 million for missile defense; $1 billion for replenishing the Iron Dome; and “tens of millions more for new counter-drone and anti-tunneling technologies.”

He emphasized that the Biden administration also worked to defend Israel in the battle of ideas, insisting that antisemitism “needs to be defeated everywhere in the world.”

“We continue to reject the global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement for unfairly singling out Israel,” said Blinken.

The Secretary of State named Iran as the gravest threat Israel faces. “That regime routinely threatens to wipe Israel off the map. It continues to provide weapons to terrorists and proxies like Hezbollah and Hamas, who reject Israel’s right to exist,” he said. “Iran cannot and will not be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon.”

Blinken warned that “all options are on the table” for preventing Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

He also said that the administration aimed to “achieve significant historic progress to deepen and broaden the Abraham Accords,” pointing out that it’s in America’s national security interests to promote Saudi-Israeli normalization. 

At the same time, Blinken reiterated the administration’s support for the two-state solution and opposition to Israeli settlement expansion.

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