As the eyes of the world eagerly anticipate the maiden visit of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with President Donald Trump, several prominent business executives from the East and West coasts will be leading a delegation on Capitol Hill as part of the U.S.-Israel Security Alliance to meet with numerous members of the Senate. The esteemed co-chairs of the mission — Ezra Friedlander, Sol Goldner, Peter Rebenwurzel, Aubrey Sharfman, Joseph. B. Stamm, and Stanley Treitel — are traveling to Washington to first and foremost thank the members of Congress for their unwavering support of Israel, in light of two significant pieces of legislation that were introduced in Congress: the Safeguard Israel Act of 2017 by Senator Ted Cruz, and Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Ben Cardin’s resolution objecting to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 and to all efforts that undermine direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians for a secure and peaceful settlement.
This legislative undertaking was a direct reaction to the U.N.’s decision to condemn Israeli expansion over the green line, which has come under criticism by a myriad of members of Congress.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to discuss more tangible ways in which the U.N. could be encouraged to pursue a direction that would not undermine Israel and her ability to negotiate peace,” said Ezra Friedlander, CEO of The Friedlander Group and founder of the U.S.-Israel Security Alliance, a bi-partisan ad-hoc committee comprised of prominent civic, business and communal leaders representing intersectional views.
“The United States currently allocates to the U.N.’s peacekeeping budget close to 3 billion dollars a year. In total, reports show that the U.S. gives nearly 8 billion dollars in total to the U.N. in voluntary and mandatory payments. This is 22 percent of the U.N.’s funds! We believe there are more constructive ways this allocation could be put to use,” explained Sol Goldner, CEO of Goldstar Healthcare. “This is such an important mission because there’s so much anxiety and disappointment in the Jewish community since the U.N. vote 2334. It is absolutely necessary to keep pressure on our elected officials to reverse the discriminatory policies of the U.N.”
“The senators will hopefully put enough pressure on the U.N. to have an open ear. With Senator Cruz and Senator Rubio there, it should help. They are outspoken and we are listening to them, and they are listening to us,” said Peter Rebenwurzel, chairman of the Raoul Wallenberg Commission and board member of Maimonides Medical Center.
“I believe the purpose of this mission is something that will have bipartisan support. When it comes to anything that’s being done to destabilize that region, all of us should get involved — even those of us that are not typically active,” commented Aubrey Sharfman, executive director of Morgan Stanley’s Sports Division. “Our mission is all about getting support on both sides of the aisle.”
“The mission is first to thank the senators for their overall support, but also to try and ascertain what the Senate can continue to do constructively in order to help Israel, given the U.N. vote,” remarked Joseph B. Stamm, CEO of MedReview and co-chair of the mission. “I believe there is definitely bipartisan support in taking some kind of action.”
“The members of Congress we are going to meet today have shown concrete, legislative support to Israel on the Hill by co-sponsoring one, or both, S.107 and S.Res.6.,” explained Stanley Treitel, board member of the Jerusalem Conference and the Raoul Wallenberg Commission. “We can’t say the Cruz bill is going to cruise right through, but if we keep pushing from our side, hopefully they will pass it!”