Washington Times: Bob Casey is No Friend of Israel (Op-ed)

Monday, October 23, 2023


On Oct. 7, Hamas terrorists rampaged through Israeli towns near the Gaza border, murdered more than 1400 people, including Americans and other foreign nationals, and kidnapped at least 150 men, women and children. The deaths from that attack represent the largest number of Jews killed in one day since the Holocaust. The testimonies and graphic evidence of what happened in those communities are horrifying and heartbreaking.

Now, Israel is at war. American Jews are grieving and distressed. Many of us know people who were killed or kidnapped, or we have family or friends whom the Israel Defense Forces has called up to defend their country. American Jews want to know that their elected officials have the moral clarity to support Israel’s fight terrorism.

Sadly, Pennsylvanians looking to Sen. Bob Casey for that moral clarity are not finding it. His past positions are troubling, especially considering what has happened in Israel. His voting record shows that when he has had the opportunity to help starve Hamas and other terrorist groups of funding and training for their evil, murderous activities, Mr. Casey failed to take action.

Mr. Casey did not support legislation to impose sanctions on Iran and Hamas that would have stopped money from flowing into terrorist coffers. On three occasions in 2015, he voted to approve the Obama administration’s nuclear deal, lifting sanctions on Iran and giving it access to billions of dollars. Some of that money funded Hamas’ training and arming for this attack.

Mr. Casey did not support the Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act of 2021, which would have imposed sanctions on Hamas. That bill would have denied terrorist groups access to loans or credit guaranteed by American financial institutions and penalized foreign countries that gave money to Hamas.

In 2019, Mr. Casey criticized Israel for barring Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from visiting. In addition, Mr. Casey failed to support the Combating BDS Acts of 2021 and 2023. These bills would have allowed state and local governments to divest from entities that support the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. The movement seeks to delegitimize Israel and destroy it through economic and diplomatic means.

The legitimacy and security of Israel, our fellow democracy and America’s greatest ally in the Middle East must be the first pillar of U.S. foreign policy in the region. Our elected officials must stand up for Israel against regimes such as Iran and groups like Hamas that want to wipe Israel — and its millions of Jewish citizens — off the face of the earth.

Bob Casey unfortunately fell in line with former President Barack Obama and President Biden in support of Iran deals. Instead of senators who fall in line, America’s interests would be better served by senators who express moral clarity and lead the way.

• Matthew Brooks is the CEO of the Republican Jewish Coalition.


This article appeared on The Washington Times web site on October 23, 2023.