As 2017 begins, new members of Congress are sworn into office, and a new president prepares to enter the Oval Office, it is critically important that we as a nation re-evaluate our position in the global community. The results of November’s election have shown that the American people are tired of weak leadership that threatens our national security and refuses to draw the correct line between our friends and adversaries. The United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth; with that distinction comes the responsibility of protecting our security at home and abroad while strengthening relations with our closest allies.
On December 23, 2016, the United Nations Security Council passed an anti-Semitic, anti-Jewish, anti-Israel resolution. The United States’ abstention and refusal to veto this resolution further cements President Obama’s legacy as one of the worst presidents in the history of the United States. Rather than stand shoulder to shoulder with our greatest ally, the administration chose to embrace a pro-Palestinian attempt to ethnically cleanse East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, and force unilateral concessions onto Israel with no promise of peace in sight.
Israel, which is a beacon of liberty and freedom in a very dark region of the world, has remained one of our nation’s greatest allies despite the damage our president has done to this historically sacred relationship. Under new leadership, it is time to defund the Palestinian Authority, which financially rewards terrorists who murder innocent Americans and Israelis. It is also time to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and formally recognize that city as the official capital of Israel.
While pursuing a better and more consistent foreign policy, we must not only strengthen our relationships with our allies; we must also treat our enemies as our enemies — recognizing that our enemies do not respect weakness, they only respect strength. We must speak out not because we want war, but because we want to prevent war. And when America’s sons and daughters are sent into harm’s way, they must be sent with a clear strategy to win or not be sent at all. Radical Islamic extremists have declared war on all us and are spreading across the world like a cancer. We must be willing to identify this threat for what it is and develop a strategy to actually win, rather than continue our current weak attempts of inadequately just trying not to lose.
Cyberattacks, non-peaceful nuclear development, financing of terror, efforts to overthrow foreign governments, and the development of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICMBs) are just some of the bad activities America is witnessing from our adversaries. From the Iran Nuclear Deal to the vacuum of leadership and absence of a plan in Syria, the map is filled with opportunities to recalibrate our compass and game plan to protect America’s interests and the stability of the free world.
2017 presents a great and desperately needed opportunity to improve American foreign policy. Keeping our nation safe from any threat, both domestic and foreign, must always remain our first priority to keep our nation safe, secure, and free.
Congressman Lee Zeldin, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, represents New York’s First Congressional District. In Congress, Rep. Zeldin, one of only two Jewish Republicans in Congress, serves as Co-Chairman of the House Republican Israel Caucus.