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Sen. Menendez Re-Affirms His Support for Israel

Says if Iranian leaders doubt U.S. resolve, they should "ask bin Laden or Gadhafi."

Speaking to a packed sanctuary at Livingston’s Temple B’nai Abraham, U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) affirmed his strong support for Israel and criticized recent Iranian actions in the Middle East.

A veteran member of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, Menendez pointed out his continued strong support for the Jewish state and reminded the audience of his voting record showing increased aid to the country, while urging both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to recognize Israel's right to exist.

But he also said he’s not afraid to break from President Barack Obama when he disagrees on policies he feels are harmful to Israel.

“The day of the Obama speech in Cairo (laying out a new U.S. policy in the Middle East), I took to the Senate floor and reminded my colleagues and the president the Holocaust was not the reason for Israel to exist,” he said. “History shows Israel has existed as a state for thousands of years.”

On the brewing crisis with Iran, Menendez said he is working to resolve the nuclear issue with Iran because there are both national security and national interest issues involved.

“I understand this is an existential threat to the state of Israel. This is the last thing we need in this part of the world.”

During a short question and answer period, Menendez was asked if he thought the United States would support Israel should the country attack Iran unilaterally.

As far as this country becoming involved in a conflict, Menendez said “Israel must decide for itself what is in its best interests.”

“At the end of the day,” he said, “we will get to where we need to be. Iran should not doubt the seriousness of our purpose and if they do doubt us, ask Bin Laden or Moammar Gadhafi."

He was also asked about the United States providing technology to the Israelis in the event of a conflict.

Menendez said he “would not want to give Israel such technology immediately,” but might do so later on in a conflict.

ira shor March 04, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Israeli society and military are split over making war on Iran. Jewish folks in America are also split on this issue. Former head of Shin Bet security said there is no need to attack Iran and that it would be a bad decision. So far, no hard evidence presented that Iran is developing nuclear weapons or has the capacity to do so or the intention. We're in another "WMD Moment" like the lies spread by Pres. Bush, VP Cheney, and Secy. Colin Powell 9 years ago about Iraq's non-existent WMDs and the bogus claims of threats from Saddam Hussein. Those lies cost us 4500 American dead and $1 Trillion of our wealth when no threat to the US existed. Why would we want now to listen to war hawks in Israel and the US pushing us to war again for no just cause and no tangible threat?...ira shor
Right of Center March 04, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Yes there is absolutely no proof whatsoever. Iran's many hundreds of million dollar uranium centrifuges are being used for cheese making.
ira shor March 04, 2012 at 08:17 PM
No evidence of Iran's capacity or intention to build a nuclear weapon is conclusion of US intelligence and one side of the debate in Israel. If anyone has hard proof of a threat, show the evidence. Hawking war for false pretenses has already left 4500 of our families grieving the loss of a loved one to the Iraq mess. No other family should suffer a loss like this b/c some refuse to learn the hard lessons of Iraq--we had no reason to invade in the first place no matter how hard war was pushed without reason or evidence.
Crafty Spiker March 04, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Now more than ever we do not need assorted special interests pushing us into war with people we don't really understand. Haven't we had enough of manufactured drum-beating and money and life wasting?
mkr March 04, 2012 at 11:14 PM
If anyone would like to sign a petition of nomination for the NJ Primary for Ron Paul, I will have it in my possession until March 14. You must be a registered Republican or unaffiliated with any party. You cannot sign if you are registered Democrat or Independent. I will have it all week long and am willing to bring it to anyone in the Montclair/Glen Ridge/Bloomfield/Verona/Nutley/Cedar Grove/Clifton area.

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