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Sen. Cruz: It Has Never Been More Important to Assure the Bipartisan Commitment to Strengthening America and Israel's Unshakable Alliance

March 3, 2020

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Monday participated in a discussion at the AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) Policy Conference 2020 with Ester Kurz, AIPAC Policy Director for Legislative Strategy.

There, Sen. Cruz described his upcoming efforts to finally shred the Iran Nuclear Deal and announced his plans to work with the Trump administration on a solution at the United Nations that protects Americans and Israelis from unjust and politically motivated prosecutions in the International Criminal Court.

Specifically, Sen. Cruz said:

"I'd like to see an effort at the UN Security Council to prevent the International Criminal Court from moving against any nation state that is not a member. That would protect Israel, and it would protect the United States from our enemies using the ICC to try to target our citizens and our soldiers for persecution... It is an interesting dynamic. At this point, we have to convince number one, this administration. Number two, we have to convince our allies at a minimum not to block it. And then we have to convince Russia and China not to veto it. All of that being said, I don't think that's impossible."

WATCH: Sen. Cruz Discusses US-Israel Relationship at 2020 AIPAC Policy Conference

Sen. Cruz thanked the men and women at AIPAC for their commitment to strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship:

"Let me start by saying ‘thank you' to everyone who is here with AIPAC. You guys have a tremendous impact. It has never been more important than it is right now to strengthen and assure the bipartisan commitment to making stronger and unshakable America and Israel's friendship and alliance. During the eight years I've been in the Senate, I have resolved to be Israel's strongest defender in the United States Senate."

On his bipartisan bill sanctioning those who use civilians as human shields, Sen. Cruz said:

"One of the things that I am grateful for is that we've seen real success in terms of bipartisan legislation moving forward. The human shields legislation, I joined with then-Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly, and we authored it imposing sanctions on Hamas, on Hezbollah, on the Houthis - on any organizations that deliberately use human shields. That use their citizens as a way to protect military installations [and] military efforts. You know, I am reminded of something that Prime Minister Netanyahu said really powerfully when he was talking about Hamas using human shields in Gaza [...] said, ‘They use their citizens to protect their missiles. We use our missiles to protect our citizens.' [...] That was a powerful explanation that there is not a moral equivalence between the brave IDF soldiers who are defending Israel and the terrorists who are targeting women and children. And so, this legislation sanctions the terrorist organizations that use human shields."

Sen. Cruz also highlighted his bipartisan resolution condemning antisemitism:

"When we were here last year, we had just seen a series of disturbing, and I think antisemitic comments coming from some members of the House. It was a very bad threshold. And we saw the House try to take up a resolution condemning antisemitism, and we saw the coalition fracture apart. [...]

"Well as you know, I sought out Tim Kaine, Democrat from Virginia, and I said, ‘Tim, the Senate needs to do better. Let's team up and demonstrate that we can do this right.' And so we crafted it together. It's an unequivocal denunciation of antisemitism. It's an unequivocal denunciation of BDS. And Tim and I took it together to the floor of the Senate, and we passed it unanimously."

Pointing to the United Nation's database blacklisting companies operating in Israeli-controlled territories as an example of antisemitism, he added:

"This is a direct manifestation of BDS. And this is an effort from the UN Human Rights Council to have boycotts. By the way, boycotts against American companies for not boycotting Judea and Samaria. For not boycotting Jerusalem. They are trying to pressure international companies and especially American companies. ‘If you don't take part of the BDS movement, if you don't boycott Israel, we will come against you.' I think the administration needs to use our force, our voice, and our money to stop this."

When asked about the threat of a nuclear Iran, Sen. Cruz said:

"The most important foreign policy decision, I believe, of this administration in the last three and a half years has been the decision to pull out of the disastrous Obama-Iran nuclear deal.

"There are two steps we should do directly to Iran to ensure that maximum pressure means maximum pressure. Number one, there were a total of seven civilian nuclear waivers, in addition to the oil waivers, that allowed different ‘civilian nuclear activity.' I think none of these made sense. I have been pressing to revoke all seven. They've revoked three of them. [...] So what I've urged the President to do is revoke every single one of the civilian nuclear waivers to put maximum pressure on Iran.

"And number two, to invoke what are called the snapback sanctions under the Iran Deal. So under the terms of the Iran Deal, any of the original participants in the deal can invoke snapback sanctions, which means all of the UN sanctions goes back against Iran. All of the other country's sanctions go back against Iran. Under the terms of the deal, even though we've withdrawn, as an original signatory, we have the authority to invoke those snapback sanctions. I am urging the President to do so."

Watch the discussion here.

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