Mar 21 2015

Graham Speaks with Prime Minister Netanyahu

Contact: Kevin Bishop (864) 250-1417 or Lorcan Connick (202) 224-5972

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement after speaking with the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. Graham is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Graham said:

"I greatly enjoyed my conversation today with the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. I passed along my heartfelt congratulations on his electoral victory, as he is expected to be asked by President Rivlin to form a new government. We also discussed the 'unbreakable bonds' that exist between Israel and the United States.

"I assured the Prime Minister of Congress' intent to look closely at any Iranian nuclear deal as there remains strong bipartisan support for that approach. I have long believed and made clear that Congress should look at any Iran deal before we lift additional sanctions. I strongly agree that Iran with a nuclear capability poses a direct threat to the security of Israel and the United States.

"I also indicated to the Prime Minister there would be bipartisan resistance to Palestinian efforts to join the International Criminal Court (ICC). I told the Prime Minister it has been long held United States policy that Palestinian attempts to join the ICC, in an effort to marginalize Israel's ability to defend herself, remains, in my view, a deal-breaker in terms of our assistance to the Palestinians.

"Finally, the Prime Minister expressed gratitude for the assistance Israel has received from the United States through the years. I let the Prime Minister know that there were many in the Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, who have Israel's back."