July 31, 2003
Rep. Darrell Issa: Ally of Israel
In the interest of balance, The Journal made several unsuccessful attempts to procure an Op-Ed piece on behalf of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) from a Jewish supporter. In lieu of an Op-Ed, the congressman's office provided the following statement concerning his record on Israel and terrorism. A journalistic investigation into the congressman's record will appear shortly in our news pages.
Darrell Issa is a California congressman of Lebanese heritage. Throughout his career in the private sector, civic affairs and public life, Issa has stood for an absolute commitment to tolerance of all faiths, as well as all Americans.
More than a reliable vote for a strong American policy in the Middle East, Issa has gone further. He has met repeatedly with leaders in the region to encourage cooperation in the war on terrorism and to advance the "road map" to peace. Issa's record is clear, and the facts of his leadership speak volumes.
The congressman has an unequivocal voting record in favor of Israel. He has supported both the 2002 House Conference Report and final House version of America's aid to Israel (H.R. 2056); supported House Resolution 392, expressing solidarity with Israel in its fight against terrorism; supported House Concurrent Resolution 280, urging presidential action against Palestinian terrorism; and signed the "Hyde-Lantos" letter (April, 2001) to President George W. Bush, urging a reassessment of America's relationship with Palestinians
Demonstrating strong leadership in the Middle East, the congressman has strongly endorsed the Bush administration's policy to liberate Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein from power; personally lobbied Egypt to return its ambassador to Tel Aviv; personally pressed Syrian and Lebanese governments to act against Hezbollah; and has traveled to Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Syria and the West Bank -- always in consultation with U.S. officials
"Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles) confirmed that ... his [Issa's] votes on Middle East issues have been supportive of Israel. Other Democrats interviewed for this article agreed," wrote The Forward. Rep. Ben Gilman (R-N.Y.) called Issa an outstanding congressman who has fought tirelessly to find a solution to the Middle East conflict," and Daniel Ayalon, Israeli ambassador to the United States, sent the congressman a letter stating, "We would like to thank you for your assistance with the humanitarian efforts concerning the four kidnapped Israelis held by Hezbollah."