Senator proposes US enter defense pact with Israel
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Senator proposes US enter defense pact with Israel

Lindsey Graham tells Republican Jewish Coalition that world should be made to see that an attack against Israel is an attack against America

US Sen. Lindsey Graham speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition's annual leadership meeting at The Venetian Las Vegas on April 6, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP)
US Sen. Lindsey Graham speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition's annual leadership meeting at The Venetian Las Vegas on April 6, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP)

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said Saturday he wanted the United States to enter into a mutual defense agreement with Israel.

Graham said at the annual meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas Saturday that it’s time for the US to declare to the world how important its relationship is with Israel.

The pact would show the international community that “an attack against Israel would be considered an attack against the United States,” he said.

The Republican said America should tell Israel’s enemies that if they seek “to destroy the one and only Jewish state, you have to come through us to get them.”

The US currently supplies Israel with $3.8 billion annually in defense aid. While US President Donald Trump has complained about other countries in NATO not paying their share and has grumbled about defense aid to foreign allies, Israel has mostly escaped his ire.

US President Donald Trump speaks during the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting at The Venetian Las Vegas on April 6, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP)

Graham is a key ally of Trump and a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. He spoke after Trump addressed the same crowd and touted his pro-Israel bona fides.

US Senator Lindsey Graham, left, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, right, on a tour of the Golan Heights, March 11, 2019. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

The senator suggested the Republican-controlled US Senate would vote in a month or so to formally recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and force Democrats to go on the record on the issue.

Trump recognized Israel’s de facto annexation of the Golan Heights last month, making the US the first country to do so.

The move came days after Graham told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu he would lobby Trump for recognition while on a tour of the plateau.

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