WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today joined U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and 13 Senate colleagues in sending a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken calling on him to rescind discriminatory guidance issued by the State Department halting bilateral scientific and technological cooperation in certain Israeli-held territories.
Joining Risch and Cruz as cosigners of the letter were Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), and Sen. Wicker (R-Miss.).
In the letter, the senators wrote:
“The guidance does something America has never done before: unilaterally impose territorial restrictions on U.S. scientific research aid to Israel. Decades ago, the U.S. and Israel bilaterally agreed to such limits against the backdrop of unique regional conditions, but in 2020 both sides rescinded and rejected them as discriminatory.”
“The new guidance as written constitutes an antisemitic boycott of Israel. The American people and Congress broadly and deeply oppose boycott efforts against Israel, which have been repeatedly defined in U.S. law as efforts to limit commercial with persons doing business in any territories controlled by Israel… The State Department’s own Special Envoy To Monitor and Combat Antisemitism was excluded from deliberations over this guidance and did not clear it. This guidance in particular puts Americans’ safety, security, and prosperity at risk because it politicizes and undermines cooperation on science and technology, including in areas such as defense and medicine where also our Israeli allies have proven themselves critical partners.”
Full text of the letter can be found here.