Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reaffirmed the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship to a pro-Israel audience in Washington on Wednesday.
Israel is America’s friend, due to “shared values and common enemies,” said Graham, one of several speakers at the Endowment for Middle East Truth’s annual dinner, which drew 400 people to the Grand Hyatt Washington.
He spoke in favor of the U.S. recognition in March of the Golan Heights being part of Israel, calling it the key to Israel’s safety.
“The Golan is important strategically,” Graham said. “It is the most important high ground. When you look out over the Golan, you’re looking into Syria and you’re looking into hell.”
Graham, who plans to travel to Israel in July, said his goal is for the United States to conclude a security agreement with Israel.
Graham also praised the 2017 U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which was met with international criticism. “If you don’t think Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel, take it up with God not me,” he said. “And it will not turn out well for you.”
“The goal will be to make sure the [Israel Defense Forces] never surrenders its sovereignty and never asks us for one soldier to defend Israel. They just ask us for prayers and weapons, and we give them both,” he said, adding, “But I think it’s important we send a signal into the 21st century; if you’re thinking about destroying Israel, you have to go through us.”
Graham said he wants the Senate to vote on the security agreement next year, calling it “the last big thing to do in the immediate future” for Israel.
The response from the crowd was a standing ovation, with cheers.