John Garamendi on Foreign Policy



Moral and strategic interest in strong & secure Israel

The United States has a moral and strategic interest in a strong, secure and viable Israel. The special relationship between the United States and Israel is based on shared values and a commitment to democratic principles. Israel is a democracy and values human rights, having been created not only out of biblical history, but also out of the worst violation of human rights in recent centuries--the Holocaust. Israel remains the only true democracy in the Middle East; therefore it is in the critical interest of the United States to strongly support Israel and its people.

The United States must continue to support the defense of Israel, including honoring its foreign aid commitments as set forth in the August 2007 Memorandum of Understanding on U.S. Military Assistance. Further, our nations must work jointly to eliminate domestic and international terrorism and to stop the spread of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.

Source: 2010 House campaign website, www.garamendi.org, "Issues" , Nov 3, 2009

Resolved long-standing issues between Guam and US government

Guam: I was appointed by President Clinton to be the Special U.S. Negotiator to resolve a series of long-standing issues related to the island territory's relationship to the United States.

Tourism & Travel: Fulfilling the goals of the White House Conference on Travel and Tourism, I led the Interior Department's efforts to more fully integrate the country's natural, historic and cultural resources into the tourism and recreation sector of the economy.

Source: 2010 House campaign website, www.garamendi.org, "Issues" , Nov 3, 2009

Protect Congo's national parks while negotiating peace

As a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (my wife Patti and I spent our two years fighting smallpox in rural Ethiopia), I formed a new team that is actively engaged in negotiating a peace settlement in the Congo. The team is bringing people together around an emphasis on environmental protection and the preservation of the nation's five national parks with their incomparable flora and fauna.
Source: 2010 House campaign website, www.garamendi.org, "Issues" , Nov 3, 2009

Diplomacy should always be our first mission abroad

    My perspective on foreign policy has been shaped by these primary principles:
  1. America's moral authority as the world's leader of free nations rests on a devotion to human rights and individual liberty for all citizens of all nations.
  2. Diplomacy should always be our first mission in international relations, and ultimately, is almost always the best way to resolve conflicts abroad.
Source: 2010 House campaign website, www.garamendi.org, "Issues" , Nov 3, 2009

Rated +2 by AAI, indicating pro-Arab pro-Palestine voting record.

Garamendi scores +2 by AAI on Arab-Israeli issues

The Arab American Institute has compiled a Scorecard to catalogue the voting record of the 112th Congress on issues of importance to the Arab American community. For the House, we included 15 items: two bills on the Arab Spring, five bills and one letter on Palestine, two bills on Lebanon, three bills and a letter regarding civil liberties, and two bills on immigration.

  1. H.Res. 88 (+): supporting democratic aspirations in Egypt
  2. H.R. 2643 (+): penalizing the Bahraini government for attacking medical personnel
  3. H.R. 1006 (-): the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act
  4. H.R. 1501 (-): withholding US contributions until the UN retracts accusations of Israeli war crimes.
  5. H.Res. 268 (-): opposing any unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state
  6. H.R. 2457 (-): prohibiting any US government document from referring to "Palestine"
  7. H.R. 2829 (-): defunding the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. The bill's 141 co-sponsors receive a (-).
  8. 8. (+). Rep. David Price (D-NC) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) issued a letter titled "Support Palestinian Aid and Israel's Security," in which they call upon Congress to continue aid to the Palestinian Authority.
  9. H.R. 2215 (*) "to ensure that United States taxpayer dollars are not used to fund terrorist entities in Lebanon
  10. H.R. 996 (+): to raise awareness of the use of cluster munitions where civilians are present
  11. H.R. 140 (-): the "Birthright Citizenship Act, to eliminate "anchor babies" by changing the 14th Amendment.
  12. H. Res. 283 (+): to counter violence and discrimination against Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian communities
  13. H.R. 1805 (-): authorizing an extension of the USA PATRIOT Act until 2013, and amending the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)
  14. H.R. 1842 (+): the DREAM Act to protect undocumented minors pursuing higher education.
  15. H.R. 1932 (-): the Keep our Communities Safe Act for greater power to detain undocumented immigrants.
Source: AAI website 12-AAI-H on May 2, 2012

Commitment to unbreakable U.S.-Israel bond.

Garamendi signed Hoyer-Cantor letter to Secy. Clinton from 327 House members

Dear Secretary Clinton:

We are writing to reaffirm our commitment to the unbreakable bond that exists between our country and the State of Israel and to express to you our deep concern over recent tension. In every important relationship, there will be occasional misunderstandings and conflicts.

Our valuable bilateral relationship with Israel needs and deserves constant reinforcement. As the Vice-President said during his recent visit to Israel: "Progress occurs in the Middle East when everyone knows there is simply no space between the U.S. and Israel when it comes to security, none. No space." Steadfast American backing has helped lead to Israeli peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. And American involvement continues to be critical to the effort to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

We recognize that, despite the extraordinary closeness between our country and Israel, there will be differences over issues both large and small. Our view is that such differences are best resolved quietly, in trust and confidence, as befits longstanding strategic allies. We hope and expect that, with mutual effort and good faith, the United States and Israel will move beyond this disruption quickly, to the lasting benefit of both nations.

Source: Hoyer-Cantor letter to Secy. Clinton from 327 House members 2010-LT-UB on Mar 25, 2010

2012 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Foreign Policy: John Garamendi on other issues:
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