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September 11, 2008 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2008-09-11

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Special Report


Hot Ninth! from page A13

Joe Knollenberg
1 19 E

The U.S.-Israel relationship is a cornerstone
of U.S. foreign policy and must always
remain as such because Israel is our closest
and most valued ally. The U.S. and Israel
work together to determine levels of foreign
assistance. I support these agreements and,
in addition, I have secured over $1 billion for
the refugee resettlement program separate
from the agreements. The most important
U.S. contribution to Israel is ensuring it
maintains it qualitative military edge in the
Middle East. Further, the U.S. should play
a constructive role in facilitating Israeli-
Palestinian discussions because a lasting
peace is in all parties' long-term security
interests. But in order to ultimately achieve
peace, the Palestinian leadership must be
willing and able to successfully confront and
contain Palestinian terrorist groups.
As a senior member of the Appropriations
Committee, I am proud to be in a position
to deliver when it comes to strengthening
Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship. I'm
humbled that my work can help ensure the
quintessential nature of the state.

2. Iran
Nothing should be taken off the table when
it comes to stopping Iran's pursuit of nuclear
weapons. Sanctions are having some impact
and can continue to work if the U.S. takes the
lead in applying unilateral and multilateral
sanctions on Iran and those who do business
In Congress, I have been a leader in sup-
porting sanctions on Iran's oil refineries,
increased economic sanctions and am leading
the charge on divestment from international
companies doing business in Iran. We cannot
wait for Russia and China to come along, we
must continue to be the world leader in stop-
ping Iran. Simultaneously, we should provide
support and, when appropriate, assistance to
the nascent pro-democracy efforts in Iran.A
nuclear Iran is simply unacceptable.

3. Gun Control
The best way to prevent firearm accidents
and tragedies is to continue firearm safety
education and to ensure our existing laws
are enforced. I have consistently supported
efforts designed to prevent gun crime. I have
voted for many crime-fighting measures
that are tough on firearm-related crime that
have produced positive results. The knowl-
edge that there are strong consequences
for crimes committed with a gun will deter
criminals and significantly lower our crime
rate. I also believe we need to strengthen
our families and neighborhoods to prevent
children from entering the world of crime so
we can solve the problem of gun violence at
its roots.

4. Homeland Security
Sept. 11, 2001, opened America's eyes to a
world that Israel has known for decades.
American-Israeli cooperation allows us to
make better judgments on what will make
us safer. We still face the looming threat of
nuclear terrorism, for example. We must
take swift and strong action to prevent the
movement and development of nuclear
materials and knowledge. Nothing is a great-
er risk than a radioactive bomb in the hands
of a terrorist. We must also secure our ports
and borders to prevent dangerous materials
or persons from entering our country ille-
gally, endangering our homes and cities.

5. U.S. Supreme Court
I do not believe in litmus tests for Supreme
Court nominees. The most important test
of a nominee's qualification is that he or she
upholds the Constitution in every ruling. It
is critically important that any nominee has
a proven track record of strict interpreta-
tion of the law, not of legislating from the
bench. A proper nominee will uphold the
intent of the Constitution, including the First
Amendment's protections of religious free-
dom. The Construction provides all citizens
the right to practice their religion freely; it
is the freedom of religion, not freedom from

6. Never Forget
Remembering the Holocaust is not just a
history class lesson — it should be a tenet
of cultural knowledge. Children born today
should know the history of the Holocaust
just as they know the history of their family.
That's why I secured $500,000 to help build
the new children's wing at the Holocaust
Museum in Farmington Hills. The interna-
tional community should immediately con-
demn and act upon signs of genocidal action
taken by any government, including Sudan.
The U.S. must play a leading role in prevent-
ing genocides by working with organizations
like the United Nations.

7. Abortion/Stem Cell Research
Though there are a wide range of differing
views on the issue of abortion, we can all
come together in believing in a culture that
respects, values and protects life. I personally
come to the conclusion that there are better
options for those struggling with unwanted
pregnancies. Concerning stem cell research, I
fully support adult stem cell research, which
has treated 73 different diseases, including
Parkinson's, spinal cord injuries, various
forms of leukemia, heart damage and vari-
ous forms of cancer. In fact, I am proud to
have secured funding for groundbreaking
research at the University of Michigan to
advance the use of adult stem cells.

8. Immigration
This nation will never be safe unless we

secure our borders. I have long supported
increased funding for the border, both
southern and northern, as well as more bor-
der security officers. Israel provides a good
example of how national security and border
security are two sides of the same coin. We
also must hold those who hire illegal immi-
grants accountable for their actions. Only
when we stop the illegal flow of immigrants
can we begin to address the millions of
illegal immigrants who are currently in the
United States. We are proudly a nation of
immigrants, but we are a nation of laws first.

9. Michigan
Building the new Michigan economy is
my top priority. I have worked closely with
Brooks Patterson to establish Automation
Alley and bring in new investment from
companies in "emerging sectors" of our
economy. We have successfully brought in
more than 80 companies and $1 billion in
new investment. I worked with Automation
Alley and Oakland Schools to establish a
free worker-training program. I also secured
funding for the Manufacturing Extension
Partnership to bring Michigan's small
manufacturers into a new level of high-tech
efficiency, helping create or retain 9,971 jobs
in Michigan since 1999.
Revitalizing the Big Three and creat-
ing new jobs is also crucial. That's why
I introduced innovative legislation that
will increase investment in advanced fuel
technology research and development.
Increasing our investment in high-tech
R&D will create the high-paying jobs of the
future. It will also pump necessary funding
into advanced energy technology that will
help the automotive industry meet new fuel
economy standards, which will help reduce
the price of gas that is causing many families
to make sacrifices in their weekly budgets.

10.Economic Stimulus
Promoting U.S.-Israel cooperatives, whether
it is through binational funds, university
research programs, or government programs,
is very important not only for our alliance
but also for the economic, educational, and
societal developments of the United States.
For instance, I have been a strong supporter
of bringing the Technion-Israel Institute
of Technology of Israel, the Department of
Homeland Security, University of Michigan
and a U.S.-based technical company together
to develop an emergency evacuation route
for Oakland County. This working group
benefits Michigan's economy and the secu-
rity of my constituents. I am also bringing
Israeli businesses to Oakland County to
partner with our business incubators, such
as Automation Alley.

11.Humanitarian Outreach
The U.S. government must be a leader in
addressing hunger and poverty both at

home and around the world. Locally, I have
worked with organizations such as Gleaners
Community Food Bank of Southeastern
Michigan, Yad Ezra in Berkley and other
food banks to alleviate hunger. Serving
on the Foreign Operations Appropriations
Subcommittee for almost 15 years has only
strengthened my belief that strong U.S.
leadership is imperative in order to alleviate
hunger and increase self-sufficiency around
the world. I am proud that the Foreign
Operations Subcommittee, which I help lead,
has provided 58 percent of worldwide food
aid over the past 10 years.

12.Intergroup Relations
The most important aspect of being a
member of Congress is to fairly represent
all of one's constituents, no matter their
race, gender or creed. Leading by example
is surely the best way to bridge any cultural
divide that exists. In Oakland County, I
proudly work with all of our differing eth-
nic groups, including Jews, Chaldeans, and
Eastern Europeans. The working relationship
between these groups is a perfect example
of different cultures coming together for
the good of the community. I use my senior
position on the Appropriations Committee
to further projects and initiatives that focus
on helping all people, as Farmington Hills-
based JARC and West Bloomfield-based
Friendship Circle do.

13.House Service
For the past 14 years, I have served on
the House Appropriations Committee
and specifically the Foreign Operations
Subcommittee. Because I hold this position
as a ranking member, I am able to deliver
results for Israel. Last year alone, I secured
$2.55 billion for security assistance, $30 mil-
lion for the refugee resettlement program
and $400 million in loan guarantees, along-
side major policy initiatives, such as auditing
funds going to the Palestinian Authority.
Further, my position on the full committee
has given me the opportunity to assist local
Jewish organizations in Oakland County,
including JVS, Jewish Eldercare Services and
the Holocaust Memorial Center. I also serve
on the Transportation subcommittee, where
I fight tirelessly to secure Oakland County's
fair share of road funding. I've improved
the rate of return on our federal gas tax dol-
lars from 88 cents/dollar to 92 cents/dollar,
meaning tens of millions more for Oakland
County's roads. Since 2000, I've also brought
almost $60 million back to Oakland County
for specific road projects. I'm eager to stay
on these important committees to keep
fighting for Oakland County's families.

14.Campus Unrest
Our institutions of higher education should
be bastions of free thought that foster intel-
lectual growth through civil discussion

Joe Knollenberg on page A16

A14 September 11 • 2008

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