Obama signs law strengthening U.S.-Israel alliance


(JTA) — President Obama signed a law that strengthens the U.S.-Israel alliance.

The 2014 United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act, which unanimously passed both the House of Representatives earlier this month and the Senate in September, declares Israel a “major strategic partner” of the United States and expands the value of American weapons stockpiled in Israel and upgrades Israel’s trade status to expedite export licensing.

President Obama signed the legislation on Friday in Washington.

The law also encourages the inclusion of Israel in the United States’ visa waiver program if it meets program requirements. Cooperation between the two countries in the fields of energy, water, homeland security, agriculture and alternative fuel technologies also is included in the legislation.

Jewish organizations commended Congress for passing the bill.

“I applaud the President for signing this bill to strengthen our historic relationship with Israel,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who introduced the bipartisan legislation with Sen. Blunt (R-Mo.). “This law will enhance cooperation between Israel and the United States on a wide range of issues – from defense to energy to cyber security – so we can work together to address the many challenges facing both countries.”

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