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January 11, 2019

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PAGE 16A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 11, 2019 will Russ By Jackson Richman ' (JNS)--Republican Rep. Russ Fulcher, 56, defeated Democratic nominee Cris- tina McNeil in Idaho's 1st Congressional District in the 2018 midterm elections to replace Republican Rep. Rafil Labrador, who unsuccessfully ran for governor of the state. JNS talked with Fulcher by phone. The interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. Q: What is your overall stance on the U.S.-Israel relationship? A: I get that America and Israel have a very unique relationship based on shared cultural-religious histories. Most importantly, there's common values that our na- tions share: freedom, liberty, democracy. I've been there on numer- ous fronts, and I don't think that America has a more im- portant ally. Certainly, when you consider the volatility in the Middle East--and the situation that Israel is in and the value that Israel brings to America in terms of intel- ligence-gathering and overall support for that region--I % Fulcher think they're an incredibly important ally. I will continue to stand in support of positive American-Israeli relations. Q: When were you last there? A: It's been several years. I used to be in the technology industry, and I work for a memory component manu- facturer, Micron Technology, which is one of the largest semiconductor companies in the world. We had some technical partners in Israel, and I know Intel has a large facility there. I've also been on a biblical tour through the region. Q: Do you mind elaborating on the biblical tour? A: I'm an evangelical Chris- tian, so part of my interest on that front is to be able to see and understand better the history firsthand, and the role that the nation has played in history, in my faith, and something that is a personal interest as well. Q: What's your reaction to U.S. President Donald Trump 's announcement that troops will leave Syria? A: I don't know the rami- fications of that. If you give % me a little time after being The other thing is it does Q: What was your reaction perspective, it needs to be sworn in, where I can un- nothingtocurbIran'saggres- to the U.S. embassy moving discouraged. derstand some of the deep sive behavior. We know that from TelAviv to Jerusalem? Q:Doyouhaveanyspecific ramifications, then I'd be many of the security issues A: Good move. plans in Congress regarding betterequippedtoanswerthat that America has faced have Q: Do you mind elaborat- the U.S.-Israel relationship, question. I would like to hear come from that region, and ing? such as introducing relevant what Israel's response is to the JCPOA doesn't really do A: That was something, I legislation? that, and thatwill tell me alot. anything to thwart that. believe, that enhances Israel's A: There's going to be ongo- Q: Israeli Prime Minister From the perspective I got, identity on that front and ing efforts that are promoted Benjamin Netanyahu saidit appears to be a bad deal. America's commitment to Is- byAIPAC, by different organi- that he talked to Trump and Q: What is your stance on rael.Thishasbeensomething zationsthataresupportiveon U.S. Secretary of State Mike BDS? a number of administrations that front. Once I'm sworn in, Pompeo, andNetanyahusaid A: It not only is harmful to over the course of time had once I get an opportunity to that it's "America's decision." the State of Israel, but I think said or wanted to do, and the get more intelligence on the A: Sounds like a tentative it's also harmful to innocent currentadministrationdidit, specifics of what's going on, I response there. I simply don't Palestinians because it has a Thatwas advantageous to the think it will be more clear the know the ramifications of [a negative impact on economic leadership in Israel. pathway I need to take. withdrawal], activity and some of the era- Q: What is your response Before I jump in and try to Q: What's your reaction to ployment opportunities for tothosewhosaidthatmoving launch legislation indepen- some of the anti-Israel ver- the Palestinian people. It's the embassy doesn't advance dently, Ineedtobemoreedu- biagecomingfromfellownew backfired on what its initial the cause ofpeace? cated. I need to understand DemocratsReps.Ilhan Omar, intent was to be. It's not a A: I'm sure you can make the efforts that are underway RashidaTlaibandAlexandria good effect, that case in more directions now and potentially try to Ocasio-Cortez? Q: What are your thoughts than one. From what I un- aid on that front. If it turns A: I never fully understood on funding for Israel's mili- derstand, thatwassornething out there is a gap that needs the whole reasonbehindanti- tary, especially in the after- that was desiredby the Israeli to closed or something that Semitism. It's clearly been a math of the latest conflicts leadership, which is our pri- needs to be done, then I'm factor throughout the course against Hamas and Hezbol- mary partner, and I for one not shy about being the one of history, but why are the lah? would tend to be sympathetic to steer those types of things. Jewish people being singled A: You're talking to some- to their counsel as opposed to Q: Do you plan on going on out on that front? Anytime one who hasn't been sworn naysayers. AIPAC's annual trip to Israel thattakesplace, frankly, itjust in yet, so understand the Q: What is your reaction forlegislatorsinthesummer? needstobestopped, andbythe perspectiveI'mcomingatyou to national and international A: I'd like to. I don't know way, that's not just unique to from. I'm not normally ahuge anti-Semitism? any details. Some colleagues the Jewishpeople. If someone supporter ofalot of exporting A: I'm not supportive of it have mentioned that there is has a bias or discrimination of money, anywhere. As I mentioned potentiallygoingtobeone.As- against anyone, I think it's However, in the case of se- earlier, I never really fully suming that the ethics issues dangerous.Thefactthatithas curityassistance--andthat's understood why it continues aren't breached or anything manifested itselfover time to what this would be--that the to raise its head. like that, then I would say be more prolific with the Jew- U.S. sends to Israel, you can Look at it this way: Ifthat's a high probability. ishpeopleissomethingIdon't make a strong case that more Jewish people can be threat- Q: Are you familiar with fullyunderstand.There'sjust funds come back as a result ened, if they can be dis- the Anti-Semitism Aware- no room for that in society, of what goes out in the first criminated against and be nessAct? Q: What is your stance on place. That's a function of targeted, so can any other A: No. the 2015 Iran deal and overall intelligence and the benefit body of people. There's just Q: Is there anything else Iranian threat? that has come as a function not room for that, and we our readers should know A:TheJointComprehensiveof that. shouldn't stand for that; aboutyou? Plan of Action should've been Q: What is your stance on we shouldn't allow that to A: Upon taking office and sent to the Senate as a treaty, U.S. fundingfor thePalestin- transpire. We should use at beingamemberofCongress, I not an agreement. There's a ian Authority? least whatever influence we anticipatebeinganoutspoken couple of problems [with the A: The situation with the have to discourage it. proponentofpositiverelations deal] that stand out. Palestinian people, quite Q: Are you familiar with between the U.S. and Israel, The first thing is that it frankly, I'm a little less fa- reports ofyoungevangelicals and I say that for the reasons tolerates Iran's long-term miliar with. being targetedby anti-Israel, you and I have already talked desire for a nuclear weapon. However, if there's going anti-Semitic propaganda? about. They've proven they're not to be peace in that region, A: Yeah, and evangelicals For one thing, wedon'thave responsible on that front, and everybody--and in this case, in general. That's part of the a stronger ally in the region, I don't think it's in anyone's especially the Palestinians-- discriminatory movement. I and I believe the result of that best interest for Iran to have needs to identify and at least guess I'm not as intelligent alliance, inpart, hasbeen that a nuclear weapon, acknowledge Israel's right to as a historian I need to be, America has suffered less in exist.Theyreallyhaven'tdone but to me, those have to be the areas of terrorism and that. We should be supportive rootedin motivations that are being a target on the terrorist of everyone, but at least from simply not healthy. Everyone stage. Israelis apostage stamp thevantage point I have right should take offense to that. inthemiddleofalotofconflict now, that's kind of the catalyst Everyone should be alarmed with a lot of people who want for the unrest ultimately. I when those types of things to take them out. That, inand don't know that it's as reason- take place. If not, anyone can of itself, should be a red flag able to reward that behavior, be a target. That's just not to people. It's not like they've Q: Are you familiar with good for society, got massive naturalresources the Taylor Force Act and the Q: How do we stop that that are coveted. It's some- P.A.'s "pay toslay'program? hatred? thing more than that, and A:~ Only by name, not the A: You attempt to find the that is problematic. details, root, and you don't reward This is our Middle East ally, Q: Do you support U.S. ]negative] behavior. If there this is one we need to stand funding that goes toward is support, whether that with, and I anticipate that Palestinian security forces be through foreign aid or as I get more educated and that work with Israel? positive trade relations, you engaged, then I'll be more A: I can't comment. I don't discourageit.Easiersaidthan outspoken and active in that know enough about it. done, but in terms of a policy effort. Every day that you're outside, you're exposed to dangerous, but invisible, ultraviolet (UV) sunlight. Left unprotected, prolonged exposure to UV radiation can seriously damage the eye, leading to cataracts, skin cancer around the eyelid and other eye disorders. Protecting your eyes is imgortant to maintaining eye health now and in the future. Shield your eyes (aid yoer family's eyes) frma liaridul IJV rays. Wear sunglasses with maximum IJ1/protection.