Congresswoman Elaine Luria Leads Effort to Stand Up for Israel and Limit Hezbollah

November 19, 2019
Press Release
Bipartisan Letter to UN Includes 240 Members of Congress

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02) today announced that 240 lawmakers have signed on to her bipartisan PDF iconletter to United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres urging an international effort to defend Israel, limit Hezbollah, and bolster existing UN capabilities to fight terrorism in the Middle East.

“The names on this letter show the robust bipartisan support for protecting our ally Israel from Hezbollah and Iran’s toxic activities,” Congresswoman Luria said. “When I visited Israel in December, I saw the border with Lebanon and know what is at stake if Hezbollah is able to freely amass weapons. I’ll keep fighting to ensure the United States continues to stand with Israel.”

More than 13 years ago, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1701 to end the Second Lebanon War between Israel and Hezbollah. The resolution called for the Lebanese government to disarm all paramilitary groups in the country, including Hezbollah, so only the Lebanese state had weapons.

However, Lebanon’s work to implement this resolution has been unsuccessful as Hezbollah has amassed an arsenal of 150,000 rockets and missiles – all aimed at Israel – while spending millions of dollars developing underground tunnels that also pose a lethal risk to innocent civilians.

Signed by 240 members – well beyond half of all House lawmakers – Congresswoman Luria’s letter urges Secretary Guterres to follow Resolution 1701 and lead an international effort to limit Hezbollah’s capabilities and avoid future conflict with America’s ally Israel.

Specifically, the letter calls on Secretary Guterres “to assist Lebanon’s Prime Minister and President to finally reclaim Lebanese sovereignty and implement all the terms of UNSCR 170,” including utilizing a United Nations force to help Lebanon secure its land and protect Israel.

Leading the bipartisan effort with Congresswoman Luria are Congressman Lee Zeldin (NY-01), Congresswoman Haley Stevens (MI-11), and Congressman Michael Waltz (FL-06).

“Hezbollah and its nefarious financial banker and weapons supplier Iran pose an imminent geostrategic threat to our greatest ally Israel, and Lebanon’s willingness to turn a blind eye to Hezbollah’s operation within its own borders, only enables this terrorist organization,” Congressman Zeldin said. “Failing to comply with international law and disarm all paramilitary groups within its borders, Lebanon has allowed Hezbollah to amass loads of weapons, including an arsenal of 150,000 rockets. Lebanon must hold up its end of the deal and crack down on Hezbollah within its borders.”

“I am glad to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to express bipartisan concerns about Lebanon’s unsuccessful efforts to disarm Hezbollah and other paramilitary groups,” Congresswoman Stevens said. “Hezbollah has now amassed an arsenal of 150,000 rockets and missiles, threatening Israel and undermining Lebanese sovereignty. The United Nations must spearhead an international effort to limit Hezbollah’s capabilities and support Israel’s right to self-defense.”

“Israel is our strongest ally in the region but faces constant threats to its sovereignty from many adversaries including the terrorist organization Hezbollah,” Congressman Waltz said. “This letter affirms the United States stands with Israel against these threats and asks the United Nations to execute its promise to do the same.”

The full letter is attached to this email and can be seen PDF iconHERE.

Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the Vice Chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee.