A. Resolve Conflicts through Diplomacy
- Promote stability in the Middle East by withdrawing all US military forces from the area, replacing US military aid with development aid and engaging diplomatically with all nations in the region.
- Implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran without additional sanctions, and restore diplomatic relations with Iran.
- Support resolution of the Israeli Palestinian conflict through determined, balanced and multilateral diplomacy.
- Limit US involvement in African nations' internal affair to strengthen civil society, support domestic development, and mediate domestic conflicts when disputing parties request assistance.
- Continue normalization of relations with Cuba by lifting the trade embargo and closing the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
- Lead diplomatic efforts to end the Syrian civil war engaging all interested parties.
Supporting Israel also means closely monitoring the Iranian nuclear accord. A number of Israeli military and intelligence professionals supported negotiations (IDF commander General Gadi Eizenkot backed the deal as ‘real change..a strategic turning point.’) as way for Israel to focus more on combating Iranian support for Hezbollah and Hamas. But this is predicated on Tehran adhering to all provisions reducing enrichment and stockpiles, as well as complying with inspections. Any violations should be met with a reimposition of sanctions by the U.S. – Position Paper 9/16
Support for Israel remains a vital component of American foreign policy. Indeed, our strategic vision depends on key alliances throughout the globe—especially in the Middle East.
But the American-Israeli relationship goes deeper than mere geopolitical concerns. It is a bond based on the shared values of religious and cultural liberty, economic prosperity and, perhaps most important, the rule of law.
I have always believed that the foundation of support for the Jewish state rests on the twin pillars of Israel’s inherent right to exist as well as dismissing the idea that millions of refugees could reclaim property in what is now Israel. There is no legal ‘right of return.’
Only from there can solutions be found to the myriad of other issues facing the region.
For example, while I believe demographics dictate a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians (the best way for Israel to remain both Jewish and democratic), the only way to achieve lasting peace is through bilateral negotiations and not those imposed by outside interests.
I also oppose any attempts by the international community to divest itself or boycott the state of Israel. As a Congressman, I will not support these misguided efforts abroad and vigorously oppose them at home. – Position Paper 9/16
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Jason Lewis (MN-02) issued the following statement after calling on the President to drop the embargo on Cuba:
“The embargo on Cuba has clearly failed as a tool of foreign policy, and it’s time to give trade a chance and help our farmers at the same time. Our agricultural industry is so important, both to our food supply and to rural communities across Minnesota’s 2nd District. We shouldn’t be denying our farmers the chance to trade with an island just 90 miles off the US coast, especially when it could improve the lives of so many Cubans as well.”
Background: the United States has had an embargo placed on trade with Cuba since 1962. The fact that this persists today is a relic of the Cold War. While Cubans continue to suffer human rights abuses, the previous administration outlined a policy of increased engagement to bring progress to Cuba rather than simply continuing the embargo policy, which has not worked.
Lewis is calling on President Trump to lift the embargo so that the US can demonstrate to Cuba the practical benefits of political and economic reform. Not only will this help the Cuban people, but it will provide a valuable new export market for Minnesotan agricultural products. – 04.06.17 Press Release
Congressman Lewis issued the following statement on US action in Syria:
“Because the horrors in Syria–whether the recent chemical attack carried out by the Assad regime, or those committed by ISIS-aligned rebel forces–continue to shock the conscience, it’s easy to understand why President Trump took the action he did.
“Nevertheless, Syria is very complicated and the situation on the ground remains stubbornly intractable. We should continue our efforts towards resolving the conflict, but any escalation of military action must get approval from Congress.” – April 2017
Rep. Lewis championed….. blocking Syrian refugees from entering the country. – Star Tribune 11/09/16
B. Build an international infrastructure for peace and prosperity:
- Commit the US to strengthening the United Nations by becoming a signatory to the International Criminal Court and International Human Rights Treaties, respecting and upholding international law including military nonintervention, and promoting universal human rights.
- Develop and strengthen alternatives to military force such as civilian peacekeeping forces, mediation and conflict-resolution, and significantly grow the US diplomatic corps.
- Commit to just and sustainable economic development strategies.
- Take a leadership role in international agreements on climate change, including reduction of emissions that cause global warming, and develop energy alternatives.
C. Dismantle the infrastructure that encourages militaristic response to conflicts:
- Significantly reduce the US defense budget, increase its transparency and ensure the military is accountable for its defense expenditures.
- Negotiate and approve agreements and treaties such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, that reduce the risk of war.
- Reaffirm US commitment to the Geneva Conventions, US Rules of Engagement and US Code of Military Conduct.
Rep. Lewis joined Reps. Keith Ellison and Peter Welch to introduce a bipartisan amendment the National Defense Authorization Act to cut wasteful spending by eliminating a $26 billion Pentagon slush fund. -07.17