U.S. Congressman Brad Schneider (Illinois 10 District) led a roundtable discussion with prominent leaders of the Chicago-area Jewish and global affairs community at the Consulate earlier this week. The discussion focused on Schneider’s recent trip to Israel, including reactions to Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to bring Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table and ongoing efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and, the situation in Israel’s neighboring states.
A member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Schneider just completed a weeklong trip to Israel with 36 of his fellow Representatives, including Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (MD-5). Schneider has been a leading voice in Congress in support of Israel and a strong proponent of increasing the intensity and accelerating the pace of Iran sanctions. The roundtable followed Schneider’s second delegation trip to Israel since he was sworn into office in January.
"Our trip to Israel came at a most poignant time as the Israelis and Palestinians have just restarted talks, while at the same time the situations in Syria and Egypt continue to disintegrate, and Iran continues its headlong march to acquire nuclear capability," Schneider said. "That's why I was pleased to host an open conversation with local leaders to discuss observations from the trip and reflect on all that is happening in the Middle East, including ongoing activities to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons."
“Congressman Schneider has an extraordinary understanding of the challenges facing Israel, and I’m pleased he could join this trip, where we had the opportunity to learn more about the current situation on the ground,” Whip Hoyer said. “During our visit, we heard directly from Israeli and Palestinian leaders, government and military officials, and Israelis from all walks of life about the complex challenges they are facing, including Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. Together, the delegation reiterated our commitment to stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, as well as our support for a peaceful two-state solution as Israelis and Palestinians begin a new round of negotiations. Israel is our best ally in the Middle East, and this trip provided us with a greater understanding of how the U.S. can advance peace and security in the region.”
In Congress, Schneider has emerged as an active, vocal leader in support of strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship and preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability. Schneider coauthored new Iran sanctions, and authored two amendments that were included in the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act, which passed the House with 400 votes. Schneider also introduced the Israel QME Enhancement Act to ensure that Israel has the tools it needs to defend itself from the strategic and existential threats it faces.