Rep. Eliot Engel was thanked for his service on the Israel Allies Caucus in the U.S. Congress by the Israel Allies Foundation. Engel served as Co-Chairman of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus from 2007 to the swearing-in of the new Congress this week. Prior to his retirement at the end of the last Congress, Engel represented New York’s 16th Congressional district in Congress for 32 years.
Dr. Dave Weldon, Chairman of the Israel Allies Foundation, stated:
"Eliot Engel was a stalwart for Israel and a good friend. He was also the longest-serving Co-Chairman of the U.S. Congressional Israel Allies Caucus – which makes him the longest-serving Co-Chairman of any of the 50 Israel Allies caucuses worldwide.
When I decided to create a Congressional caucus that would be pro-Israel, bipartisan, and rooted in the religious values common to Jews and Christians, Eliot was the first congressional colleague I turned to. He agreed to Co-Chair the caucus with me, and continued to provide leadership to it for the next 14 years. His name is legendary in pro-Israel world, and we were able to start and grow a large caucus – pro-Israel, bipartisan, and faith-based. This ultimately led to the creation of Israel Allies caucuses in 50 countries around the world – this is part of Eliot’s legacy."
Dr. Weldon represented the 15th District of Florida from 1994 to his retirement in 2008. Weldon established not only the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus but also co-founded the Israel Allies Foundation in 2007, a nonprofit which mobilizes faith-based political support for Israel in parliaments worldwide.
Congressman Engel emphasized his work in support of Israel in his farewell speech on the House floor on December 17:
“I said at the start of my time here... that Israel would not have a better friend in Congress than Eliot Engel. And no matter where you stand on US policy towards Israel, it would be tough to argue that I haven’t lived up to that commitment. I’ve been proud to stand with our ally Israel, our closest friend in the Middle East and, I would argue, in the world throughout my career. I believe that the United States and Israel share an incredibly important partnership. And the cornerstone of this relationship is the support it receives from both sides of the aisle. Congress should continue to give this partnership its full support in the future. No one should play partisan politics with America’s relationship with Israel.”