FACT CHECK: Sherrod Brown is a strong supporter of Israel

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FACT CHECK: Sherrod Brown is a strong supporter of Israel

JOSH CLAIMS: Sherrod Brown is anti-Israel because he is supported by J Street and he refused to sign on to letters of support for Israel.

THE TRUTH: Sherrod Brown is a steadfast supporter of Israel, who led the fight to impose sanctions on Iran and pass foreign aid assistance for Israel.

1. Sherrod Brown has visited Israel several times, most recently on a six day trip – organized by an affiliate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee – in which he met with high-ranking Israeli and Palestinian authorities.  [Columbus Dispatch, 11/14/10]

2. Sherrod Brown has stated that Iran must not be permitted to acquire nuclear weapons.  [Banking Committee Hearing, 10/13/11]

3. As a Member of the Senate Banking Committee, Sherrod Brown led the fight to expand U.S. sanctions on Iran. [Senate Banking Committee, 7/18/08]

4. Sherrod Brown has consistently supported stronger sanctions on Iran, voting for the Iran Sanctions and Divestment Bill, voting to bar use of federal funds to companies that do business with Iran’s energy sector, and voting for the Iran Sanctions Conference Report. [Senate Banking Committee, 10/29/09; CQ; Vote 85, 3/5/09; Vote 199, 6/24/10]

5. Sherrod Brown voted to block foreign companies that do business with Iran from accessing the U.S. financial system.  [Vote 216, 12/01/11]

Sen. Brown Took Six Day Trip To Israel And Met With High-Ranking Israeli And Palestinian Authorities.  In November 2010, The Columbus Dispatch reported “Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, returned Friday from a six-day trip to Israel, courtesy of the American Israel Education Foundation, a charitable organization affiliated with the pro-Israel lobby group, American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The trip was a seminar that focused on defense issues and ‘joint economic-development opportunities’ between Israel and the United States, said Brown spokeswoman Meghan Dubyak. His’s schedule included sessions with high-ranking Israeli and Palestinian Authority officials, and with business leaders working to increase Israeli investments in Ohio, she said.”  [Columbus Dispatch, 11/14/10] 

Senator Brown Said Iran Must Not Be Permitted To Obtain Nuclear Weapons. In October 2011, Sen. Brown said in a Banking Hearing, “And I echo Senator Menendez’s words in thanking you for responding to his request and others to hold this hearing. The government of Iran, as we know and as has been said, must not be permitted to obtain weapons of mass destruction, period. Recent allegations about Iran’s efforts to assassinate the Saudi ambassador only underscore the threat that Iran poses to not only our security, not only the security of Israel, but also the security of Iran’s neighbors. We’ve heard from many of the members on this committee about the dangers a nuclear-armed Iran would pose to the United States, to Israel and to the global community. Preventing this threat requires an all-hands-on-deck approach. We’ve worked on pressuring; we’ve worked on persuading Iran. We’ve approached the issue politically, diplomatically and through sanctions and other ways economically. I’ve agreed with this pressure and persuade approach first, because it’s a responsible way to carry out diplomacy. In short, there are no good options if our efforts to pressure and persuade fail. That’s why it’s so important we speak with one voice in the United States Senate when it comes to Iran.” [Banking Committee Hearing, 10/13/11]

BROWN HAS CONSISTENTLY SUPPORTED STRONGER SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAN 

Brown Voted To Expand U.S. Sanctions On Iran.  In July 2008 in the Banking Committee, Senator Brown voted to expand U.S. sanctions on Iran with respect to weapons proliferation, support for terrorism, and the destabilization of the Middle East.  The bill would expand the definition of persons subject to sanctions to include financial institutions, underwriters, insurers, export credit agencies and others, and expand the definition of “petroleum resources” in the Iran Sanctions Act to include oil and liquid natural gas pipelines, oil and liquid natural gas tankers, and products used to construct or maintain them. Ordered reported favorably to the full Senate (as amended) 19-2: R 8-2; D 11-0; I 0-0; July 17, 2008. [Senate Banking Committee, 7/18/08]

Brown Voted For Iran Sanctions and Divestment Bill.  In October 2009 in the Banking Committee, Senator Brown voted to create a broad range of U.S. sanctions against Iran and authorize states, local governments and mutual funds to divest from firms investing in Iran’s energy sector. It would shield private asset managers from lawsuits over fiduciary duties.  The bill would require the United States to work with Iran’s trading partners to prevent the re-export of sensitive dual use technology to Iran via third countries, and subject those countries to restrictions on exports if they refuse U.S. assistance. Ordered reported favorably to the full Senate (as amended) 23-0: R 10-0; D 13-0; I 0-0; Oct. 29, 2009. [Senate Banking Committee, 10/29/09]

Brown Voted Against Barring Use Of Funds In FY 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Bill For A Federal Agency To Contract With Any Company That Does Business In Iran’s Energy Sector.  In March 2009, Senator Brown voted against a Kyl, R-Ariz., amendment no. 634 that would bar the use of funds in the bill for a federal agency to contract with any company that does business in Iran’s energy sector. The president could waive the ban if he determined it to be necessary for the national security interests of the United States and submitted a report to Congress. [CQ; Vote 85, 3/5/09]

Brown Voted For Iran Sanctions Conference Report.  In June 2010, Senator Brown voted for adoption of the conference report on the bill that would impose new sanctions on companies doing business with Iran. It would expand the list of available sanctions for the president to impose on companies that engage in certain trade with Iran relating to petroleum and gasoline production and refinement. It would cut off international financial institutions from the U.S. banking system if they do business with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or facilitate Tehran’s efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction. The measure would require the administration to investigate and issue findings on possible violations, but also give the president the ability to waive many of the provisions if doing so is necessary to the national interest. [Vote 199, 6/24/10]

Brown Voted To Block Foreign Companies That Do Business With Iran From Accessing The U.S. Financial System.  In December 2011, Senator Brown voted in favor of Menendez, D-N.J., amendment no. 1414 that would direct the president to block any foreign company that conducts certain transactions with the Central Bank of Iran from accessing the U.S. financial system 60 days after the bill’s enactment. The amendment would exempt transactions for providing food, medicine and medical devices. It also would allow the president to waive the sanctions for national security reasons.  [Vote 216, 12/01/11]