MILLBURN, NJ - Millburn High School hosted Republican Congressman Leonard Lance on Monday afternoon, as students gathered to hear Lance speak about the United States’ relationship with Israel and the importance of the Jewish state. Lance has represented the 7th district of New Jersey, which covers Union, Essex, Hunterdon, Somerset, and Warren County since 2009; after the congressional district lines were redrawn in 2013, Millburn fell into the Republican’s jurisdiction. Although Lance represents Millburn in his frequent visits to Washington D.C., it seems as if he represents the United States in Middle Eastern affairs just as much. 

Lance, a chairman of the House of Representative’s Republican caucus for Israel, categorizes himself as a supporter of Israel. Therefore he sees himself as an opponent of the United States’ choice to abstain from a U.N. resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank and predominantly-Palestinian East Jerusalem.

In fact, Lance voiced to the students that he is a strong opponent of the U.N., and of the U.S. serving as zoning officers in Israel. “I think it is a situation that will be best resolved by the parties themselves,” Lance said. “One of the reasons that it has not yet been resolved is the fact that the Palestinian authority are of mixed emotion whether Israel has the right to exist, number one. And the subsidiary question, but certainly the very important question, does Israel have the right to exist as a Jewish state?”

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Although Lance believes the Palestinians would hesitantly accept Israel as an independent state, they have made it clear that they refuse Israel as a Jewish independent state. With the U.S. and Palestine at odds on the issue, Lance is pessimistic that the two will move ahead, with speed, on negotiations regarding Israel.

Even though he is not counting on it, Lance hopes for a settlement between Israel and Palestine, for American interests. Possibly more than any other Congressman, Lance, who sits on the Health Subcommittee within the House of Representatives, values Israel as a collaborator in high-technology and advanced medical technology. His seventh district of New Jersey has more pharmaceutical and medical device employees than any other district in the United States.

“I am confident, and I have seen this, that there will be continued sharing of information regarding miracle drugs, regarding technological advancements, and regarding medical devices,” Lance said. “Of course, the technological advancements that are made will be better for the overall health, not only for the Americans, not only or the Israeli nation but also for the world.”

Israel’s technological advancements seem infinite. Lance and the rest of Congress recognize the value of Israeli medical devices such as the Rewalk device, an exoskeleton which provides the disabled with the ability to walk.

Lance’s appearance at Millburn high School was made possible by Senior Class President Noah Brookhim, along with the Millburn Israeli Political Alliance Club.