McConnell Proud to Support Israel: “Let’s Leave No Doubt Where America Stands”
The United States needs to stand four-square behind our ally. And President Biden must remain strong against the growing voices within his own party that create false equivalence between terrorist aggressors and a responsible state defending itself. Israel deserves an opportunity to restore deterrence and impose costs on terrorists the international community has been unwilling or unable to impose.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Israel:
“Yesterday was the deadliest day yet in the continued fighting between the terrorist forces attacking Israel and Israel’s measured, precise, and defensive response.
“Hamas unleashed another round of rocket barrages, intentionally targeting civilian areas across Israel. Israel intensified its campaign to, among other specific military objectives, destroy the terrorist group’s underground networks of weapons storage and command-and-control.
“Last week, Hamas’ rocket attacks took the life of a five-year-old Israeli boy. And because Hamas, in stark violation of the laws of war, intentionally co-locates its terrorist facilities in civilian buildings and neighborhoods, Israeli strikes have regrettably led to civilian casualties in Gaza.
“No one is glad to see this fighting. But we are already seeing some push the false narrative that this conflict is a tragic dispute between two legitimate combatants where both sides share blame that is roughly equal.
“This yields calls for blanket ceasefires, and people wagging their fingers at both sides. This camp apparently includes some of our Senate colleagues.
“To say that “both sides” need to de-escalate downplays the responsibility the terrorists have for initiating this conflict in the first place, and suggests Israelis are not entitled to defend themselves against on-going rocket barrages.
“I completely reject this obscene moral equivalence.
“The second false narrative, of course, is the view on the increasingly vocal far-left that Israel is, to quote one far-left member of the House, an ‘apartheid state.’ Another says Israel has perpetrated, quote, ‘an act of terrorism.’
“Look, this is not a conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people. Hamas has sought to hijack recent tensions to advance its own narrow, violent objectives. In that sense, it’s a conflict between Israel and a terrorist rump state in Gaza that uses its civilian population as human shields, and exploits their suffering for political gain.
“These terrorists set up shop in apartment buildings and under press offices. They direct rocket attacks from the cover of schools and markets. In the past, when their operatives have been killed, they have passed them off to the international community as civilian victims of Israel.
“Few countries in history spend as much effort to avoid civilian casualties during war as Israel and the United States. We hold our militaries to the highest standard. Our Israeli friends take pains to defend themselves in ways that are responsible and spare the very civilians Hamas is willing to sacrifice for its propaganda.
“Israel invests heavily in precision munitions. They spend precious time after attacks confirming target identification. They even provide advance warning to civilians in Gaza before specific buildings are targeted, even when doing so means the terrorists may also evacuate.
“It’s all well and good for President Biden to speak with the president of the Palestinian Authority. He holds little sway in Gaza. And twice he has rejected generous offers from different Israeli governments aimed at establishing an enduring peace.
“But if the so-called international community wants to actually make a difference, they can impose real costs on those who fund the terror weapons of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
“We know the return address: It is Tehran.
“I’ve been proud to stand with Israel for years and I am proud to stand with Israel today.
“The United States needs to stand four-square behind our ally. And President Biden must remain strong against the growing voices within his own party that create false equivalence between terrorist aggressors and a responsible state defending itself.
“Israel deserves an opportunity to restore deterrence and impose costs on terrorists the international community has been unwilling or unable to impose.
“There’s a saying that’s been around quite a while. If Hamas laid down its weapons tomorrow, there would be no more fighting. If Israel laid down their weapons, there would be no more Israel.
“So let’s leave no doubt where America stands.”
Related Issues: Israel