McConnell: Support For Israel Means Moral Clarity And American Strength
‘Hamas sought this conflict. Hamas perpetuates it by holding hostages and continuing its terrorism. And those of us who live out of range of terrorist rockets should pause before second-guessing Israel’s response. This is a time that demands moral clarity - on campuses, in newsrooms, in Congress, and at the sharp end of American military strength.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding support for Israel:
“Today, our nation’s capital will welcome a rally of Jewish Americans and friends of Israel.
“The participants in today’s events are gathering in mourning, in worry, in fear, and in shared resolve.
“In the dark days since the terrorist massacre of October 7th, their message has been crystal clear:
“There is no moral equivalence between terrorism and self-defense. Israel has a right to exist. And Jews everywhere have a right to live without fear.
“These basic truths should be obvious and unimpeachable. But if anyone failed to see the creeping advance of anti-Semitism across the West in recent years…
“If any corner of our society let itself believe that this unique hatred of Jews had been confined to history…
“That naïve fiction was shattered on October 7th, and swept away by the hate that has poured across college campuses and city streets throughout America and the West over the past month.
“In just the first week after Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad murdered 1,200 Israelis, harassment, vandalism, and assault against American Jews rose 400%.
“But the peaceful people gathering in Washington today aren’t here to ask for pity for themselves. They’re here on behalf of the more than 240 hostages – including a three-year-old American boy and at least eight other Americans – who cannot speak for themselves. They’re here with a clear message for their leaders: Stand with Israel.
“Since October 7th, I’ve spoken repeatedly about the challenges Israel faces as it works to protect its people, bring the hostages home, and destroy Hamas’ capability to wage war.
“I’ve talked about the terrorists’ reprehensible record of systematically violating the customary laws of war. Their expropriation of humanitarian aid.
“Their cold-blooded practice of putting command centers and weapons caches in hospitals, schools, and even mosques.
“Their grotesque penchant for using innocent Gazans as human shields. And of course, the threat of further violence from Iran-backed terrorists on a second front.
“This is why I’ve urged the Biden Administration to give Israel the time, space, and support it needs to bring these savages to justice.
“How quickly some in the West have become confused about the crystal-clear distinction between terrorism and self-defense.
“Hamas sought this conflict. Hamas perpetuates it by holding hostages and continuing its terrorism. And those of us who live out of range of terrorist rockets should pause before second-guessing Israel’s response.
“This is a time that demands moral clarity – on campuses, in newsrooms, in Congress, and at the sharp end of American military strength.
“It’s also time to restore credible deterrence against Iran, the chief underwriter and architect of violence against Israel and against American forces in the Middle East.
“In less than one month, Iran-backed terrorists have targeted U.S. servicemembers in Iraq and Syria 52 times.
“From the abandonment of Afghanistan to the de-listing of the Houthis to our failure to respond to proxy attacks on our friends in the region, the Biden Administration has made Iran’s job actually easier.
“And now, as America dithers over support for our friends in Ukraine, Tehran is throwing itself firmly behind Putin’s Russia.
“It will take more than demolishing a couple warehouses to show our adversaries we’re credible. Iran and its terrorist networks must know that violence against America or our allies will meet swift and overwhelming lethal force.”