U.S. Must Support Israeli Efforts To Remove Terrorism, Corruption From Calculus Of Palestinian Future

‘If there is a path to peace between Israelis and Palestinians, it is not through rewarding terror. It’s through new Palestinian leaders and reformed institutions focused on improving lives, not radicalizing a generation of martyrs to destroy Israel.’

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding national security priorities:

“The goals of supplemental national security legislation are pretty straightforward.

“We need to restore security and order at our southern border. We need to help the fights against authoritarian aggression in Europe. We need to invest seriously in competition with our top strategic adversary.

“And we need to stand side-by-side with Israel and other allies to impose real costs and restore real deterrence against Iran and its terrorist proxies.

“Keeping America safe. Securing our interests. Standing with our allies.

“It’s basic appeal to a fundamental governing responsibility.

“But unfortunately, it’s especially evident in the Middle East that the Biden Administration – and some of our colleagues here in Congress – have yet to muster the resolve and clarity to fulfill this responsibility.

“Three and a half months after Iran-backed terrorists slaughtered 1,200 Israelis on October 7th, the resolve among some Washington Democrats to help our ally fight back is flagging.

“I’ve said repeatedly that Israel deserves the time, space, and support it needs to restore its security. But increasingly, the Administration and some of our colleagues have expressed a different sentiment – that America deserves the final say in how Israel conducts its defense.

“Just consider the renewed fixation with rushing to a two-state solution. First, why would any of us think it’s a good idea to reward Hamas and the Palestinians who rejoiced on October 7th with a state?

“Who, I might ask, do our colleagues expect is ready to govern such a state?

“We know the answer is not Hamas. Every time these terrorists have faced a choice between improving the lives of Palestinians and taking the lives of Israelis, Hamas has chosen the latter.

“Billions upon billions of dollars in international aid. And yet the only thing Gaza’s rulers appear to have chosen to invest in is lethal weapons and terror tunnels.

“Hamas certainly doesn’t want a two-state solution. It wants to destroy Israel ‘from the river to the sea.’

“Palestinians have endured the raw oppression of their supposed leaders’ corruption and terrorism for generations. Make no mistake: the most prominent alternative to Hamas is not substantially better than the darlings of Iran’s terrorist network.

“Leaders of the Palestinian Authority – from Arafat to Abu Mazen – have rejected every chance at an agreement to live in peace.

“The PA is also relentlessly and thoroughly corrupt. Their officials may skim off the top to line their own pockets rather than line terror tunnels with concrete like Hamas.

“But the result for average Palestinians is not dissimilar.

“I cannot understand why some of my Democratic colleagues, including the chair of the Foreign Relations Committee who pushed so hard to pass legislation combatting global corruption, now want to shovel billions of taxpayer dollars to one of the most corrupt entities on the planet.

“If we’re serious about countering corruption, there is no better place to start than the Palestinian Authority.

“If there is a path to peace between Israelis and Palestinians, it is not through rewarding terror. It’s through new Palestinian leaders and reformed institutions focused on improving lives, not radicalizing a generation of martyrs to destroy Israel.

“And yet some Washington Democrats seem infected by a new form of BDS.  I don’t mean the vile Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions agenda that seeks to delegitimize the Jewish state – although the growing prominence of this movement on the left is also truly worrisome. 

“I mean Bibi Derangement Syndrome. My colleagues seem to allow their personal feelings about Israel’s democratically elected prime minister to cloud their views about Israel. 

“Most recently, the American left is outraged that the Prime Minister would cast doubt on the Biden Administration’s desire to leap back into negotiations about a two-state solution.

“Perhaps they should listen to Israel’s President, Isaac Herzog, a long-standing leader of the Israeli left.

“Just last week, President Herzog put to rest any notion that Prime Minister Netanyahu is the obstacle to peace.

“’[No Israeli] in his right mind’ he said, is focused on peace negotiations.

“He went on to explain ‘Israelis lost trust in the peace processes because they see that terror is glorified by our neighbors.’

“But he also reiterated a more fundamental point, one that my colleagues might do well to consider. Here’s what he said, ‘The world has to face it point blank: there is an empire of evil emanating from Iran.’  And that Iran’s activities undermine any chance for peace and stability. 

“If we’re serious about giving peace any hope of success, America must continue to stand with our ally, Israel, as it removes Hamas terrorists from any calculus of Palestinians’ future.

“We must demand significant reforms of the Palestinian Authority. 

“And we must lead the international effort to impose real costs on Tehran until it changes its behavior.”


Related Issues: National Security, Iran, Israel