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ICYMI: Rubio Joins The Record with Greta Van Susteren
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined The Record with Greta Van Susteren to discuss the terrorist attacks on Israel by Hamas. See below for highlights and watch the full interview on YouTube and Rumble.
On U.S. and Israeli intelligence on the attacks:
“The lead in this would be Israeli intelligence. By their own admission, the Israelis will tell you they were caught off guard. They were caught unprepared. Not that the threat from Hamas was not well known, but clearly, they did not know that this was happening. They’ve admitted that.
“They have had inquiries in the past when there have been those failures. There was, for example, after the Yom Kippur War, an almost two-year inquiry. I’m sure those days are coming. But right now, they’re focused, and we should be helping them focus, on this war to eradicate Hamas.
“I think we’ll have to look at our own systems to see what we knew, what we didn’t know, what warning signs we missed, or what capabilities have eroded. I think there’ll be time for that as well on our end, particularly because there will still be danger in that region moving forward that we want to be able to provide intelligence support on.”
On what Iran has to gain from supporting Hamas:
“Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran have different agendas to some extent, but ultimately, what they share in common is they all want the destruction of the Jewish state. Hamas has stated that goal. It’s their mission statement. They’re pretty explicit about it. They want to drive every Jew out of the Middle East. They want a new Islamic fundamentalist Palestinian state that stretches from the Mediterranean all the way to the Jordan. That’s their goal. That’s why they’re involved. And they share that with Iran.
“Iran wants the destruction of the Jewish state. They want to drive Israel out, because they want to be the dominant power in the region. They want to be the dominant power in the Middle East. That ultimately brings them in conflict with Saudi Arabia, but their most immediate target is to drive the Jews out of the Middle East, and they have that objective in common. To use Hamas and Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad and all these other groups as proxies to carry this out is part of their strategy.
“[There is] all this news out there of a Saudi-Israeli deal coming together, and one of the best ways to disrupt that or try to disrupt that is to create a situation in which Israel is seen in the Arab world as out there killing innocent Arabs. [The idea is] that that will somehow create pressure within the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and make it impossible for them to reach that agreement with Israel.”
On whether Israel can stand alone in a war against Iran:
“Israel will not be defeated militarily, not by Iran, not by Hezbollah, not by Hamas. [The terrorists’] goal is not the military defeat of Israel. Their goal is to erode Israel’s military capability, and ultimately, to collapse Israel’s economy from within. They love to hear that airplanes are not flying. They love to hear that the Israeli markets are way down. That’s what they want. They want Israel to become a place that no one wants to live in and no one wants to do business with and no one wants to visit because it’s too dangerous, it’s too unstable, it can’t defend itself, or it’s faced under constant attack.”
On the message the U.S. should send to Iran:
“I’m happy to see that [the Biden Administration] has moved naval assets to the region. Ultimately, I think we need to be very clear with the Iranian regime that if American troops in the region or American personnel in the region are attacked by proxies of Iran, we will consider that an attack by the Iranian state, and we will take those measures. If Americans in the region come into harm’s way because of these proxies, the leaders of those groups, including the leaders of the [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps], become enemy combatants and therefore valid targets for U.S. action, no matter where in the world they’re operating or hiding.
“I think that’s critically important at this stage, because I do think that left untethered, Iran will potentially try to expand this conflict to that situation from Lebanon. That, right now, is what’s on everyone’s mind and of deep concern. Iran needs to know there will be significant and real consequences, not some symbolic measure, but some real measures as a result of that.”
On Qatar’s housing of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh:
“This guy’s a coward. Why isn’t he living in Gaza? Why is he in Qatar, living a life of luxury, watching this from remote control? I think he’s a valid enemy, a combatant target. He’s not a civilian leader. Hamas is not a civilian organization. They are a terrorist organization.
“Their dedicated purpose is the destruction of the Jewish state and replacing it with a fundamental fundamentalist Islamic government in a Palestinian state that covers all the area we know today as Israel. That’s their goal. And they are willing to slaughter and murder and rape and then defile the dead bodies of women, of teenage girls, of children, of the elderly.
“These are barbaric, savage practices, and Hamas needs to be eradicated. It’s not going to be pleasant. This is not an antiseptic war. This is not going to be an easy conflict, but Israel has no choice, but to completely eradicate Hamas as a viable entity operating from Gaza. They cannot coexist with them, and we need to be supportive of that effort every step of the way.”