“[W]hat they need from this country is a president and a U.S. government that aligns itself squarely on their side. No double-talk, no fancy diplomatic language that you can read between the lines on. A very clear statement. In this conflict, we are on Israel’s side, and we will support them with anything they need to ensure their stability and their survival.”U.S. Senator Marco Rubio
Senate Floor Speech
July 17, 2014
“I’ve also been concerned, by the way, by some of this moral equivalence that’s going on in both the press and in some of the e-mails that I’m getting and some of the public statements I’m hearing some make in some corridors, not here in the Senate, but in some other places. This idea that ‘Well, both sides are to blame.’ That is an interesting concept, but it isn’t true.
“It is tragic, unfortunately, that civilians are dying in Gaza, but the reason why civilians are dying is 100 percent Hamas’ fault. You see, this is an organization that puts rockets and military installations right next to nurseries and hospitals and civilian population centers. And you know why they do that? You know why they do that? They do that because they know that when they launch a rocket, Israel will respond by hitting that rocket launcher. And when that rocket launcher is destroyed, so are the areas around it. And then they can get the cameras to go in there and say ‘Oh, look at what Israel did. They wiped out a nursery or an apartment building.’ They do it on purpose. They know exactly what they’re doing. They do it so they can get the kind of coverage that, unfortunately, even some American press outlets are buying into now.
“Here’s the bottom line ? and Senator Graham was alluding to this a moment ago ? before Israel does extraordinary things with regards to this. They drop leaflets into population centers warning ‘We’re going to have to do a military operation in your region. Please evacuate, please go somewhere else where you’ll be safe.’ Hamas doesn’t do that. In fact, Hamas deliberately targets population centers to terrorize the people of Israel. And we should condemn it for what it is. There is no moral equivalency.
“Now the situation has continued to spiral out of control, and it’s reached the point where the news today now is that Israel has begun to conduct some ground operations. And these ground operations that they’re conducting has to do with the tunnel network in Gaza that as early as this morning was used by Hamas to try to infiltrate terrorists through those tunnels into Israel to conduct terrorist activity and kill Israelis. So put yourself in the position of this country. Small and geographically isolated, surrounded by terrorist groups and some unfriendly countries, threatened by the prospect of an Iranian nuclear weapon, and being hit by 1,300 rockets in just the last week. They have no choice but to defend themselves, using all the power at their disposal. They have no choice. And not only should no one here be criticizing that, but we should be supporting it and aligning ourselves 100 percent on their side.
“Because what they are fighting for here, this is not some dispute over borders. This is not some geopolitical dispute about who owns what territory. Israel is fighting for their very survival. On the other side of this conflict is a terrorist organization bent on their destruction. On the other side of this conflict is a terrorist organization in Hamas, and truth be told, the Palestinian Authority whose schools teach children not just to hate Israel, but to hate Jews. And how could you possibly say you are for peace when your schools are actively teaching your children to hate another people? That’s what’s on the other side of this conflict. And so Israel has no choice.
“They are fighting for their very survival. And I think that now more than ever, what they need from this country is a president and a U.S. government that aligns itself squarely on their side. No double-talk, no fancy diplomatic language that you can read between the lines on. A very clear statement. In this conflict, we are on Israel’s side, and we will support them with anything they need to ensure their stability and their survival. Very clear language that makes it unequivocally clear: Hamas is a terrorist organization, not a legitimate representative of the aspirations of the Palestinian people, but a terrorist organization designed for the very purpose of destroying the Jewish state. We need to make these things abundantly clear, because otherwise we’re going to see more of this in the years to come. If there is any daylight between the United States and Israel, it emboldens Israel’s enemies.”
“So, I just came to the floor to reiterate, not just my personal support for the State of Israel, but to reiterate how strongly I believe virtually every member of this body supports the State of Israel, supports Israel’s right to defend itself, supports the United States’ alliance with Israel, supports doing everything we must and can do to help Israel defend herself. I think that’s an important message to send out. And the last thing I would say is I would ask those who watched the speech or who will hear these words later, take time over the next few days and pray for Israel. It needs our support there as well, that God will provide her the safety and security of her people now and in the years to come.”