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Washington, D.C. – In this week’s installment of Marco’s Constituent Mailbox video series, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) addresses constituent concerns regarding the conflict in Israel.

Compelled by Florida’s strong link to Israel, Rubio read constituent letters – from Aaron in Aventura and Charla in Orlando – and responded to their various concerns about the violence in the region. Rubio also highlighted a letter from David in St. Petersburg, who wrote to the senator expressing his concern for the United States’ alliance with Israel.

In response, Rubio said, “I don’t think any nation or people on Earth want peace more than Israel does. And you’re right that there have been attacks and people have lost their lives, both in Gaza and partially as well in Samaria and Judea. But let me make something very clear. The people responsible for that is directly one organization – and that is Hamas and the radicals behind it.”

“[…] Ask yourself this: How do you negotiate a peace agreement with an organization that openly does not even want you to exist, and has talked about destroying you? This is the reality. Now you’re right, no one wants to see more bloodshed, no one wants to see more violence. But what choice does Israel have? In my mind, the government of Israel has shown extraordinary restraint despite the fact that they’ve had to react with the amount of force they’ve reacted with, because their very existence is at stake,” Rubio continued. “This is not some argument over borders or some geopolitical dispute. This is a fight against elements whose stated purpose is the destruction of the Jewish state. And I for one, will not stand by and allow that to happen without raising our voice, and doing everything I can as an American policymaker to strongly support Israel.”

View Rubio’s full YouTube response here. For television stations interested in airing today’s response, a broadcast quality video is available here.

Rubio encourages constituents to continue writing letters and sharing their concerns via Rubio’s official website, rubio.senate.gov.