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Opinion Pieces by Rob

Rob Wittman: Standing with Israel: A call for action and solidarity

I was horrified to learn of the terrorist invasion of Israel earlier this month. Like so many of you, I am heartbroken by the unspeakable violence against Israeli civilians at the hands of Hamas. We have witnessed gut-wrenching images of this terrorist group’s brutality that has left families torn, babies parentless and innocent civilians missing.

Hamas has continued their bloodshed and brutality without regard for civilians or humanity. They have targeted Israeli victims' families with images of murder and barbarism. They have prevented Palestinian civilians from fleeing war zones in efforts to retain human shields. There is no defense for their terrorism, and we cannot sit idly by and ignore these unconscionable acts.

The United States shares a special relationship with Israel — our only democratic partner in the Middle East. Now, it is up to us to stand up for our friend. I believe we must strictly enforce U.S. laws to prevent any assistance from enabling terrorists and enforce U.S. sanctions against Iran to prevent the funding of terrorist organizations.

This is why I joined a bipartisan resolution condemning the unprovoked war instigated by Hamas. Through this resolution, the United States reaffirms Israel's inherent right to self-defense, calls on nations across the globe to denounce these acts of terrorism, and urges Hamas to immediately halt its violent attacks and release all hostages.

Additionally, the Biden administration must expedite military aid to Israel in this time of crisis. I sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin — signed by 37 of my colleagues — to call on the administration to expedite foreign military sales to Israel that will support their self-defense. We must stand ready to provide Israel with the support it needs, to include emergency resupply and various security, diplomatic and intelligence assistance.

It is imperative that we respond to this incomprehensible evil through the following actions:

1.       Provide any support Israel may need to recover all hostages and continue demanding their immediate release.

2.       Coordinate closely with the Israeli government to ensure they receive all necessary resources to defend themselves.

3.       Position U.S. military forces in the region to deter Iran and other nations from attacking Israel.

4.       Refreeze the $6 billion provided to Iran in sanctions relief and support maximum pressure sanctions on Iran moving forward.

I will continue standing with Israel and advocating for security, peace and prosperity in the region. As we mourn all the lives lost, we cannot be afraid to confront evil with conscience and courage.

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