Just four short months ago, hopes were running high in the Middle East. ISIS was wiped off the map, the Iranian regime and its terrorist proxies were in retreat, Israel was forging historic peace deals with its neighbors. All along the way, the United States was instrumental to this progress. But in just a few months, the Biden administration has dashed those hopes with a policy of weakness and appeasement. The forces of terror are again on the march. Pillars of smoke and fire are rising from Tel Aviv and the holy city of Jerusalem.
The assault on Israel by terrorist groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad is the latest and most concrete evidence yet that the Middle East is spiraling toward chaos. But instead of standing firm with Israel, the Biden administration’s policy of endless accommodation is fanning the flames of conflict.
The president should show strength; instead, he’s broadcasting indecision and weakness. Our greatest ally in the Middle East is under attack, yet the Democratic Party refuses to say we stand with Israel. The night sky over the Jewish state blazes with the starbursts of intercepted rockets, and the Biden administration only offers muted calls for restraint.
Where are the righteous denunciations of the terrorists responsible for these repeated, premeditated, and unprovoked attacks? Where are the statements of solidarity with Israel? Please. From this administration and from this Democratic Party, we can’t even get the president’s spokeswoman to say that the United States would help resupply munitions for Iron Dome, Israeli’s life-saving missile-defense system.
So, this afternoon, let me provide a little clarity that the president and his party appear incapable or unwilling to articulate. The fault for the death and destruction in the streets of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Gaza, and the West Bank lies not with the Israeli government, much less the Israeli people. The belligerents in this conflict aren’t morally equivalent, the way it’s often presented in supposedly “enlightened” circles. Put simply, there are good guys, and there are bad guys.
Israel seeks peace; terror groups seek death and destruction. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are not legitimate state actors. They don’t speak for the Palestinian people and don’t truly care about them. These groups are terrorist organizations run by evil men who commit evil acts in pursuit of the evil dreams of an evil ideology. They purposely fire waves of unguided rockets at civilian targets, while they protect themselves from reprisal using babies, hospitals, schools, and dupes in the media as shields. What cowards, attacking innocent civilians while they hide behind women.
Of course, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad don’t act alone. The Palestinian Authority supports, encourages, and funds terrorism in the form of so-called “martyr payments”—pensions paid to terrorists who attack Jews. The PA perpetuates cycles of violence by refusing to acknowledge the existence of Israel, teaching anti-Semitism in its schools, and leaving its people to wallow in poverty as wards in the international community.
And we all know who funds and arms Palestinian terrorist organizations: the world’s foremost supporter of terrorism, the Islamic Republic of Iran. For decades, Iran’s theocrats have staged demonstrations where their fanatical supporters scream “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.” The assault on Israel today shows that those chants are not idle threats.
Iran’s ayatollahs are deadly serious about wiping the Jewish state off the map. That’s why Iran arms Palestinian terrorists with some of its most lethal weapons. Hamas’s arsenal of 10,000 rockets might as well have ‘Made in Iran’ stamped on the side.
Those are the villains of this conflict—but let’s not forget the heroes. Standing courageously against this organized onslaught is the State of Israel, our closest ally in the region. Over the past week, terrorists have fired approximately 3,000 missiles and rockets into Israel. In response, Israel has defended itself with technological miracles like Iron Dome. It has carried out precision airstrikes against military targets and, as always, Israel has gone to extraordinary lengths to minimize civilian casualties—despite the terrorists’ best efforts to maximize and then publicize any carnage. While Hamas and the Islamic Jihad fire indiscriminately from Palestinian schools, office buildings, and apartments, Israel responds by hitting those launch sites—but only after, only after, they warn civilians, allowing them to evacuate first. Regrettably, these warnings also allow the terrorists to escape, but Israel bears that cost because it values innocent life—unlike its terrorist enemies.
You may have heard of one recent example. Last week Israel carried out an airstrike against a building used by Hamas intelligence personnel, a building that also housed the Associated Press. An hour before the airstrike, the Israeli military called the AP and other civilians in that complex and warned them to depart. This precaution, once again, allowed Hamas terrorists to escape, but also allowed reporters and other civilians to vacate the premises before the airstrike occurred. As a result, no civilians died and Hamas lost a terrorist haven.
Now, in any other country and with any other military—except America’s, I have to add—one would hear praise for that military’s restraint and commitment to the laws of war. But because this military is the IDF and the country is Israel and the people are the Jews, they are widely condemned around the world and on the left in America. If you cut through the hysterics and hyperbole, you can see the truth clearly: one side seeks to maximize carnage, the other seeks to minimize civilian casualties.
Besides, I must observe, why is the Associated Press sharing a building with Hamas? Surely these intrepid reporters knew who their neighbors were. Did they knowingly allow themselves to be used as human shields by a U.S.-designated terrorist organization? Did the AP pull its punches and decline to report for years on Hamas’s misdeeds? I submit that the AP has some uncomfortable questions to answer. Yet the AP and its fellow journalists are in high dudgeon about Israel’s wholly appropriate airstrike. Leave it to whiny reporters to make themselves the story and the victim when terrorists are shooting missiles at innocent civilians.
In any event, the moral standing of the competing forces in this conflict is simple and clear. Our greatest ally and the only democracy in the region against an Islamist theocracy and its terrorist partners. Most Americans know which side they’re on. I speak for them when I say that we stand with Israel.
Unfortunately, too many elected Democrats have taken a different stand. Members of the so-called “Squad” in the House of Representatives have called Israel an apartheid state and accused it of war crimes. Remember, these aren’t obscure backbenchers; many Democrats herald these representatives as the future of their party.
Meanwhile, 27 Democratic senators have called for an “immediate ceasefire” to the conflict. Even the Democratic floor leader, who has long styled himself as Israel’s great defender, has joined this moral equivalence, calling for an immediate ceasefire.
Hear me clearly: the handwringing calls for a ceasefire are tantamount to Hamas propaganda. “Both sides” are not the same in this conflict, no matter what the Democrats naively imply. If Hamas puts down its weapons, there would be peace. If Israel puts down its weapons, there would be no Israel.
Thankfully, Israel’s leadership is resolute, united, and committed to victory.
The United States should respond to this terrorist onslaught with equal resolve. That means we should give Israel the time, space, and resources to destroy Hamas’s war machine and protect its own people.
We also should ensure that Israel has the military hardware to weather this crisis. Hamas may have as many as 10,000 missiles, rockets, and mortars held in reserve. Meanwhile, Hezbollah lurks to the north, with many times that arsenal. We should therefore endeavor to ensure that Israel has more interceptors for Iron Dome than Hamas has rockets to kill Israelis.
Moreover, we ought to cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority until we can be absolutely sure that not a dime of taxpayer money is being used to buy and build rockets or pay pensions for murderous terrorists.
Finally, the Biden administration ought to immediately end its misguided flirtation with the theocrats in Iran by recalling its chief negotiator and appeaser, Rob Malley, from negotiations in Vienna. If the Biden administration reenters the failed Iran nuclear agreement and grants sanctions relief to the regime in Tehran, in very short order that appeasement payoff will be converted into rockets aimed at Israel—as well as American troops throughout the region.
While Israel is under attack, we’ve heard plenty of talk and mealy-mouthed statements from politicians. But in this moment of crisis, Israel needs more than words. Israel needs—and deserves—our full support to defend itself and its people and to achieve a just and lasting peace.