HOYER APPLAUDS RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING ISRAEL’S RIGHT TO DEFEND ITS CITIZENS

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after the House of Representatives passed a Resolution condemning the ruling last week by the International Court of Justice that Israel’s security barrier is illegal.  In August 2003, Hoyer led the largest Congressional delegation to visit Israel in its history:
 
“Israel’s security barrier is purposely and specifically designed to prevent Palestinian terror attacks on innocent Israeli men, women and children.  Thus, in my view, it is an absolutely legitimate response by the Israeli government to the real threat that its citizens face on the ground every single day.
 
“While the ICJ’s decision is a non-binding advisory opinion, the unfortunate truth is that it will be used by those who seek to undermine the state of Israel, as well as those who seek her destruction.
 
“I have said many times that the route of the security barrier should be open to discussion.  And, in fact, Israel has already made changes to the route of the barrier so that it minimizes the impact on local Palestinian communities that are not engaged in terrorism.
 
“But let no one be mistaken: If the citizens of Israel were not under attack, the barrier would be unnecessary.”