Mariel Saez, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today in support of Israel's right to defend itself against Hamas attacks. Below are his remarks and a link to the video:
“Mr. Speaker, I join my colleagues today from both sides of the aisle to stand with the people of Israel in support of their sovereign right to defend themselves against Hamas terror.
“Over the past year alone, Hamas has launched approximately 900 rockets and artillery shells from Gaza into Israel's civilian neighborhoods. My colleagues, think for just a minute whether or not rockets were coming from Mexico or from Canada – we would not stand for it for one minute. This week we saw Hamas fire rockets that struck as far north as Tel Aviv, and today we have disturbing reports that at least one rocket hit near Jerusalem, the seat of Israel's government and a city holy to Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike. That Hamas would specially target Israel's parliament building, as reports indicate, shows the great disregard Hamas has for the very idea of democracy – which does not exist in Gaza.
“By strengthening United States’ relationship with Israel, this Congress will send a powerful message to Hamas and all in the region who would cause Israel harm. The right of self-defense cannot be allowed to go unexercised by a government dedicated to the protection of its people.
“We will stand with Israel, and we will also, Mr. Speaker – and I thank you for the time – lament the loss of life of Palestinians. Every life is important. So it is not that we stand insensitive to the lives of Palestinians. But they need to stop the violence and the attacks. Israel has the right to defend itself, and we will stand with them.”