Stand with Israel

Sen. John Thune

Hamas militants recently breached the border in Gaza and attacked a dozen Israeli communities. What had begun as an ordinary, peaceful Saturday morning quickly became a tragic day in history. Sadly, more than two dozen Americans were among the 1,300-plus killed – an intolerable loss. Israel is again at war defending its unequivocal right to exist against terrorists seeking to destroy it, and America must stand in support of our ally.
The world has once again seen the face of evil. The images and stories coming out of Israel are enough to make a person sick to his stomach. Hamas terrorists stormed into communities, killing indiscriminately and taking innocent men, women, and children hostage. They slaughtered hundreds of Israelis at a music festival and murdered children and babies in their rampage. Every American should condemn these horrific acts of violence and the terrorists committing them.
Kimberley and I are heartbroken by what is happening in Israel, and we continue to pray for the victims and their families and those now fighting to defend their country. Israel is one of America’s closest allies, and it is a bulwark of freedom and democracy in the Middle East. The United States has long supported Israel’s right to defend itself against the type of terror that Hamas has inflicted over the years. We must continue to support Israel and ensure it has everything it needs to defend itself and bring swift justice to its attackers.
Terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah, which are dead set on Israel’s destruction, have long received support from Iran. Although the degree to which Iran was directly involved in these attacks is disputed, we know that Iran has provided financing, weapons, and training to terror groups, including Hamas, for decades. Iran and its proxies continue to threaten American interests, yet the Biden administration has sought to appease the regime. The administration tried to revive the flawed Iran nuclear deal and, just last month, released $6 billion in sanctioned Iranian assets. The administration appears to be correcting course and will perhaps re-freeze these assets, but we must take a serious and sober look at whether our policies embolden our adversaries.
The war in Israel is a reminder that the world remains a dangerous place. The best way to keep danger in check and maintain peace is through strength. I continue to support a strong national defense and robust alliances that deter evil actors like Hamas from attacking the United States and our allies. The recent atrocities in Israel are an unfortunate reminder of what can happen when our enemies sense weakness.
I am continuing to monitor the situation in Israel and will work with my colleagues to ensure we get Americans home while also demonstrating that U.S. support for Israel is robust and unwavering. Like many Americans, I am disgusted by what Hamas has done to innocent Israelis, and I mourn the tragic deaths of our citizens. But I am confident that the Israeli people will defend their homeland and deliver justice to Hamas. I hope you will join me in praying for the Israeli people as they undertake this important fight.

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