With violence in the Middle East continuing to escalate as Hamas terrorists target Israel, members of the Florida delegation offered their support for America’s ally.
On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., praised Israel and called for the Biden administration to do more to support that nation.
“While President Trump took unprecedented action to stand with Israel, under President Biden, rockets are raining down on our great ally. It’s time for Biden to stand up and make it clear that the U.S. stands with Israel as it defends its people from these reprehensible terrorist attacks. These terrorists need to know acts of aggression toward Israel will never be tolerated. President Biden should take immediate action to remind these terrorists and the world of the United States’ strong and unwavering support of the Israeli people,” Scott said.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who sits on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Select Committee on Intelligence, insisted “Israel is under a barrage attack tonight from Hamas missiles made possible by Iran.”
Over in the U.S. House, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., stressed her support for Israel.
“Those who seek to destroy the state of Israel like Hamas and Islamic Jihad are intentionally using terrorist attacks to sow instability,” Wasserman Schultz said on Tuesday. “No nation or people should be subject to a barrage of rocket fire or have to endure this kind of bloody assault. The world is seeing firsthand the Iron Dome in action. As a senior appropriator, I plan to make sure these missile defense systems continue to get the support they need. I am extremely concerned by those who demonize Israel’s conduct while ignoring their right to self-defense and obligation to protect all its citizens. I pray for peace and security in the region and urge the cessation of intentional acts of violence and a return to working towards a viable, two-state solution.”
U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., also praised the Iron Dome missile defense program.
“I strongly condemn the violent actions of Hamas. Terrorism is illegitimate and will always be met with a swift response. I am thankful that through our work on the Appropriations Committee, supporting Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense program, over 90 percent of Hamas’ rockets were defeated,” Crist said. “The current escalation of violence is a reminder to all that the current situation is unsustainable. I call for a swift end to violence and terrorism so that the difficult work of Israelis and Palestinians forging a lasting peace between two sovereign nations can commence. I pray for peace and an end to the bloodshed.”
“I strongly condemn Hamas for launching rockets at Israel and endangering the lives of Israelis and Palestinians. Hamas provocations must end,” noted U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla.
U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., the chairman of the U.S. House Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, also took aim at “Hamas terrorists” who launched more than 500 “rockets at Israel hoping to kill civilians.”
“The international community has condemned Hamas for using human shields and launching rockets from in or near schools and hospitals in violation of international law,” Deutch added. “No one should defend Hamas. Ever.
“When our friends are under attack, we stand with them,” Deutch continued. “If London faced a barrage of rockets, we would stand with England. If the residents of Paris knew every rocket was meant to kill civilians, we would stand with France. This is Israel right now. The U.S. stands with Israel.’
Appearing on Fox News on Monday, U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., a member of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee and the first Green Beret to serve in Congress, said the Biden administration needs to help Israel more even as it sent funds to the Palestinian Authority.
“They’ve given away all leverage right up front, and we’re seeing this is a theme with the Biden administration in terms of handing out cash hoping it fixes the situation,” Waltz said. “So they’ve already agreed to give hundreds of millions of dollars without any conditions.”
Waltz said the Biden administration should have imposed conditions on the funds, including denouncing Hamas and “changing the governing situation on the ground.” The congressman also said the Palestinian Authority was ripe with corruption.
“There’s just endemic corruption within the Palestinian government that is a real disservice to is people,” Waltz said. “Yet, American taxpayer dollars are going to flow back into that situation.”
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com.