Marsha Blackburn: Lawmakers must stand with Israel against Hamas terrorism. No excuses.

The Tennessean 
October 13, 2023

The world has witnessed Hamas terrorists as they committed incomprehensible acts of terror against the people of Israel – innocent babies beheaded, entire families burned to death in their homes, women and children kidnapped, elderly men and women murdered, the atrocities go on.

The world must not turn away from what is happening to our nation’s greatest ally in the Middle East, a nation that shares our most fundamental democratic values.

Hamas’ vicious acts of terror should outrage every human being. Hamas is a terrorist organization brutally murdering babies and using captives as human shields. This is one of the worst attacks on Israel and the Jewish people since the Holocaust.

We must stand firm against Iran’s regime

Let me be clear and unequivocal: The United States has a moral obligation to defend Israel, and as Israel is surrounded by hostile actors funded by Iran who seek the destruction of the Jewish state and deny its right to exist, that’s a solemn responsibility.

That responsibility becomes ever more serious as the Biden Administration continues to display weakness on foreign policy: appeasing our enemies.

Just weeks ago, President Biden handed a $6 billion ransom for hostages to Iran – the world’s largest state sponsor of terror.

Now, we know the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps worked with Hamas to plan these horrific attacks. That $6 billion is fungible, and Joe Biden’s coddling of Iran is funding Hamas terrorists.

Standing with Israel means standing firm against Iran; that’s more true now than ever. That’s why I – along with 19 of my colleagues in the Senate – have called on President Biden and the State Department to rescind the waivers that allowed Iranian funds to be converted and made accessible, and to work with Qatar to freeze those accounts.

We must condemn antisemitism

Hamas must be treated as the evil terrorist organization that it is, especially by the elected representatives of Israel’s greatest ally, the United States.

The radical Democrats in Congress, including Reps. Rashida Tlaib, R-Michigan, and Cori Bush, D-Missouri, who refer to Israel as an “apartheid” state and called to end the “military occupation” of Gaza, are acting reprehensible.

Worse is an administration that has to delete tweets calling for a “cease fire” before Israel had a chance to respond to this act of war. Israel should seek the complete elimination of Hamas and the U.S. should support that end.

It’s absolutely unthinkable that elected Americans are so blatantly antisemitic. I want to be clear to the Israeli people: the American people support you. We are praying for you. We are with you.

Never forget the victims of terrorism

A New Axis of Evil is emerging from the shadows: Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. We cannot show an ounce of fear or hesitation when it comes to defending our nation or standing strong with our allies in the face of terrorism. Israel should be given the leverage to completely eliminate Hamas.

Biden has said that he will support Ukraine as long as it takes, and he should make that same commitment to our most trusted ally, Israel.

Now is the time for our nation’s leaders to unequivocally stand strong alongside Israel and showcase American military strength against any foreign threat.

We will not forget the victims of these terrorist attacks – the mothers, fathers, children, sisters, brothers, and grandparents who were brutally, unjustly murdered by Hamas.

I will always stand resolute against antisemitism in all its forms, ensure Israel’s security, right to self-defense, and recognition as the only true democracy in the Middle East, and support Israel and the Jewish people in any way I can. You have my word.

Marsha Blackburn, R-Brentwood, is the senior United States Senator from Tennessee.