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Monday, July 22, 2019

"Israel has a right to self-defense in the face of indiscriminate violence and vicious attacks against civilian populations," said New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez. "It is an appalling but often-used tactic by Hamas to launch rockets indiscriminately at Israeli population centers. Nobody should be surprised that a terrorist organization is once again resorting to terror to harm innocent Israelis, and exposing Palestinian civilians to danger while doing so. Hamas is a terrorist organization that rejects a two-state solution and celebrates the kidnapping and murder of innocent civilians; it cannot be a partner in a Palestinian unity government."

"The State of Israel is under siege on multiple fronts," said South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. "Hamas is a terrorist organization that has fired hundreds of rockets at the State of Israel. This is truly an act of terrorism that needs to be condemned. I believe the Senate will speak with one voice in condemning the actions of the terrorist organization Hamas and standing by America's best friend in the region, the State of Israel. There is no moral equivalency between the self-defense actions of Israel and the barbaric actions of Hamas."

"Israel is entitled to take the steps necessary to protect itself from destructive rocket attacks from Hamas that are aimed at all Israeli civilians, regardless of their religion," said New York’s Sen. Chuck Schumer. "This resolution supports Israel as it protects itself in a manner that values the safety of Palestinian civilians even as its own civilians face indiscriminate attacks from terrorists. It is time for Mahmoud Abbas to do the right thing and break ties with Hamas."

Four years ago.

That’s right, all of these important quotes from bi-partisan Senate leaders were said in 2014.

Want more?

Here’s what NJ junior Sen. Cory Booker had to say back then:

“I strongly condemn the heinous attacks being perpetrated by Hamas and other terrorist groups against Israel. No country should have to live under a constant threat of aggression against its people, and I stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel as it defends itself against this shocking violence.”

Since then Booker, considered by many Democrats as their choice for the 2020 presidential nomination, has supported the ill-fated Iran nuclear deal, condemned the Taylor-Force Act, rejected the move of the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and most recently was captured on social media holding an anti-Israel sign while standing next to BDS supporters.

See the Jewish Link’s coverage of Booker’s signage here: https://www.jewishlinknj.com/features/26450-have-we-lost-cory-booker

Menendez, in a short interview with the Jewish Link at the March AIPAC Policy Conference, was outspoken in his support for Israel and both Graham and Schumer continue their staunch backing as well.

Hamas, meanwhile, with regrettable signals like that of Booker’s, sees this as ostensibly open space in the US-Israel partnership. The result are Israeli lives lost and the real Hamas goal, terrorism or having the Jewish people live in fear in their own land. Indeed, the incidence of post-traumatic stress is prevalent in Southern Negev towns such as Sderot, which is on the border with Gaza, and nearby Ashkelon.

A friend of this writer who lives in Ashkelon posted yesterday on Facebook: “Sderot and Gaza surrounding areas had a rough night. 150 rockets. Injuries in Sderot. We in Ashkelon had the first siren now, 8:30 a.m.”

She wrote earlier on her Facebook page about American firefighters who came to Israel to volunteer to extinguish the Hamas terror fires.

“America is truly Israel’s best friend. Thank you to these incredible firefighters for helping Israeli communities in the south and for helping to strengthen the bond between Israel and America.”

In recent days some 200 rockets have been fired into civilian areas. Hamas has talked of a cease fire only to begin firing rockets again. Most recently at least two of these rockets landed in open areas near Beersheba, the first time that’s happened since 2014.

The firing of rockets from Gaza and retaliation by the Israel Defense Forces led U.S. Middle East peace envoy Jason Greenblatt to suggest in a tweet that the Hamas leaders in Gaza were leading the Gazan Palestinians to the brink of war. “The Hamas regime again is launching rockets at Israeli communities,” he wrote. “Another night of terror and families huddling in fear as Israel defends itself. This is the Hamas regime’s choice. Hamas is subjecting people to the terrifying conditions of war again.”

President Donald Trump and his administration have condemned Hamas, saying it “fully supports” Israel’s right to defend itself.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert was direct in her comments as well saying, “We condemn the launching of missile attacks into Israel and call for an end to the destructive violence. We fully support Israel’s right to defend itself and to take actions to preserve provocations of that nature. Let’s not forget that Hamas bears ultimate responsibility for the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza and it’s a tremendous concern of ours.”

Even the United Nations came out against Hamas in a statement condemning the rocket fire from envoy Nickolay Mladenov.

The IAF responded most recently, hitting over 150 targets in Gaza including a five-story building housing Hamas operations.

On Capitol Hill on Thursday, New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer was strong as ever in his condemnation of Hamas telling the Jewish Link exclusively, “It’s a tragedy that Hamas’ leaders care so little about Gazans that they have chosen time and again to perpetuate and escalate violent conflict by firing on innocent civilians in Israel,” he said in an email. “Let it be clear: Congress stands with Israel as it defends itself and its citizens against this heinous terrorist group. Israeli civilians continue to live under the constant threat of rockets and mortars from Gaza, which is why Congress must immediately pass the bipartisan U.S. – Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act to protect our ally and preserve Israel’s qualitative military edge in the region.”

Rep. Eliot L. Engel, the ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs came out with a statement on Thursday also strongly confronting Hamas and its actions.

“I strongly condemn the indiscriminate Hamas rocket attacks against Israel over the last hours, which have already injured dozens of civilians and risk the lives of thousands,” he said. “Further, I support Israel’s right to self-defense. “No one should have to live under this threat, and no country should be asked to sit on its hands while citizens face a barrage of rockets.

“The situation in Gaza is heartbreaking,” he continued, “but completely avoidable if Hamas were to change its behavior.”

Or will we be reading similar comments of condemnations and rebuke ad infinitum while the Jewish people in the Southern Negev wait for this Hamas abomination to end.

On Thursday night, Hamas declared a cease fire, brokered by Egypt. What happens next is anyone’s guess.