Thank You Rep. FranksI'm not talking Barny Frank here. Please read the comments of Representative Trent Franks from Arizona. They are reprinted below in their entirety.
All I can add is:
Thank you Representative Franks for your moral clarity and courageous position. I wish my congressional representative saw things as clearly as you do.
January 9, 2009 – Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-02) today made the following remarks on the House Floor in support of Israel, in light of the ongoing conflict with Hamas.
Mr. Speaker, the most fundamental purpose for any government is its national defense and the protection of its citizens. I stand here today in heartfelt support for Israel and its right to defend its innocent citizens from the attacks of a relentless enemy that seeks its destruction.
The conflict unfolding in Israel's heartland today is not unfamiliar to the Israeli people. Since its establishment in 1948, the tiny State of Israel— 22 of which could fit into our state of California— has faced enemies on every side that openly oppose its right to exist and actively work to bring about its destruction.
Indeed, Israel has never known a reality where its very existence was not threatened by this insidious ideology called jihad; an ideology so sinister as to make men and women leap for joy at killing their own children in order to be able to kill the children of others— whether that means flying commercial airplanes into the World Trade Center, or sending a Qassam rocket into the side of a bus carrying small children to school.
Mr. Speaker, in Imperial China, there was a terrible form of execution known as death by a thousand cuts. It was an unspeakably cruel demonstration meant to terrify observers into submission. Israel is fighting to stop the "death by a thousand cuts" strategy used by Hamas to inflict constant, incessant destruction and terror on the Israeli citizens— and the nation of Israel has acted nobly for the sake of innocent Israelis as well as innocent Palestinian civilians to justly refuse to allow the bloodletting to continue.
Hamas was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the United States in 1995, and it is a known proxy of the Iranian regime which openly seeks to see Israel wiped from the face of the earth. The governing charter of Hamas openly calls for the destruction of the State of Israel, with the goal of raising the banner of jihad over every square inch of Israel.
And still time after time, Mr. Speaker, Israel has acted in good faith and has extended gestures of goodwill toward its Palestinian neighbors and Hamas, including its complete disengagement from the Gaza strip in 2005, and its commitment to target only military installations, despite the routine attacks against its own women and children on almost a daily basis.
In all of its conflicts, Israel seeks to minimize civilian causalities; Hamas seeks to maximize them.
Hamas has broken every ceasefire agreement and every honorable rule of war by deliberately embedding their terrorist militants and weapons caches in the homes of private citizens, and in schools, hospitals, and mosques; and Hamas has repeatedly used innocent Palestinian civilians as human shields while deliberately targeting Israeli civilians.
There is no moral equivalence here, Mr. Speaker.
Hamas and Israel are guided by two completely opposite philosophies; one is committed to equality and human dignity under God, and one is committed to a totalitarian ideology of hatred and intolerance. One is devoted to protecting innocent human life, and one commands its destruction.
When a ceasefire agreement was reached between Israel and Hamas last June, Hamas used the opportunity to build up its stockpiles of rockets and other weapons that now threaten approximately one million Israelis.
And now, Mr. Speaker, in a struggle for peace and survival, Israel is once again forced to carry out defensive action against Hamas in order to stop the terrorizing of its innocent civilians.
And once again, certain members of the international community are calling on Israel to exercise "restraint."
Mr. Speaker, if 6000 rockets had fallen on an American city over a space of four years, what would we say to anyone who called upon us to restrain ourselves in and effort to protect our own citizens?
If those same members of the international community who so harshly criticize Israel for its defensive actions had to suffer for one week under these indiscriminate, incessant attacks against their own families and loved ones, as Israel has done for decades, I would submit that the lairs of Hamas would have been made ashes once and for all long ago.
Charles Krauthammer recently wrote in the Washington Post something I wish every world leader could understand. He said, "Some geopolitical conflicts are morally complicated. The Israel-Gaza war is not. It possesses a moral clarity not only rare, but excruciating."
Mr. Speaker, I could not agree with his words more.
If the beleaguered Jewish people have learned anything in their struggles for survival over the millennia against enemies who have sought their complete annihilation, it is, as one Holocaust survivor said, when someone says they intend to kill you, believe them.
Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah stated that, “We have discovered how to hit the Jews where they are most vulnerable. The Jews love life, so that is what we shall take from them. We will win because the Jews love life, and we love death.”
Wael Al-Zarad, a Hamas cleric, said "As Muslims, our blood vengeance against them will only subside with their annihilation..."
And Egyptian Cleric Safwat Higazi gave this mandate to jihadists on Hamas TV: "...We say to you: Dispatch those sons of apes and pigs to the Hellfire on the wings of the Qassam rockets. Jihad is our path... This is our strategic option, and not peace. ...They [the Jews] deserve to be killed. They deserve to die. You should not care if you hit a man, a woman, or a child. ...Destroy... everything...."
What horrifying words, Mr. Speaker, even when we hear them in the safe enclaves of our own homes and work places in America. But for the people of Israel, such words mean terror and death.
Mr. Speaker, America's enemies and Israel's enemies are the same. Both of us face the reality of radical Islamic jihadists, who would see our nations wiped from the face of the earth. Both of nations have been struck deeply, and in Israel's case, repeatedly, by this same evil ideology, that murdered Olympic athletes in 1972, that took American hostages in Iran, that murdered Marines in their barracks in 1993, that bombed the World Trade Center in 1993, Riyadh in 1995, the Khobar Towers in 1996, the embassy in 1998, and the USS Cole in 2000. And then, Mr. Speaker, this murderess ideology massacred nearly 3,000 Americans on September 11.
And this enemy makes little distinction between those who support Israel, and Israel itself. For that reason, Mr. Speaker, we must realize that an attack on Israel is an attack on America and freedom itself.
Listen to the words of Sheikh Ahmad Bahr, Acting Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council. He said, "America and Israel will be annihilated ....kill them all, down to the very last one."
Mr. Speaker, any policy of the United Nations or the United States must articulate three concepts as prerequisites to any agreement reached between Israel and Hamas. It must reject any moral equivalence between Hamas and Israel; it must place the blame for this current conflict squarely on the shoulders of Hamas; and it must clearly restate that America's commitment to the State of Israel remains unshakeable.
We stand with Israel not as Republicans, not as Democrats, but as Americans and fellow members of the human family, equal heirs of those unalienable gifts of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, which we recognize as basic human freedoms. We stand with the innocent people of Israel who have been terrorized on a daily basis, some for as long as they can remember— and we also stand with the courageous Palestinian souls who also long for freedom and peace with their Israeli neighbors.
Mr. Speaker, President Harry Truman, who formally recognized the State of Israel only 11 minutes after Israel had declared its independence, said: "I had faith in Israel before it was established, I have faith in it now. I believe it has a glorious future before it—not just another sovereign nation, but as an embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization."Mr. Speaker, we recognize those words to be true and believe that the cause of liberty will prevail in the land of Israel as it has before; and that Israel does indeed have a glorious future yet before it.
Throughout its history the hand of God has been upon Israel, and today we join in solidarity with the State of Israel and its people, with innocent Palestinians, and with all who love peace and freedom, and pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.