'There can be no moral equivalence between terrorism and self-defense. The President must give Israel the time and space it needs to achieve its military objectives in Gaza. America should assist Israel with any intelligence, planning, and resources their military requires.'
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks Tuesday on the Senate floor regarding Israel:
"In the coming days and weeks, the Senate will work urgently to address several major, related threats to the American people, our allies, and our interests at home and abroad.
"After Russia's escalation against Ukraine last year, the savage Iran-backed terrorist attacks on Israel once again reminded the civilized world of the persistent evil that demands our attention and our action.
"The United States must stand with our ally, Israel, for as long as it takes to restore its security.
"And we have a responsibility not to look away from the brutality and inhumanity that terrorists inflicted on innocent Israeli men, women, and children.
"Unfortunately, our own Western media haven't made that task any easier.
"Some of the most disturbing firsthand accounts reported the savages responsible for the October 7 attacks had beheaded Israeli infants and committed other unspeakable atrocities.
"Some in the press leapt to express skepticism and even discredit the reports of eyewitnesses.
"But these sickening accounts were proven to be true.
"In an especially reckless example, America's 'paper of record' took the word of Gaza's terrorist overlords and actually announced to the world that an apparent explosion at a hospital had been an Israeli strike that killed hundreds of people.
"We now know it was the terrorists themselves whose rockets struck a Palestinian civilian target. But as the saying goes, this dangerous lie had traveled around the world before truth had literally laced up its shoes.
"Perhaps, the corporate media organizations that have spent years warning about disinformation should exercise a bit more caution with the claims of a terrorist organization that uses civilians as human shields.
"So let's get a few things straight:
"There is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. People are suffering.
"But the blame for their suffering belongs solely to the terrorists who divert humanitarian and economic assistance and build terror tunnels and rocket launchers instead.
"And the solution is not to use the same corrupted mechanisms to allow Hamas to further exploit this crisis of its own making.
"The Israeli government's stated intention is to destroy Hamas' capacity to wage war and end its stranglehold on Gaza. And the West has every reason to expect that Israel will hold itself, as it always does, to the highest standards of human conduct.
"But make no mistake: war is Hell. This will be a difficult, bloody, and costly fight. And we know Hamas' propaganda machine will do everything possible to exploit every inadvertent civilian casualty.
"There can be no moral equivalence between terrorism and self-defense.
"The President must give Israel the time and space it needs to achieve its military objectives in Gaza. America should assist Israel with any intelligence, planning, and resources their military requires.
"This includes coordinating closely with Israel to ensure new channels for international humanitarian assistance prevent Hamas from again expropriating it.
"Hamas is Israel's primary focus, but it is clear Iran's Hizballah proxies in Syria and Lebanon are toeing up to the line. Israel has responded quickly and decisively for repeated attacks from Lebanon in recent weeks, and the United States and other Israeli partners should make clear that Hizballah and Iran will face devastating consequences if they escalate the situation.
"Unfortunately, terrorists have also escalated their attacks on American forces in the region.
"Reports indicate multiple attacks in recent days in Iraq and Syria. As one U.S. official put it, there are, 'red lights flashing everywhere'.
"Deterrence has failed and the United States must restore it before Iran-backed terrorists kill Americans. We must strike back hard at anyone who targets U.S. personnel.
"More broadly, it's time for President Biden to close the book on his failed Iran policy. It is past time to work with Republicans to craft a bipartisan Iran strategy that will actually outlive this Administration, unite America's allies, and counter the full range of threats Iran poses to the region and to the world.
"This has to include confronting Iran's role as the world's most active state sponsor of terror. We ignore this growing threat at our peril."