RECOGNIZING ISRAEL'S RIGHT TO DEFEND ITSELF AGAINST ATTACKS FROM GAZA -- (Extensions of Remarks - January 13, 2009)
Mr. GRAVES. Madam Speaker, I wish to express my strong support for House Resolution 34, recognizing Israel's universal and sovereign right to defend itself from acts of war and aggression, and reaffirming the United States' strong support for Israel in our mutual fight against terrorism.
The cause of the present crisis is clear. Hamas, a terrorist organization committed to the destruction of Israel, has continually violated the territorial integrity of the State of Israel, a member of the United Nations, by launching thousands of rocket attacks from Gaza for the purpose of terrorizing and killing the citizens of Israel.
Hamas has received substantial support in its campaign of terror from other rogue nations, most notably Iran, which has provided Hamas with the material and expertise to conduct their rocket attacks.
In responding to these attacks, Israel is exercising its sovereign right to self defense, a legitimate right recognized by the international community.
Unfortunately, rather than lay the blame for this crisis where it belongs, with Hamas and its leadership, too many of our international allies have instead criticized Israel.
Blaming Israel for this present situation is akin to blaming the victim of a crime for the actions of a criminal. These criticisms of a sovereign state exercising its legitimate right to self defense will only embolden Hamas and terrorists everywhere.
House Resolution 34 recognizes that it is Hamas that is responsible for this present crisis and expresses our nation's solidarity with our friends and allies in Israel during their time of great danger. It is for this reason that I wish to express my strong support for House Resolution 34.