by Javier Manjarres
As Israel continues to strike at key Hamas targets within the Gaza Strip, members of Florida’s Republican congressional delegation are offering their unreserved support for Israel against its terrorist adversaries as well as chiding President Barack Obama for the weak posture he has adopted vis-a-vis Israel. The Obama administration claims that it supports Israel’s right to defend herself, but there is widespread feeling that Obama will not fully have Israel’s back diplomatically or militarily should the crisis escalate.
Israel’s military is now calling up its reserves in anticipation of an imminent ground assault into Gaza to ‘clean out’ the terrorist elements of the Hamas-led Palestinian government, and Israel troops are assembling along the border should the assault be ordered.
Three of Florida’s members of Congress, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, Congressmen Allen West and Gus Bilirakis each released statements regarding the escalating conflict in the Gaza Strip.
“I lament the loss of innocent civilian lives. I stand with Israel and her right to self-defense against Hamas terrorists that seek to destroy her and have been attacking Israel through rocket attacks.”- Senator Marco Rubio
“For years, Israelis have lived under the constant threat of rockets from Hamas-controlled Gaza. In this year alone, over 800 rockets have been fired from Gaza into southern Israel, threatening the lives of all those who live there. Peace is only attainable if Hamas ceases these unjustifiable attacks. However, until then, Israel should be allowed to defend itself against these acts of terror. We must continue to support our strongest democratic ally in the region and encourage others to do so, as well.” –Rep. Gus Bilirakis
Congressman Allen West, never one to mince his words, gave President Obama some pretty detailed advice as to what kind of action the U.S. military should be engaging in-
“For the first time in some 20 years, enemy rockets and missiles have fallen near the Israeli city of Tel Aviv. The government of Israel has noted that, since the beginning of 2012, more than 768 rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza, and over 12,000 in the past 12 years. Israel, like any nation, has the right to defend itself against such vicious attacks. There is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel. I strongly condemn the actions of a known radical Islamic terrorist organization, Hamas.
Hamas claims to have the best interests of the Palestinian people at heart, yet it continues to engage in violence that does nothing but set back the Palestinian cause. Attacking Israel on a near daily basis does nothing to help Palestinians in Gaza, nor to move the Palestinian people any closer to achieving self-determination and independence. My greater concern is the alliance between the Muslim Brotherhood-controlled government of Egypt and Hamas. Egypt possesses a modern military force and if under the control of radical Islamists, namely Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood, could pose a serious threat to Israel from the Sinai desert. Further exacerbating this situation are the unaccounted for shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles that escaped from Libya.
From the north, we must recognize the potential threat from Hasan Nasrallah and Hezbollah with their medium- and long-range rockets and missiles. Since the 11thanniversary of 9-11 United States Embassy and Consulate attacks, we have seen a growing threat in the Middle East. This threat, the common radical Islamic enemy of Israel and America, now feels emboldened from a foreign policy of appeasement, the so-called pivot from the Middle East, and a posture of “provocative weakness.” Indeed the enemies of Israel paid attention to actions, not words or phone calls, and since President Obama decided not to visit our best ally, they associated that with a green light.
Our best response at this time would be a demonstration of naval strength, such as to move an Amphibious Ready Group (ARG)/Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) into theater to provide a show of force in support of Israel. We also should have additional missile defense systems alerted for deployment.
Now is a time when Israel, the world, and their enemies must know, by action, that the United States of America will never abandon the State of Israel and that never again, truly means never again.
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