WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) spoke on the Senate floor to express her concerns with President Biden’s lack of support for Israel.
To watch Senator Blackburn’s speech, click below or here.
You can read the transcript recorded in the Congressional Records below or click here.
Mrs. BLACKBURN. Madam President, over the past week, the Palestinian
terrorist organization Hamas has launched more than 3,000 rockets at
civilian targets in Israel. Violent mobs have taken over the streets of
Jerusalem, and even seasoned veterans of the Palestinian-Israeli
conflict have expressed shock at the intensity of the violence.
This isn't normal. This isn't the Middle East version of the
Resistance. This is terrorism. Still, pro-Hamas activists have flooded
the media with Instagram-friendly content condemning Israel for
defending itself and questioning the legitimacy of Israel's very
existence, which is an argument that in any other context would bring
all hell down on the person foolish enough to say it out loud.
The level of denial and misinformation about what is happening in
Israel and why it is happening is appalling. Nearly every single member
of the United Nations Security Council embarrassed themselves this
weekend by embracing a generic draft statement condemning the violence
but refusing to acknowledge the hundreds of Hamas rockets that started
The U.N. has a shameful history of ignoring threats and violence
against Israel, but rarely in recent memory has the Security Council so
blatantly regurgitated anti-Israel propaganda while Israeli civilians
cower in fear under persistent rocket fire.
Thankfully, the U.S. mission blocked the statement's release, but I
think it is important--important--to inject a little reality into the
First, we must acknowledge that Israel has the absolute right to
defend itself, no matter the state of their relations with the
Palestinian Authority. There is a world of difference between a state-
sponsored terrorist attack on a civilian population and action taken to
stop that attack. We have a responsibility to counter the dangerous
argument that because Hamas currently lacks the weapons capability to
win this battle, Israel must stand by and allow terrorists to slaughter
Second, I would encourage all of my colleagues to join me in making
it clear that the United States is and will remain Israel's closest
friend and ally. We will continue to assist with the development and
production of advanced missile defense systems like the Iron Dome. We
will not step away from that obligation simply because celebrity
influencers would rather witness a slaughter than a proportionate
response to mass terror.
Last, it is important to acknowledge that this violence is a symptom
of a much more serious disease. Hamas terrorists may be the ones
launching rockets at civilians, but it is Iran, the world's leading
state sponsor of terror, that is paying for it. That is right, Madam
President--it is Iran, the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism,
that is footing the bill for these attacks. When we provide assistance
and support to Israel, we are not just
protecting an ally; we are containing the destructive influence of our
most belligerent adversary in the Middle East.
This month, the Biden administration traveled to Vienna to negotiate
sanctions relief with Iranian officials. Since then, President Biden
has also spoken to Prime Minister Netanyahu and reaffirmed Israel's
right to defend itself from these attacks.
However, I would take this opportunity to remind my Democratic
colleagues that the United States designated Hamas as a terrorist
organization more than 20 years ago. That is right. For the past two
decades, we have recognized Hamas as a terrorist organization. As a
rule, we do not provide them assistance of any kind. They are a
terrorist organization. But by opening the door to sanctions relief for
Iran, we cannot help but enrich a regime that will not stop until it
destroys Israel. That is their goal. We know it because they have told
us that is their goal. We must not provide sanctions relief to Iran or
give quarter to any regime that allies itself with this evil.
It is my hope that all Americans will take some time this week to
just unplug and think about this and reflect and then pray--pray that
reason and wisdom will prevail as we seek an end to this outbreak of
violence and the defeat of this terrorist group that wants to destroy
the nation of Israel.