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Mr. Speaker, as the fighting in the Middle East rages on, many in the media and the elites in Europe have asserted with self-righteous indignation that Israel's response to Hamas' acts of terror is not appropriate, and Israel should unilaterally cease all military operations. They cite inflated numbers of Palestinian civilians killed in this war and blame Israel for the death; never mind the fact that the coward of the desert, Hamas, uses Palestinian men, women and children at mosques, schools and hospitals as shields; never mind the fact that before bombing a military target in Gaza, Israel calls the area and advises the civilians to leave; and never mind the fact that since 2000 more than 8,000 rockets have been fired by Hamas into Israel civilian settlements. Mr. Speaker, Israel must defend its people from these attacks.

The truth is, Mr. Speaker, that the moral differences between Hamas and Israel could not be clearer. Hamas worships death, Israel worships life. Hamas supports terrorism, Israel supports liberty. Hamas oppresses women, Israel honors women. Hamas destroys, Israel builds. Hamas believes in the pursuit of misery and Israel believes in the pursuit of happiness. Hamas supports crucifixion, Israel supports mercy. Hamas honors murder, Israel honors the sanctity of life. Hamas kills people with different religious beliefs, Israel embraces the freedom of religion. Hamas incites hatred, Israel believes in tolerance. Hamas is racist, Israel believes in the equality of all. Hamas believes in chaos, Israel believes in justice. Hamas promotes anarchy, and Israel promotes peace. The moral canyon that separates Israel from Hamas is best described by Hamas' own motto, and I quote, ``We love death more than the Jews love life.''

Hamas not only doesn't care about killing Jews, it doesn't care about killing Palestinians either. They use living Palestinians as human shields. Hamas prevents humanitarian aid from Israel from reaching Palestinians in Gaza.

The international community has begun calling for an immediate cease-fire, especially the Europeans, asking and telling Israel they must unilaterally stop this war. Mr. Speaker, some in Europe don't believe that anything is worth fighting for, but some things are worth fighting for. The basic human right of liberty is worth fighting for whether Europeans believe in it or not.

The last thing Israel ought to agree to is another phony peace. Israel did that 3 years ago with Lebanon and look what happened; the U.N.-mandated disarmament of Hezbollah failed miserably. Hezbollah has rearmed, and in fact just last week began firing more rockets on Israel.

There can be no peace in this war as long as Hamas is allowed to murder in the name of religion. Rather than bending to the pressure of world opinion, Israel ought to continue to protect her right to exist and the rights of her people to live free. The world must demand that Hamas cease all rocket fire and smuggling of arms from Egypt into Gaza.

Hamas needs to leave Israel alone. Just today, Osama bin Laden issued a 20-minute recording calling for a jihad against Israel. Jihad is another phrase for a holy war against Israel for its actions in Gaza. All the eyes of the world, especially the moderate Arab states, are looking to this conflict to see whether Iran and its hired guns, Hamas and Hezbollah, are victorious.

Hezbollah and Hamas, these twin tribes of terror, must be stopped. Unless they are, Iran will be encouraged to be more aggressive in the region and assert its influence over moderate Arab states. You see, Iran and the little fellow Ahmadinejad are the real threats to peace in the desert sands of the Middle East.

This is not the time to be rattled by the terrorist threats. This is the time to stand with the only democracy in the Middle East for the right of her self-defense, Israel. It's the right thing to do. Israel's war of self-defense is morally just. And Mr. Speaker, justice is the one thing we should always find.

And that's just the way it is.

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