Mr. Speaker, the State of Israel has always been threatened by nations and terror groups that hate Israel simply because it is a Jewish state. In recent years, the threats to Israel have become even more dangerous.
Just this week, 16 people were wounded in a bus bombing in Jerusalem. The volatile civil war in Syria has allowed the region to become a full-blown terrorist haven which directly threatens Israeli security.
Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, the al Nusrah Front, has literally straddled the Syrian-Israeli border. ISIS, which is even more brutal than al-Qaeda, controls large parts of Syria and Iraq, and it won’t be long before they turn their sights on Israel.
Lebanese Hezbollah, which is also heavily imbedded in the Syrian civil war, acts as Iran’s terrorist proxy. Iran has moved advanced weapons systems into Lebanon, including anti-ship cruise missiles, air defense systems, and precision-guided surface-to-surface missiles.
That means Hezbollah has an estimated 150,000 missiles sitting in their stockpile. Equally concerning is that Hezbollah is amassing valuable tactical experience while fighting in this Syrian civil war that could be used against Israel.
Compounding the terrorist threat in Israel is the recent spate of Palestinian lone-wolf attacks, which include stabbings, vehicle ramming, and shootings. The latest wave of attacks has killed 34 people and injured over 400.
Among those killed were two American citizens: Ezra Schwartz of Massachusetts and Taylor Force from my home state of Texas. These attacks are directly fueled by the hateful incitement of the Palestinian Authority which must be stymied.
Meanwhile, down in Gaza, Israeli officials now believe that Hamas has completely replenished its rocket supply that Israel depleted in 2014. Just recently Israeli officials announced the discovery of a new tunnel built by Hamas into leading into Israel.
The sole purpose of these tunnels is to secure arms supply lines and then strike at the heart of Israeli population centers. Aside from terrorism, the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement has led an onslaught of de-legitimization campaigns targeting Israel in recent years.
Five American scholarly associations have already joined this cause citing what they refer to as Israel’s ‘‘violation of human rights.’’ Interestingly, the organizations only boycott Israel and not other countries with much worse human rights records.
Israel must also deal with the fallout from the Iran nuclear deal made by this Administration. Iran’s most recent ballistic missile test launched missiles marked with the words ‘‘Israel must be wiped off the earth.’’
Thanks to this deal, it is only a matter of time before the mullahs in Tehran develop a nuclear weapon and aim it towards Israel. It’s no wonder why Israeli leaders call the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action a ‘‘bad deal’’ that threatens Israel’s survival.
You would think that with all these threats facing our ally Israel, the United States would draw closer to its friend and help it protect itself. But that has not happened.
Despite these threats, our relationship with Israel has become strained under this Administration. We must do more to repair our partnership and protect our friends and allies in Israel from the growing dangers that surround them.
We must recognize that the threats that confront Israel also confront the United States. The same terrorist groups that want to destroy Israel also want to destroy the United States.
The same Iran that calls Israel the ‘little Satan’ also calls the United States the ‘Great Satan’. We must face these common threats together.
And that’s just the way it is.