Rep. Smith: Evacuating US Citizens From Israel Must Be Top US Priority

Rep. Chris Smith called the attacks on Israel “the logical consequence of unbridled antisemitism.”

LAKEWOOD, NJ — U.S. Rep. Chris Smith is urging President Joe Biden to “use all appropriate US resources and tools” to immediately evacuate U.S. citizens who are stuck in Israel in the midst of the Hamas attacks on Israel that have killed hundreds of people.

Smith, who represents New Jersey’s 4th District including much of northern Ocean County, spoke out in support of Israel and against the attacks, which have caught hundreds of U.S. citizens in Israel, calling the attacks “the logical consequence of unbridled antisemitism.”

“This is where it all leads,” Smith said in an interview on Fox News, “massive slaughter simply because a Jewish person happens to be a Jewish person. It won’t stop there.”

The attacks have led authorities including the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office to step up patrols around synagogues and other entities in the county, which has seen antisemitic attacks on residents in the last several years. A Manchester man is still awaiting trial on state and federal terrorism charges in an attack that injured three men in 2022 that authorities say was motivated by antisemitism.

Smith said that the deep and close relationship between the United States and Israel, as well as the observance of the recent Sukkot holiday, means thousands of U.S. citizens and dual U.S.-Israeli citizens were in Israel with family and friends when Hamas initiated its terrorist attack.

“In the past 36 hours I have received many reports from constituents who are U.S. citizens currently in Israel, or whose relatives and friends are US citizens currently in Israel, and who seek to return to the United States as soon as possible but are unable to do so,” Smith said in a letter to Biden.

At least 20 U.S. citizens are unaccounted for and 14 Americans have been confirmed as killed in the attacks, the Associated Press reported.

“As you must be aware, most airlines have canceled flights out of Israel, with little information about when they may resume,” he wrote. “Remaining flights do not suffice to evacuate the large number of US nationals in Israel, and the Administration should consider engaging or facilitating chartered flights to get our citizens home.”

“Given the unprecedentedly savage nature of Hamas’s sneak attack — which included the abduction and threat to execute hostages, the systematic committing of unspeakable atrocities on civilians, and the threat that Iran or its proxies will trigger a general war in the region — we have an obligation to give Israel the support it needs to decisively defeat its terrorist enemies,” Smith wrote.

“At the same time, you must move heaven and earth to get U.S. citizens out from harm’s way,” Smith said. “The dangers these U.S. citizens face are so grave, and the responsibility of the US Government for their safety so paramount, that their evacuation must be the uppermost immediate priority of the U.S. Government.”

Evacuating US Citizens From Israel Must Be Top US Priority, Smith Says | Lakewood, NJ Patch