Rep. Smith: Israel’s right to defend itself from Hamas invasion is absolute

U.S. must do everything it can to help


By Rep. Chris Smith – – Wednesday, October 25, 2023


Our great friend and ally Israel — with significant assistance from the United States — continues to respond to the cowardly Hamas invasion that includes psychotic terrorists butchering and raping innocent civilians, beheading babies, taking hostages, and conducting daily, indiscriminate missile attacks that are reminiscent of Nazi buzz bombs and V-2 rockets.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said in the past that he would never allow a second holocaust. Nor should we.

Antisemitism is at the root of Hamas’ violence against Israel and every Jewish man, woman and child.

Antisemitism — absolute hatred of Israel and Jews — is the reason for this genocide.

Israel’s right to defend itself from this invasion is absolute.

The preamble of Hamas’ 1988 charter demands the absolute destruction of the state of Israel and proclaims: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it.”

Article 7 of the Hamas charter demands the slaughter of all Jews: “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: ‘O Moslem, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.’”

Article 13 explicitly rejects initiatives for peace and reconciliation and states: “Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement.”

In its 2017 charter, Hamas reiterates its goal of wiping Israel off the face of the earth: “There is no alternative to a fully sovereign Palestinian State on the entire national Palestinian soil, with Jerusalem as its capital.”

At a congressional hearing I chaired in June on confronting the escalating antisemitic hate and violence in the Middle East, Itamar Marcus, founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch, reminded us that every Palestinian terrorist who has been convicted of a terrorist act is paid a salary by the Palestinian Liberation Army while serving time in prison. He testified that “100% of the murderers are honored; 100% in jail for murdering Jews receive Palestinian Authority salaries” — often referred to as “pay to slay.”

Like the Nazis before them, Hamas and its chief terrorism sponsor, Iran, are committing genocide against the Jews.

The United States — and all people committed to human rights and the rule of law — must stand with Israel.

That means our moral support and prayers. That means ensuring that critical intelligence is shared and every weapon system needed to destroy Hamas — including the Iron Dome defense system — is conveyed to Israel in quantities commensurate to the challenge and without delay.

Meanwhile, over the past two weeks, I have received requests for safe passage from more than 700 of my constituents stranded in Israel — including those who have relatives and friends in Israel — who want to return to the United States as soon as possible but are unable to do so.

A few hours after the invasion, I pressed State Department officials to provide immediate evacuation assistance for U.S. citizens. By Monday, Oct. 9, I escalated the request and wrote directly to President Biden, urging him to use all appropriate U.S. resources, including military aircraft, for the immediate evacuation of American citizens in Israel who are desperately trying to get home. I also pressed Biden administration officials again at a closed-door briefing in Washington two days later.

It took nearly a week — unconscionably long and unnecessarily dangerous — but the State Department finally initiated a “plan” for departure assistance. It’s a start, but more needs to be done. I am continuing to demand that the State Department execute a more robust plan and work to ensure that transportation assistance — including military flights back to the United States — are available.

In addition, I have introduced legislation (HR 5965) to reimburse Americans for the cost of flights out of Israel in these dark days and to conduct an independent investigation into possible price gouging by airlines that are looking to take advantage of the dire circumstances in order to make a profit. We need to have the backs of our fellow Americans who are in harm’s way and do everything we can to help them get home.

Chris Smith is a Republican member of Congress from New Jersey and chairman of the Foreign Affairs Human Rights and Global Health Subcommittee.

Israel’s right to defend itself from Hamas invasion is absolute – Washington Times