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Sunday, June 16, 2024 - 01:40 AM


First Published in 1994


Speaker Johnson Tees up Israel Aid Vote as Urgency Grows

On Wednesday, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) announced that the text for a bill giving aid to Israel would be released in the wake of Iran’s extraordinary attack on the Jewish state over the weekend. Experts and lawmakers say Israel needs the full backing of the U.S. as the existential threats against the only democracy in the Middle East continue to heighten.

The White House announced Tuesday that it would place new sanctions on the Iranian regime in response to its attack over the weekend that rained down over 300 missiles and drones on Israel, the first direct attack of its kind in decades. The sanctions will target Iran’s “missile and drone program as well as new sanctions against entities supporting the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Iran’s Defense Ministry,” according to National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

But lawmakers like Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) say that Biden’s use of sanctions alone and his refusal to participate in retaliatory strikes on Iran are part of a “disastrous” foreign policy strategy.

“[T]elling Iran that Israel’s on its own … after being hit with 300 drones and ballistic missiles coming from Iran … just emboldens the Iranians and emboldens Hezbollah and emboldens Hamas,” he contended on “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” Tuesday. “It is the dumbest thing I’ve heard any president say regarding the Mideast conflict, telling the ayatollah, ‘You just attacked Israel with 300 weapons and Israel is going to hit you back, but they’ll be doing it without us’ — [it] just invites more aggression.”

Graham went on to detail the extent of the threat presented by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader.

“Rocket man in North Korea — I don’t think he’s going to attack America tomorrow. He’s kind of a thug, a mafia guy. Putin’s crazy, but I don’t think he’s going to attack America tomorrow. China is a bad actor. What’s the difference between the ayatollah and everybody I’ve just talked about? The ayatollah is a religious Nazi. Here’s what people don’t understand. If the ayatollah had a nuclear weapon, he would use it in the name of Allah.”

Graham continued, “His goal is to destroy the Jewish state, to purify Islam and come after the infidels like us. Hitler wrote a book about what he was going to do to the Jews and others. Nobody believed it. The ayatollah and his henchmen talk every day about the destruction of the Jewish state. … The ayatollah wants a master religion. The Nazis wanted a master race. The Jews are not going to let this happen twice. I’m with our friends in Israel.”

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins concurred, telling Israeli Knesset Member Ohad Tal during Tuesday’s edition of “Washington Watch” that “the Biden administration does not … reflect the views of, I believe, a majority of Americans” who largely support Israel.

“I agree with you,” Tal responded. “I think the vast majority of Americans, as I know them, do not accept these policies. We all know Genesis 12:3, right? ‘I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you.’ But again, to be honest, according to the steps that the administration is doing in recent weeks and months, we are asking ourselves whether the administration is blessing Israel or, God forbid, is cursing Israel. … [W]hen they impose the ‘two-state solution’ [as a] solution on Israel after October 7th, it’s basically telling the terrorists of Hamas, ‘You want to achieve your goals, keep doing what you’re doing, keep using terror. That will be the right path to go.’ That’s a horrible, horrible message in the Middle East.”

Tal further expanded on how a two-state solution approach has failed in the past and is destined for future failure.

“In 2005, we gave [the entire] Gaza Strip to the Palestinians,” he explained. “All [resources from the international community] went to terror, not to build resorts, not to invest in education, only in terror. So what the American administration is now suggesting is to give the heart of our land, Judea and Samaria, Jericho and Hebron and Shiloh and all these places to the Palestinians in order to establish another terrorist state at the heart of Israel, just a few kilometers from Tel Aviv, from Ben Gurion Airport, from Jerusalem. Does that make any sense?”

Tal also acknowledged the unique challenge facing Israel in the current moment. “I think for the first time, Israel is really in a difficult situation trying to defend itself [on] seven fronts. We are fighting in Gaza, we are fighting in Lebanon, we are fighting in Syria, we are fighting in Iraq, we are fighting with the Houthis, we are fighting in Judea and Samaria. We are fighting seven fronts.”

Still, Tal concluded that Israel possesses a unique resilience that has been borne out by history.

“We are strong. You know, I’ve heard from [former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S.] Ron Dermer, who said that as ambassador, he met a lot of ambassadors from all over the world. But he never met the ambassador of the empire of Persia, and he never met the ambassador of the Roman Empire. All those superpowers who tried to destroy us … they [don’t] exist anymore. We’re still here.”