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Friday, June 04, 2010

Marco Rubio: 'Of course we should stand with Israel'

If any of you vote in Florida, I sure hope you're voting for Marco Rubio.
I am alarmed that our long-standing solidarity with Israel has been thrown into doubt by a White House that seems to be playing a proverbial game of jump ball, whereby the world wonders on which side America will stand. Of course, we should stand with Israel. Doing otherwise sends a dangerously emboldening signal to Israel’s enemies.

Sadly, this recent flotilla event is only the latest example of the extent to which our special relationship with Israel has been diminished under the current Administration. Iran and its terrorist proxies have surely been watching approvingly as Washington continues these misguided policies.

As many in the international community use this flotilla incident to predictably rally against Israel, it is important to stand firmly behind our ally. In no way can the U.S. allow a path to be cleared that would enable the United Nations or any international body to discredit and diminish our democratic friend and partner. If Israel’s right to self-defense is undermined by misguided efforts to lift its legal and necessary blockade of Gaza, which serves to stop Hamas from arming itself with deadly weapons, there will be lasting consequences not only for Israel, but also for the U.S. and the entire world.

Make no mistake: while we await all the facts to emerge about this incident, it is clear the sponsors and participants of the Free Gaza Movement’s Flotilla have been thoroughly documented in their support of violent extremism. A far cry from being “humanitarian relief workers,” the activists on board the Mavi Marmara had a cache of bulletproof vests, night vision goggles and gas masks. This was no humanitarian mission.

Additionally, knowing that the blockade of Gaza exists for a legitimate reason and that Israel already provides avenues for true humanitarian efforts to reach the Palestinian people, this latest incident is a striking provocation by Israel’s opponents.

For the entirety of its existence, Israel has been targeted for annihilation by its enemies and we must never do anything to undermine its right to protect its people. As enemies such as Iran develop nuclear weapons that pose an existential threat to Israel, America has a responsibility to continue serving as its strongest and most steadfast ally.

Israel is a valued American ally and our closest and most reliable friend in the Middle East. Israel is neither the problem nor the obstacle to peace, and it should not be treated as one. By strengthening the U.S.-Israel alliance, we also strengthen the moderate, pro-U.S. elements in the Arab world. If the U.S. shows itself to be an unreliable ally to Israel, moderate Arab states will take note that they cannot trust the U.S. to be a reliable friend for them either. This is unacceptable for the future of U.S. security, Israel’s existence and the prospects for a lasting peace in the Middle East.
Someone who gets it. Indeed.


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