This morning, I have continued our efforts here in Strasbourg, France on behalf of building support for the State of Israel in the current struggle with Hezbollah. It was gratifying to see that the United States House of Representatives passed a resolution with a vote of 410 to 8 which supports the State of Israel in its current confrontation. The House resolution could not have been stronger and could not have come at a more important time. House leadership cited Israels unique relationship with the United States as a reason to support this swift action in the U.S. House of Representatives. The United States Senate passed a similar resolution on Tuesday.
What is most gratifying for the State of Israel is that from an international perspective, things have clearly moved in their direction. Even Kofi Annans statements from the United Nations recognized Israels right to defend itself. As we pointed out in our legal memorandum:
It is a fundamental principle of international law that a nation may engage in legitimate self-defense. That principle is enshrined in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter and is also recognized as part of customary international law.
Israel's current military activities are aimed against Hamas and Hezbollah, two radical Islamic terrorist groups, the former in Gaza and the West Bank and the latter in Lebanon, in response to their unprovoked attacks on Israel and its citizens and armed forces.
In my meetings with leaders of the European Parliament, there has been a decisive shift in support of Israel. The fact that the Arab countries are not united presents an unprecedented opportunity to remove and neutralize the threat of Hezbollah and Hamas. Specifically, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have not come to the aid of Hezbollah or Hamas. The government of Lebanon will be making a significant mistake if it sides with Hezbollah terrorists. I view this military action of Israel as an attempt to liberate the people of Lebanon from an ongoing terrorist threat.
Importantly, Israel has opened up humanitarian channels so that aid can be given to civilians who have been impacted by this action. The Israeli government has also continued a build-up of tanks and troops at the Lebanon border. To remove the threat of Hezbollah, ground action may well be necessary. Now is not the time for a cease-fire. While we all hope for ultimate peace in the region, it is not realistic to have Israel see the success that it has militarily and then pull back, thereby allowing Hezbollah to rebuild. This terrorist threat must be neutralized once and for all. President Bush has done an outstanding job in backing our loyal ally, Israel. At this critical time, it is important for all of us to stand united in this most significant battle. On our radio broadcast today, we will have noted author and Middle East expert David Brog.
I would encourage you to continue to stand with Israel and sign on to our Proclamation for Solidarity by clicking here.