Stand With Israel
By GOV. RICK PERRY
August 01, 2014
It’s difficult to imagine the terror that the people of Israel must live
with every day. For Israelis, at any given moment a missile might be detected,
rocketing toward a residential neighborhood; a bomber might detonate him or
herself in a crowded public place; and terrorists sent by Hamas might infiltrate
their borders through secret tunnels to kidnap or kill their children.
of miles away, it might be convenient to criticize Israel for
having the temerity to defend itself against these murderous terrorist attacks.
of us who have been to Israel and have seen the effects of
these attacks first-hand have a deeper understanding of what the Israeli people
are being forced to endure.
On my own visits to Israel, I’ve visited with families
who were afraid to let their children play outside, and seen the fortified
playgrounds where they can go. I’ve seen the rubble of structures brought down
by missile strikes and looked in the eyes of people who live with the threat of
violence day-in and day-out.
conflict between Hamas and Israel is merely one part of a
much-larger conflict, one with far-ranging implications that can affect the
lives of every person on the globe.
begin, anyone tempted to suggest Israel has used a disproportionate
amount of force to defend itself needs to remember the origins of this latest
round of violence. It’s Hamas that continued to launch rockets, despite Israel’s
willingness to discuss and abide by multiple cease-fires. It’s Hamas that uses
Palestinians as human shields to protect its leaders and its arsenals, and to
preserve its extensive system of tunnels. And it’s Hamas that would, if given
the opportunity, take the life of every Israeli within range of its thousands of
needs more than our passive support—it needs our vigorous support. The
overwhelming success of the Iron Dome defense system has been the only thing to
prevent the deaths of thousands of Israelis, and changes nothing in Hamas’
deadly intent. And under the circumstances, Israel’s
response has been anything but disproportionate. In fact, Israel has taken
extraordinary – even unprecedented – measures to protect as many lives as
possible in its efforts to disarm and disable Hamas.
must take the lead in bringing the international community together to demand
the total removal of every missile in
Gaza, as well as the complete destruction of the tunnel
network being used by Hamas terrorists. To facilitate this, the
must use the tools available to us diplomatically and continue to support the
actions of the Israel
Defense Forces. Should the international community fail to join us in sufficient
numbers, the United States
should block actions in the United Nations aimed at preventing Israel from
only is this the right thing to do, it’s also imperative we send the message to
Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations that the free world will not
tolerate their lawless behavior and that aggression toward Israel and its allies
can only lead to negative consequences.
why it was disheartening last weekend to see the United States moving closer to
Turkey and Qatar than to our traditional allies, pressing the Israelis for an
immediate cease-fire instead of allowing them to finish the job.
no doubt that America’s reaction to the Israeli-Gaza conflict is being watched
and gauged by nations like Iran, and our failure to stand firmly beside our ally
will only embolden the Islamic Republic to continue its criminal efforts to
develop and build a nuclear device.
Any equivocation or perceived weakness on our part will be noticed immediately
not just in Tehran, but in Moscow and Beijing
as well. It can only help usher in a new nuclear arms race, one that holds the
potential of becoming infinitely more frightening than the one the free world
endured decades ago. Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist groups have
demonstrated time and again that they have no regard for human life – Israeli,
Palestinian or American. The possibility of individuals like that gaining access
to a nuclear weapon is something we simply cannot allow.
are the very real stakes of the conflict in Israel. While we
pray that the latest cease-fire agreement holds, we need to accept that true,
lasting peace can only happen with the elimination of all missiles in Gaza, the destruction of all tunnels between Gaza and
and the disarmament of terrorist groups.
short of that will just delay the next round of conflict and encourage our
enemies. Only through our resolve, and our continued dedication to the freedom
and safety of the Israeli people, can we ensure that our own safety, and that of
free peoples around the world, will be protected.
Perry is Governor of Texas.