Three U.S. senators wrote a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to ensure that any ceasefire promoted by the U.S. must eliminate the ability of Hamas to continue terrorizing Israel.
New York’s senior senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), along with Delaware’s Senator Ben Cardin (D) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-N.C.) pointed out that it would be of no utility to impose a ceasefire until Israeli citizens can be assured that they will not continue living under a constant threat.
Unlike many public statement emanating from Washington, D.C., these three senators did not equate Israel’s killing of civilians, with the targeting of civilians by Hamas.
The three senators wrote that Israel’s military has taken “great pains to avoid unnecessary civilian casualties.” Whereas the rockets launched by Hamas “have only one purpose: to kill as many innocent Israelis as possible.”
“Any cease fire should create a situation in which Israeli citizens no longer face the threat of brazen terrorist attacks,” said the senators.
“Israeli citizens have faced over 1800 rocket launches from Hamas since June. While Iron Dome has saved countless lives, over five million Israelis live in fear of incoming rockets fired indiscriminately from Gaza. Twenty-eight tunnels have been discovered by the IDF since the ground operation in Gaza began. Israel has an absolute right to defend its citizens and ensure the survival of the State of Israel.
“The threats posed by Hamas rockets and tunnels whose only purpose is to kill and kidnap Israelis are intolerable, and Israel must be allowed to take any actions necessary to remove those threats. Any effort to broker a ceasefire agreement that does not eliminate those threats cannot be sustained in the long run and will leave Israel vulnerable to future attacks.”
It is not known whether the senators intend to introduce a resolution into congress so that the message would have a little more bite than simply a letter. A resolution does not have the effect of law, it is merely an expression of the sentiment of congress, but it would require other legislators to take a position.
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.
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