Our entire world is hurting over the human tragedy and the humanitarian crisis that is unfolding in Israel, Gaza, and the surrounding region. I am absolutely devastated and heartbroken by the countless number of innocent civilian lives that have been lost on both sides of the conflict. This is a profoundly difficult time that is filled with uncertainty, fear, anger, and grief, and no words can fully describe the terrible suffering and atrocities that are occurring in the Middle East at this time.
Hamas’s brutal and orchestrated terrorist attacks on Israel is an unprecedented assault on humanity that must not be ignored or go unpunished. Hamas deliberately targeted civilian sites and raided homes, with the intent to kill and harm thousands of innocent men, women, and children – among those include American citizens. Hamas has taken hundreds of civilian hostages and have made it clear that it will not stop until the State of Israel is destroyed.
The United States must unequivocally condemn Hamas and continue to support Israel as she defends herself and upholds our shared democratic values. It is critical for the integrity and stability of the entire region to bring Hamas to justice and neutralize this dangerous terrorist organization. Under international law, Israel has the indisputable right to defend herself, and must do so without violating humanitarian law by targeting innocent civilians as a part of any military campaign. The ultimate goal of a two-state solution cannot be achieved through forced displacements and bombings that have claimed the lives of so many innocent civilians in Gaza.
As we join the global community in condemning the abhorrent actions of Hamas, it is crucial to remember that the terrorist organization is not representative of the Palestinian people. Hamas has shown no regard for Palestinian lives, and it would be irresponsible to perpetuate the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza. The worsening humanitarian crisis in the region must be urgently addressed, and I stand with the Biden Administration’s call for humanitarian pauses to deliver life-saving support to the millions of conflict-afflicted civilians who are in dire need of clean water, food, medicine, and other essential aid. Additionally, the United States must continue working with regional partners to secure safe passages for Palestinians in Gaza seeking refuge from the continued conflict.
Additionally, as tensions in the Middle East rise, we must reject antisemitism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, bigotry, and hatred of any kind here in the United States. There will never be an excuse or justification for domestic extremism or hate-fueled acts of violence, and we must stand up against attempts to dehumanize members of our communities because of their faith, ethnicity, and race. Now more than ever, it is necessary that we come together and recognize our shared humanity, practice compassion, and eliminate division within our society.