Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) calls President Barack Obama’s demand for Israel’s “immediate and unconditional ceasefire” in Gaza “an absurd request” tantamount to demanding national suicide.
“The mixed message from the President leaves anyone with any knowledge of the situation reeling,” said Hikind. “President Obama reiterated his belief that Israel has a right to defend itself, and condemned Hamas’ construction of tunnels and continuation of rocket fire into civilian areas. But in the same message, he asks Israel to give in to demands that make Israel a sitting duck as Hamas re-arms.”
For a permanent ceasefire to be agreed upon, Hamas is requiring an end to Israel’s blockade of Gaza, formed to prevent Hamas from obtaining weapons to attack the Jewish state. Netanyahu’s cabinet has unanimously voted against the measure and even Israel’s Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni, commonly regarded as the voice of the left, told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that Israel must categorically reject this condition.
“The U.S. is the greatest country in the world,” Hikind proclaimed. “It’s greatness has been rooted in the pursuit of justice and liberty, and as such it has remained a stalwart friend of the State of Israel for 65 years. But these recent posturings by a U.S. President expose, at best, a naiveté that boggles the mind. The reason 85% of all Israelis-left and right, religious and secular-support this administration’s position in Gaza now is because they don’t want to end up in the same position, or a worse one, a year or two from now. Weakness has never worked with terrorists. The U.S. has always understood that and should expect no less from its only democratic ally in the Middle East.”
Assemblyman Hikind was also fiercely critical of Secretary of State Kerry’s working to appease Qatar and Turkey at the expense of Egypt. “Bypass Egypt for Qatar? Qatar is a farce; it is not a real nation-it is an appeasement to petrol dollars. They single-handedly funded the terrorists’ tunnels in Gaza,” said Hikind. “And Turkey, which compares Israel to Nazi Germany? This is the policy partner the U.S. bypasses Egypt for? Why has the wind suddenly shifted towards these uncivilized nations? The policy that Kerry is advocating would give a clear victory to terrorists. This seems to be an ideological shift away from the moral high ground that America has always taken, that America has always been respected for.”
“We all grieve that this conflict has cost the lives of civilians, and ruined the lives of so many others. We all understand that the United States has historically aided the weak and given refuge to the innocent. This is our greatness. So let us be honest and intelligent and put aside cultural bias. Let us honestly and intelligently place the blame where the blame lies. It is outrageous that Hamas uses and sacrifices the civilians of Gaza in its disgusting quest for power and public relations. It is outrageous that a U.S. presidential administration, which has shown weakness at every sign of international trouble, would attempt to prevent our ally in the Middle East, the State of Israel, from justifiably defending its citizens from the relentless and daily attacks of this world-recognized terror organization.
“Today, on the same day that our President is pressuring Israel for an unconditional ceasefire, 56 rockets have fallen on Israeli cities. I just returned from Israel after spending 6 days dodging rocket fire and I can say to you that the damage there and danger to Israeli citizens is very, very real. I call upon my fellow Democrats on every level to speak out about this outrage.”