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Supporting Israel’s Right to Self-Defense

Adrian Smith 3rd Dist

On April 13, Israel endured an unprecedented attack of more than 300 long-range missiles and drones from Iran. The Islamic Republic of Iran has been a sworn enemy of Israel since the 1979 Iranian revolution and is the primary state sponsor of terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthi movement in Yemen. However, Iranian forces had never launched a direct barrage against Israel from its own territory prior to last week.

Miraculously, 99 percent of the projectiles were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome and David’s Sling defense systems and a coalition including American, British, French, Jordanian, and Saudi forces. This demonstrated the vital need for such defense systems and the hard-won success of U.S.-led cooperation with regional partners to promote security.

It’s an understatement to say Israel is in a dangerous neighborhood; Iran and its proxies have sworn to eliminate the state. Without the historic Abraham Accords negotiated by the Trump administration in 2020 and the subsequent intelligence coordination with Arab countries, thwarting Iran’s bombardment to such a degree may not have been possible.

In the face of Iran's attack, our ally Israel deserves our full support. Tensions between the two Middle East nations have run high for decades, and the sheer scale of Iran’s attack is a blatant escalation which must be met with solidarity and strength. This week, the House considered a resolution I cosponsored condemning this attack and affirming Israel’s right to self-defense. It passed by a vote of 404-14.

I am also a cosponsor of the No U.S. Financing for Iran Act (H.R.5921) and the Standing Against Houthi Aggression Act (H.R.6046). Both passed the House this week with my support. The Biden administration has made the mistakes of relaxing economic sanctions on Iran and weakening terrorist designations for the Houthis who have been committing acts of terror in the Red Sea, disrupting one of the world’s busiest shipping routes, since the October 7 attacks by Hamas.

While President Biden sought to make $6 billion available to Iran in August 2023 appeasement deal, H.R. 5921 would increase financial pressure on the government of Iran. H.R. 6046 would fully reinstate Houthi terrorist designations removed by the administration in 2021.

Since the devastating and tragic October 7, 2023, attacks by Hamas, the terrorist group continues to hold hostages, including American citizens. Very troublingly, it cannot account for the number of hostages they once were thought to have. Hamas must ensure the safe release of all hostages.

Israel certainly has the right to respond to the attacks they have suffered, and they are still responding. It is important for us to stand behind Israel and our friends around the world who seek to do the right thing. Israel will need to replenish critical munitions and its defense systems following the onslaught by Iran. We should likewise do what we can to share the resources they need to stand for the cause of freedom.