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Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia’s roundtable meeting with families of individuals held hostage by Hamas. Chairman McCaul highlighted his recent trip to Israel, where he visited with families of Hamas hostages and Israeli officials including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Chairman McCaul also reaffirmed American solidarity with Israel  and condemned the ongoing brutality of Hamas terrorists. 




– Remarks as Delivered –

Thank you [Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia] Chairman Wilson and Ranking Member Manning. Let me welcome you under such horrific circumstances.

We stand united with you as Americans on this committee. We put our partisanship aside – we always say it stops at the water’s edge.

I can’t help but feel the grief having traveled to Israel, but my father was a bombardier in World War II and he bombed the Nazis, and they destroyed the Nazis. And then we uncovered the death camps, and we always say never again, never again.

And here we are in this century, in this time with the largest slaughtering of Jews since the Holocaust. I never thought I’d see it in my lifetime – my father saw it – but I never thought I’d see it.

You know, their covenant, “From the river to the sea, that we will obliterate the state of Israel,” really says it all. You know, the Hamas leader who was a prisoner himself who was released said, “I will continue to invade and slaughter Jews again and again until we win.”

Well the United States is standing up to this, and I will say I’m proud of this administration for standing with Israel, because we are Americans first, and we need to bring more of our American hostages home. We’ve only brought one home. I credit the administration, the leaders in Congress, thank you to countries like Qatar, but we have to get our American citizens home into safety.

The Ranking Member and I have had the honor to travel to Israel about a week ago and we met with Prime Minister Netanyahu, and we saw the horrific Hamas video – chilling—I’ve never seen the Prime Minister, who’s a very stoic, strong man, driven to tears watching his own people being killed in such a horrific manner and the rapes and the beheadings and the slaughter of innocent Jewish people. He will not rest until they are eradicated – not just for the Jewish people, but for the Palestinians – because only until we can free them from [Hamas] are the Jewish people going to be free from terrorism and only until then can we have peace in the Middle East, true peace.

I think that is what the result of this horrific act was, but I will not rest, and the Ranking Member will not rest, and the members of this committee will not rest until we bring every American back home to the United States.

I am so delighted that Abigail made it out of that hell, and hearing them describe the conditions when we were there with the brother of Emily Hand – beautiful [4] year old girl who was released, but we need more.

We passed the most bipartisan resolution in the history of Congress condemning Hamas and standing in support of the state of Israel. More co-sponsors than ever in the history of Congress which speaks volumes about where Congress is. As you see these Hamas protesters in the streets, know that to American people – by the representatives – support you and support the state of Israel.

I just want to close with the mother who I met with not very long ago whose son is still in captivity – she said her son was a translation in Hebrew was the son of light. And she said, you know Chairman, lightness will defeat the darkness, I know it.

So his lightness, our lightness, will defeat this darkness in Gaza, this hell, this darkness of captivity will be ultimately defeated by the light, and that is really what this message is all about. Thank you.