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Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul spoke at a House Rules Committee hearing in support of H.R. 8369, the Israel Security Assistance Support Act. Chairman McCaul emphasized the need to support our friend and ally, Israel, as they continue to fight against Hamas terrorists. 


— Remarks as delivered — 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member McGovern.
Hamas’ October 7th massacre was a cruel, barbaric, and bloody as anything I’ve seen. Hamas unleashed pure evil on Israel that day. 
The Hamas terrorists filmed themselves committing brutal atrocities because they’re so proud of their barbaric acts. In just hours, they murdered 1,200 innocent people, took over 250 hostages – including Americans.

And I say this to remind my colleagues that the moral clarity that we, as a body, felt at that time in October and November. It was obvious to us that Hamas was ruthless. It was obvious to us that Hamas needed to be eradicated to ensure Israel’s security. And it was obvious to us that Hamas would fight dirty and use innocent civilians as human shields. It was obvious to us that Israel had no choice but to win this war and end the perpetual terrorist threat. We all, Republicans and Democrats, spent those weeks talking about our steadfast support for Israel and our ironclad commitment.
Therefore, I’m deeply disappointed that for some in this country and for the administration, that moral clarity has faded. Their ironclad commitment apparently is not, in fact, ironclad.

Last week, we learned from the media, not from the administration, that the Biden administration is blocking crucial arms shipments to try to pressure Israel not to conduct the final, major battle in this Gaza war.
Israel is in a fight for its very existence against a terrorist organization. Rafah is a final key military objective to complete the mission against Hamas. There are four battalions of Hamas fighters in Rafah.

President Biden’s decision to withhold weapons that have been approved, by myself and the ranking member and appropriated by this Congress, is tantamount to an arms embargo.
This damages our alliance with Israel, and only emboldens Yahya Sinwar, the head of Hamas. It also empowers Iran, the head of the snake behind terror in the region.
In my judgment, this is a dangerous mistake that telegraph’s weakness and makes Israel and our allies vulnerable. What does it say about the United States as a partner? What message are we sending to our allies [and] our adversaries when just months after a devastating attack, we are turning our backs?
Here’s what the world should know: that the United States Congress and the American people stand with Israel, that we will never turn our backs on our friends. We are true to our word. When we say a commitment is ironclad and unshakable, that we mean it. That’s why today we’re considering this urgent bill to prohibit the Executive Branch from using any funding to withhold or stop the delivery of defense articles to Israel and to require the administration to deliver the defense articles they’re currently holding. 
War is hell. It is horrific, but Israel did not start this war, Hamas did. Sadly, civilian casualties are part of urban warfare. Israel has limited this number greatly and is opening all routes for humanitarian assistance. Hamas are the ones who use human shields, hide behind hospitals [and] schools, and put civilians in harm’s way. Hamas also uses tunnels, hundreds of miles of tunnels, that make the use of bigger bombs necessary. But these bigger bombs have [Joint Direct Attack Munition] kits, which make them precision guided bombs, which actually protect innocent civilians because they are just that — they are precise. 
And why withhold weapons to Israel? This administration is continuing to bash our ally publicly. This could have been done privately, but this is [done] publicly for domestic political gain instead of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with one of our closest partners against Iran and its terror proxies. The cost of this decision is dangerous. It’s a resurgence of Hamas and emboldens [the] Ayatollah without a shot fired. 
Putin, Chairman Xi, and Kim Jong-Un are all watching and taking notes. We need to project strength on the world stage. The Reagan doctrine of peace through strength is the only answer to terrorists and tyrants.
In November, I organized a screening for my colleagues of the gruesome footage of the Hamas war crimes at the at the behest of Prime Minister Netanyahu. I made sure that we all bore witness to their massacre and in the words of the Prime Minister, “Show it to them, so they will know what happened to my people, and they will never forget.”
Every Member in this room knows exactly why Hamas needs to be defeated. This is the last stage of the military operation. For the President to say that he will withhold weapons if the invasion takes place, is tantamount to us saying in World War II — my father’s war — “You cannot finish the job and go into Berlin.”
So, I call on all of you to support me in this legislation, to make sure that we stand with our traditional ally. And then once this is completed, and only then can we move to the second phase, which would be a peaceful resolution in the Middle East. A security agreement between the Saudis, Israel, and Arab nations that could perhaps one day bring ultimate peace to the region and to resolve the Palestinian question. 
So, with that, Mr. Chairman, I yield back.