This week, the New Jersey State Assembly unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution, AR-154, introduced by Assemblypersons Brown, Handlin and Schaer which supports Israel’s right to defend itself against missiles launched and tunnels built from Gaza by Hamas terrorists. This international issue has repercussions that could affect the day-to-day lives of the citizens of our state. This unanimous support for Israel helps us to:
- Delegitimize Hamas, an organization recognized by the U.S., EU, Australia, Canada, Japan and other countries as a terrorist organization.
- Make, in the words of David Harris, Executive Director of AJC, “a clear moral distinction between Israel, a democratic nation seeking nothing more than quiet on its border with Hamas-ruled Gaza, and Hamas, a terrorist regime determined to fulfill its charter calling for Israel’s destruction.”
- Expose Hamas’s inhumane tactics which include using innocent citizens as shields during wartime.
- Send a message to the media, the UN, select politicians, and NGOs who continue to manipulate public opinion—displaying photos of the Syrian conflict mislabeled as examples of Israeli attacks on the Palestinian people, showing thousands of pictures of IDF soldiers and not a single one of Hamas fighters, castigating Israel for “war crimes” while ignoring the real crimes of Syria with more than 170,000 dead, and Boko Haram, whose death toll exceeds 10,000.
- Lend strength to our one ally in the Middle East.Israel’s soldiers are literally on the frontline against militant Islam, ensuring that Hamas cannot import weapons and materials for terrorist purposes such as missiles and terror tunnels in Gaza. And the Israeli army has repeatedly destroyed military shipments being transported from Iran to Syria to fuel the civil war.
- Bolster American security because Israel serves as a vital resource for our counterterrorism and homeland security initiatives, and is also a crucial partner in the development of cutting-edge military technologies, from drone technology to cyber weapons.
- Better frame the argument for how our tax dollars should be speant.Hamas misspends that money, our money, by investing in rockets and missiles and tunnels.Money that was intended to provide for the humanitarian infrastructure that would benefit the Palestinian population of Gaza. By opposing for years PA efforts to achieve peace, Hamas has thwarted the dreams and visions of those Palestinians who want to live side-by-side with Israel.
- Act on behalf of our own economic interests, which depend on stabilizing the region. Israel has consistently strived to achieve peace with all her neighbors. It has signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, withdrawn from both Gaza and Lebanon, and has actively pursued negotiations as recently as last April with the Palestinian Authority.
- Provide political leverage that could result in the saving of lives. Hamas endangers Palestinian lives while inciting and engaging in acts against the Jewish people.
- Lend a voice in discouraging the spread of Jew-hatred not just in the Middle East, but also in Europe, where anti-Israel marchers chant “Death to Jews,” in Latin America, where graffiti was spray-painted on a subway station in Caracas that said “Do good to the country, kill a Jew,” and even right here in New Jersey, where bus-loads of marchers were brought from out-of-state to join locals at Princeton University for an anti-Israel rally.
I ask everyone to thank your NJ State Assemblyperson today, for signing onto New Jersey resolution AR 154, because we in New Jersey have a responsibility to ensure that terrorism is condemned, innocence is protected, truth prevails, our allies are supported, our interests are preserved, and lives are saved. For other ways to support Israel, join AJC and the CRC at the Step Up for Israel Advocacy Summit on Sunday, November 2 from 9:00 am-1:00 pm at the Alex Aidekman Family Jewish Community Campus in Whippany.