Senators Promise: Israel will Receive Weapons
Two U.S. senators, Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn) and James Inhofe (R-OK), reaffirmed the continued partnership between the United States and Israel in their speeches before the Jerusalem Conference Wednesday.
"This struggle against forces of radical Islam is the central challenge of our time," Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn) told the audience at the Jerusalem Hyatt Regency hotel.
Americans, Israelis Must be 'Absolutely United'
"It is a fight that is truly global in its scale and in its scope. A fight that demands Americans and Israelis stand absolutely united against this evil that threatens us all."
While Senator Lieberman said that the war on terrorism is a global one, he insisted that "the fight revolves in so many ways around the Middle East, around Israel and around Jerusalem." Speaking on the issue of dividing Jerusalem, Senator Lieberman claimed it is vital to keep the city as the united capital.
"I know that just about every member of the United States congress, of both political parties, shares that view and accepts the responsibility that comes with that belief," The veteran Jewish senator and former vice-presidential candidate said. The deliberations at this year's Jerusalem Conference will play a valuable role in the "pursuit of our freedom and security," he added.
Just Like Fascists and Communists
Senator Lieberman said that today's terrorists are "every bit as fanatical and murderous as the fascists and the communists that we faced and defeated in the last century."
In his speech he claimed that "terrorism is [the Islamists'] preferred weapon but it is not their ultimate aim." That aim, he said, is "a conquest in which the entire Middle East and much more falls under their repressive and primitive rule."
Senator Lieberman did say, however, that on the other side of the struggle are millions of people "who want the same basic things as the rest of us." This "silenced majority," he added, would pick "freedom over fear, hope over hatred, justice over tyranny," if it had the opportunity.
"The great dividing line in our time is really between the people whose desire is a better life for themselves and their children and the extremist suicide bombers whose only desire is death and conquest," he said.
Inhofe: 10,000 JDAMs, 1,000 Hellfires
"It is important to understand on both sides, the Israeli side and the United States' side, that we do need each other," Senator Inhofe said. He stressed that Israel has been the only consistent friend to the United States in the Middle East and said he hopes to maintain that relationship.
"As the second ranking member of the Senate Arms Services Committee, let me assure you that we are going to continue with our strong support," he told an applauding audience. The senator stated that Israel will be receiving $2.34 billion in military aid.
Inhofe said that Israel "should anticipate" acquiring 10,000 Joint Attack Missiles (J-DAMs), 2,000 Precision Penetrating bombs and 1,000 Hellfire missiles. He said these are the weapons necessary for Israel to do "the things that you need to do for our mutual protection in the Middle East."