An overwhelming majority of the United States Senate has signed a letter to President Obama encouraging him to stand strongly behind Israel in the face of "challenges" to its international standing.
The letter, written in the midst of a continuing international onslaught against Israel in the wake of the flotilla-Gaza blockade situation, emphasizes that it is in “our national interest to support Israel at a moment when Israel faces multiple threats from Hamas in Gaza, Hizbullah in Lebanon, and the current regime in Iran.”
The missive has been signed by 87 senators, and was spearheaded by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nv) and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky).
“Israel’s opponents have developed clever diplomatic and tactical ploys to challenge its international standing,” the letter states, including “the effort to isolate Israel at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference [and] the recent effort to breach the naval blockade around Gaza… Israel’s naval blockade, which is legal under international law, allows Israel to keep dangerous goods from entering Gaza by sea.”
IHH Connections With Hamas
Describing Israel’s response to the terror activists who attempted to break the blockade, the letter states that the Israeli forces who boarded the ship owned by the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), were “brutally attacked with iron rods, knives, and broken glass. They were forced to respond to that attack and we regret the loss of life that resulted. We are deeply concerned about the IHH’s role in this incident and have additional questions about Turkey and any connections to Hamas. The IHH is a member of a group of Muslim charities, the Union of Good, which was designated by the US Treasury Department as a terrorist organization. The Union of Good was created by and strongly supports Hamas, which has been designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the US State Department. We recommend that your administration consider whether the IHH should be put on the list of foreign terrorist organizations…”
The Senators commend Obama on the prevention of an “unfair United Nations Security Council resolution” against Israel, and “deplore the actions of the United Nations Human Rights Council which, once again, singled out Israel… We ask you to stand firm in the future at the United Nations Security Council and to use your veto power, if necessary, to prevent any similar biased or one-sided resolutions from passing.”
The letter concludes with the hope for the continuation of peace talks leading to a two-state solution.
Similar House Letter
The Senate letter comes four days after a similar letter in the House of Representatives, signed by 75% of the members. It was initiated by Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tx) and Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mi), and bears the signatures of more than 320 of their colleagues. The House letter to Obama details the true intentions of the IHH and the Gaza flotilla, and calls on the president to use his veto power in the U.N. Security Council to block one-sided, anti-Israel resolutions.
“We urge you to remain steadfast in the defense of Israel in the face of the international community’s rush to unfairly judge and condemn Israel in international fora such as the UN Security Council,” the House letter states.