Watch Senator Rosen’s full remarks HERE.
WASHINGTON, DC – During a speech on the floor of the United States Senate, Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) strongly urged her colleagues to pass unconditional aid to Israel to defend themselves against Hamas following the October 7th terrorist attack. In her remarks, Senator Rosen made the case for why the United States should not condition security assistance to Israel, and why Israel urgently needs this assistance. Senator Rosen also reiterated her support for humanitarian aid that reaches Palestinian civilians without being diverted to Hamas.
Senator Rosen has been a strong leader in the push to make sure Israel has the resources it needs to defend itself. Following Hamas’s terrorist attack on October 7th, Senator Rosen took action to ensure Israel got all of the support it needed to defend itself and defeat Hamas. She recently announced that the United States will transfer two additional Iron Dome batteries to Israel following her bipartisan push to bolster this life-saving defense system. She also joined fellow senators in a letter urging President Biden to take action to ensure Israel has the munitions and missile defense capabilities it needs, including Iron Dome interceptors to defend against Hamas’s terror attack. Last year, Rosen helped include a provision in the bipartisan national defense bill to authorize $500 million for the Iron Dome and other U.S.-Israel cooperative missile defense programs.
Below are Senator Rosen’s floor remarks as delivered:
On October 7th, Hamas launched the deadliest terrorist attack in Israel’s history.
Hamas’s vicious and unprovoked slaughter targeted innocent Israeli civilians and killed twelve hundred men, women, children — from babies to Holocaust survivors.
Not since the Holocaust has there been a deadlier day for the Jewish people.
Yet, some extreme individuals and organizations are trying to minimize, distort, and outright deny what happened that day.
We cannot let that happen.
That’s why Senator Rubio and I hosted a screening last week for our colleagues, to show them exactly what Hamas did on October 7th.
The videos – many taken by the terrorists themselves – they’re disturbing; they are graphic. The images and sounds in those videos – I will never forget.
And, I encourage all members to see for themselves what Israel is fighting against – pure terror; pure, pure evil.
On October 7th, Hamas violated a longstanding ceasefire when they chose, they chose to start this war.
Hamas took deliberate and preemptive actions against innocent civilians – including dismemberment, torture, and mass rape – in what can only be described as barbaric terrorism.
And as any other nation would, Israel has responded to this unprovoked attack by acting to defend its own population, as they have the absolute right to do so.
At the same time, Hamas has stated over and over and over again that they will not stop until there are a thousand more October 7ths, until they destroy Israel and all of the people living there; and it is time the world listens.
This is why it’s not surprising at the end of last week, Hamas broke the agreement that was put in place to temporarily pause the fighting, to bring more humanitarian aid into Gaza, and to rescue the hostages brutally taken by Hamas.
Let me be clear: there is no equivalency — no equivalency – zero, none – between the terrorist actions of Hamas, and the efforts of Israel to stop them from doing this again or, God forbid, committing a worse attack, as they’ve repeatedly promised to do.
We must all remember this, especially now, as we work to deliver aid to Israel.
It’s been nearly two months since October 7th, and rockets continue to rain down on Israeli cities, more than 130 hostages remain in Gaza, and as we continue to learn more and more about the violent acts of rape, of torture, of murder committed by Hamas. It’s all ongoing.
And yet, Congress hasn’t passed the supplemental security assistance that Israel desperately needs to defend itself.
This security assistance includes support for Israel’s life-saving Iron Dome missile defense system that protects them from Hamas and Hezbollah, from the rockets that rain down on them night after night after night, as well as other key defense resources and tools.
It also replenishes our own defense stocks that have been drawn down to support Israel in this time of need.
And to my knowledge, Congress has never used conditions on security assistance in order to strong-arm Israel, and now is not the time to start.
Conditions would undermine Israel’s ability to defend itself, and would send a signal to the world that America’s support for our ally is weakening, which is exactly what Iran and its terrorist proxies, it’s what they all want.
And our aid can make the difference between whether or not there is another October 7th.
Now, I turn to members of my own party.
Here we are. We all want the same thing: We all want peace in the region for both Palestinians and Israelis — a two-state solution with a secure State of Israel living side-by-side with a peaceful Palestinian state.
But let me be clear: Hamas, Hamas is the one currently preventing this goal.
Hamas launched the attack on Israel. Hamas targeted, Hamas murdered, Hamas raped, and kidnapped innocent people. Hamas is threatening to do this over and over and over again.
Hamas is a terrorist organization. They are terrorists. They must be stopped, permanently.
It’s the only way we’ll get closer to peace and stability in the region.
And I also understand and I share your concerns about the need to minimize civilian casualties and the suffering in Gaza.
Every innocent civilian death is a tragedy.
To truly end the suffering of both Israelis and Palestinians, Hamas must no longer control Gaza.
For nearly two decades, Hamas has stolen resources from the Palestinian people. They’ve used these resources for terrorist purposes.
Instead of building civilian infrastructure to improve Gaza’s economy, Hamas built terrorist tunnels.
Instead of launching programs to combat poverty, Hamas launches rockets to combat Israel.
Instead of shielding their own people, lifting them up, Hamas uses their own people as human shields.
Israel must dismantle Hamas; for both Israelis and innocent Palestinians.
And while we help Israel, we can and we must continue to work with the Israeli government to make sure that they’re doing everything, everything in their power to prevent the loss of innocent life.
As we partner with Israel and other nations in the region to deliver humanitarian aid in Gaza — food, water, medicine, emergency shelter, sanitation — we must make sure that this aid actually reaches civilians in Gaza… this aid and these resources will save Palestinian lives if it is allowed to reach them.
So, my colleagues, to all my colleagues: we all agree on these goals.
They are reasonable, and we are utilizing existing channels with Israel to make sure they are taking these steps… all without conditioning aid to Israel.
And let’s be clear: providing Israel with aid is not a blank check.
As all of my colleagues in this chamber know – every one of them knows this – all foreign aid is bound by a set of rules.
This has been consistent for decades, and has not changed.
And these are different from conditions specifically targeting Israel.
Now, now is the time to stand with Israel as they work to dismantle Hamas, stop its ability to cause more harm to Israelis and Palestinians, and free all the remaining hostages — all of them.
Conditioning aid to Israel after the worst terrorist attack in [its] history would only embolden Israel’s enemies, signal to them the limits of America’s support, and open the door to more violence.
This is why I’m calling on my colleagues, Republicans and Democrats, to pass this aid without conditions.
If we’re serious about preventing another October 7th; if we’re serious, really serious, about preventing more gruesome images like the ones my colleagues saw last week – torture, kidnapping, rape and murder, beheading – if we’re serious about preventing all of this, and serious about a future where the people of Gaza are not ruled by a brutal and barbaric terrorist organization, then we should not delay.