Barack Obama, Remarks in Sderot, New York Times, July 23, 2008
Washington, D.C. (July 29, 2014) -- The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) released the following statement today:
Last week it was revealed that Hamas planned a major terrorist attack for the Rosh Hashana holiday this September, in which hundreds of terrorists would exit Hamas tunnels very near Israeli kibbutzim and towns to kidnap and kill thousands of Israelis. Clearly the tunnels represent an immediate, serious threat to Israeli civilians. For that reason, Israel is determined to eliminate the tunnels before ending its operations in Gaza.
We were deeply disappointed by President Obama's call on Sunday for an "immediate, unconditional, humanitarian" ceasefire, which followed on the heels of Secretary of State Kerry's ceasefire proposal. That proposal ignored Israeli security needs while giving legitimacy to Hamas. It seems the administration is focused on pressing Israel to halt hostilities without recognizing Israel's imperative need to end the threat of the terrorist tunnels. This comes in distinct contradiction to President Obama's previous statements about Israel's security.
President Obama has spoken frequently in support of Israel's right of self-defense, and did so even before taking office. In 2008, on a visit to Sderot in southern Israel, then-candidate Obama said:
The first job of any nation state is to protect its citizens. And so I can assure you that if -- I don't even care if I was a politician. If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I'm going to do everything in my power to stop that. And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.
...I will work from the moment that I return to America, to tell the story of Sderot and to make sure that the good people who live here are enjoying a future of peace and security and hope.
...What I think that Israel has to do is to make sure that that peace is not purchased at -- by putting Israel's security at risk. And it's the job of the United States I think, to make sure that that peace is centered and promotes Israel's long-term security.
Source: New York Times, July 23, 2008
Israel is at war with an implacable enemy, one that has victimized its own people and kept them in poverty in order to build terrorist tunnels and stockpile weapons in hopes of killing thousands of Israeli civilians. Israel is determined to destroy Hamas' capability to carry out its heinous agenda. Any ceasefire that forces Israel to stop short of that goal is indeed purchasing only a temporary ceasefire at the cost of Israel's long-term security.