WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Monday, February 5, 2024, U.S. Representatives Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and Jared Moskowitz (FL-23) released the following statement:
“One hundred and twenty-two days ago, Hamas terrorists launched a devastating attack against Israel, brutally murdering more than 1,200 people, including Americans, in the deadliest attack against the Jewish people since the Holocaust. More than one hundred and thirty people are still being held hostage, including six Americans.
Israel continues to face threats from Iranian-backed terrorists on all fronts. Hamas leaders have made it clear that they are committed to perpetrating a ‘second, third, and fourth’ October 7 attack on Israel.
In the last months, Iranian-backed forces, including the Houthis and Hezbollah, have fired missiles at U.S. troops and into Israel with the sole objective of perpetrating violence, wreaking havoc, and causing instability in the region. Since October 7, Iranian proxies have been responsible for launching more than one hundred and fifty attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria. Just last week, another Tehran proxy terrorist group, the Islamic Resistance, killed three U.S. service members in Jordan.
While Israel is involved in ongoing negotiations for the release of the hostages and a pause to the situation in Gaza, Congress cannot abandon our key ally and weaken Israel’s standing in the world. Doing so will only embolden Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis, and other proxy terrorist groups that continue their rogue attacks on American service members and Israel. It would risk further humanitarian aid into Gaza, which they need more of — and which we are disappointed is missing from this package — and put American hostages and peace at risk.
We must stand with our ally Israel, get all of the hostages home, defeat Hamas, provide crucial humanitarian aid to innocent Palestinians, and work toward an enduring peace.
For these reasons, we will vote for the clean supplemental appropriations package for Israel. This bill also supplies essential resources for U.S. military operations and preparedness in response to escalating attacks from Iranian-back proxies across the region, from the Houthis to terrorists in Syria and Iraq.
Much like Israel, for almost two years, Ukraine has been on the frontline defending against Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion. Russia has deliberately targeted civilians, raped women, and kidnapped Ukrainian children. Iran has helped arm and support its ally Russia during this reckless and evil assault on freedom and democracy. While Israel and Ukraine may be 2,000 miles apart, it could not be clearer that the evils they face are inextricably linked.
At this moment, the far-right appears to be walking away from Ukraine during its time of need, which will only further empower Putin and his cronies, and endanger our European allies. Our colleagues should not turn their backs on Israel. Doing so will embolden Iran and its proxies, and endanger Americans abroad. Speaker Johnson should put forth a comprehensive supplemental aid package that stands up to murderous dictators and terrorists.
We must do both of these things, while also securing our own borders at home. Watching the far right walk away from securing our borders for political purposes perpetuates the dysfunction of the least productive Congress in thirty years.”