U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, cosponsored a resolution that recognizes Israel's right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza and reaffirms the United States' strong support for Israel. The resolution is expected to pass the Senate later today.
"Israel, like every other state, has the sovereign right to defend itself against attacks on its citizens. The situation we see today in Gaza is a tragedy, but we cannot afford a return to the status quo where Hamas continues to terrorize the Israeli people. I look forward to working with the incoming Obama Administration to restore American leadership on behalf of a durable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with two states co-existing side by side in peace and security."
The resolution, introduced by Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) resolves the following:
1) Expresses vigorous support and unwavering commitment to the welfare, security, and survival of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders, and recognizes its right to act in self-defense to protect its citizens against acts of terrorism;
(2) Reiterates that Hamas must end the rocket and mortar attacks against Israel, recognize Israel's right to exist, renounce violence, and agree to accept previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinians;
(3) Encourages the Administration to work actively to support a durable, enforceable, and sustainable cease-fire in Gaza, as soon as possible, that prevents Hamas from retaining or rebuilding the capability to launch rockets and mortars against Israel and allows for the long term improvement of daily living conditions for the ordinary people of Gaza;
(4) Believes strongly that the lives of innocent civilians must be protected and that all involved should continue to work to address humanitarian needs in Gaza;
(5) Supports and encourages efforts to diminish the appeal and influence of extremists in the Palestinian territories, and strengthen moderate Palestinians who are committed to a secure and lasting peace with Israel; and
(6) Reiterates its strong support for U.S. government efforts to promote a just resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a serious and sustained peace process that leads to the creation of a viable and independent Palestinian state living in peace alongside a secure State of Israel.
Yesterday, Senator Casey met with Dr. Susan Rice, President-elect Obama's nominee to be the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations. At the meeting, Senator Casey and Dr. Rice discussed the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. Senator Casey also spoke to Dr. Rice about the approach she will bring to the United Nations if she were to be confirmed.