A bipartisan Senate delegation, led by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), has reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to Israel in its ongoing conflict with the Palestinian militant group Hamas. They argue that U.S. involvement is essential for the global interest.
Schumer stated during a press conference in Tel Aviv on Sunday, “We want to assure Israel that America stands by its ally, and I, along with my colleagues, will lead the effort in the United States Senate to provide Israel with the necessary support to defend itself against this serious threat. To the Israeli people, America is firmly behind you.”
The delegation, which includes Senators Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), and Mitt Romney (R-Utah), is visiting Israel to meet with government and military leaders, as well as families and civilians affected by the ongoing violence between Israel and Hamas.
Romney emphasized the importance of U.S. engagement: “There are nations like Iran, Russia, and China that seek to undermine democracies and impede the cause of freedom. Ignoring these threats won’t make them disappear; they will only persist and spread, ultimately affecting more of humanity.”
Addressing concerns about coordination with the House, which currently lacks an elected Speaker after the ousting of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Schumer stated that the Senate won’t wait for the House. They believe that bipartisan agreement in Senate action may encourage the House, even in its current state, to act.
Senator Rosen, the third female Jewish senator in U.S. history, shared her emotional experience meeting with families of hostages during the visit. She stressed the situation’s urgency, saying, “This is real, and the world should not turn away.
Israel initiated a significant counteroffensive against Hamas in the past week, conducting hundreds of airstrikes on the Gaza Strip. Israel also warned an estimated 1.1 million people in Gaza, urging them to evacuate before a potential ground operation.
Schumer emphasized the importance of minimizing civilian casualties in Gaza while acknowledging the challenges. Meanwhile, reports indicate that Hamas advises residents to stay in their homes.
Romney echoed Cassidy’s remarks, highlighting no moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas. He pointed out that while Israel issues warnings and takes measures to protect civilians, Hamas uses civilians as shields, making it difficult for them to flee harm’s way.
When asked about the threshold for U.S. military engagement, he emphasized that Israel has never sought direct military involvement from the United States, but providing essential support is crucial.