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Sen. Cruz Visits Israel and Calls For US to Unequivocally Stand With the Jewish State: ‘Israel Not Only Has a Right, But a Responsibility to Defend Yourselves’

Press coverage of Sens. Cruz and Hagerty’s trip to Israel

June 3, 2021

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HOUSTON, Texas - U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) this week visited Israel in the aftermath of the recent violent escalation by Iran-controlled terrorist groups including Hamas to see and hear directly what the Israelis need to defend themselves and to show the international community that the United States stands unequivocally with Israel. Sen. Cruz condemned the attacks, and in the early days of the conflict announced his intention to visit Israel in order to assess the country's national security needs, which directly implicate America's national security.

Meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Tuesday, Sen. Cruz said:

"Well, Mr. Prime Minister, it's good to be back. It's good to be with my good friend, the prime minister. And it's important that we're here now to state unequivocally that the United States stands with Israel. And these are perilous times. But Israel's strength-Israel not only has a right, but a responsibility to defend yourselves, and there are some in the press that draw a moral equivalency between Hamas terrorists and Israel defending innocent citizens; they're not equivalent.

"Thank you for standing up and keeping people safe. Thank you for Iron Dome, which is a technical marvel. Yesterday, we went and were down on the Gaza border and the incredible effectiveness of Iron Dome has saved thousands of Israeli lives and thousands of Palestinians. And let me thank you also in particular for your clarity and strength in dealing with Iran. I share your judgment that a nuclear Iran is a risk that Israel cannot tolerate and that America cannot tolerate. So thank you for the strength of resolve that Israel has because that is needed and I think it's needed now more than ever."

Leading up to his visit, Sen. Cruz continued his fight in the Senate to defend our ally and condemned the increased anti-Semitic attacks against the Jewish community at home. He introduced a resolution approving two arms sales to Israel that the Biden administration notified Congress of on May 5, as Democrats voiced their disapproval. Sen. Cruz also co-sponsored a bill calling for President Biden to replenish Israel's Iron Dome missiles, and joined 19 of his colleagues in introducing a resolution to stand with Israel and condemn the attacks by Hamas. Sen. Cruz and 43 of his colleagues also sent a letter to President Biden urging him to stand with Israel and rushing to send billions of dollars to the Iranian regime. Joining Sen. Hawley, Sen. Cruz co-sponsored a resolution condemning hatred and violence against Jews, denouncing anti-Israel rhetoric from elected officials and the media.

READ: Sen. Cruz for Newsweek: ‘Israel Has a Right to Defend Itself - Despite What Democrats Say'

WATCH: Sen. Cruz: President Biden Must Stand With Israel and Replenish the Iron Dome

Several news outlets covered Sens. Cruz's trip to Israel. Selected news coverage is below:

Associated Press - US Sen Cruz: Biden Showed 'Weakness,' Emboldened Hamas
"U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz on Monday accused President Joe Biden of being soft on Israel's foes and inviting further violence during a deadly 11-day war that left Israelis rattled and turned parts of the Gaza Strip to rubble. One of four prominent Republicans in Israel in the conflict's aftermath, Cruz told The Associated Press in an interview that the Democratic president's policies, including a call for Israel to wind down the war, had ‘emboldened' Hamas' militant rulers. He said the U.S. owes Palestinians no humanitarian aid as long as there's a danger of that money flowing to Hamas. ‘The longer Joe Biden shows weakness to Hamas or Hezbollah or Iran, the more you're going to see terrorist attacks escalating,' Cruz said after a day of touring Israel's Iron Dome rocket-defense system and viewing damage in Ashkelon. [...] Cruz and Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., toured the rubble in Ashkelon where a Hamas-fired rocket hit an apartment and killed the caregiver of an older woman. Cruz tweeted photos. [...] ‘Any monies that go to the Gaza Strip that are quote, intended for infrastructure, can be easily diverted by Hamas,' Hagerty, seated next to Cruz, said. Where Hagerty was diplomatic, Cruz was blunt. ‘Appeasing terrorists doesn't produce peace,' he said of Biden."

Washington Free Beacon - Cruz and Hagerty Land in Israel to Assess Damage from Hamas War
"Senators Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and Bill Hagerty (R., Tenn.) landed in Israel on Sunday to assess the damage from the country's most recent war with Hamas and meet with the Jewish state's leaders. [...] Cruz, in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon before he departed for Israel, said he organized the trip ‘to hear and see firsthand what our Israeli allies need to defend themselves, and to show the international community that we stand unequivocally with Israel.' Cruz criticized Democrats for backing away from the U.S.-Israel alliance. ‘Far too many Democrats morally equivocated between Israel and the terrorists attacking them, and fringe progressive Democrats went even further with wild accusations and conspiracy theories,' he said. Cruz petitioned the Biden administration just before the trip to immediately replenish Israel's supply of Iron Dome missiles, which he said ‘saved thousands of lives.' Democrats oppose the effort. The senator also said the trip is an important opportunity to study the most recent conflict in person."

Fox News - GOP leaders tour Israeli home destroyed by Hamas rocket attack that claimed life of caretaker
"Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., visited Ashkelon on Monday and Tuesday, touring the remains of an elderly woman's house that was bombed by Hamas in an attack that claimed the life of her caretaker. Cruz had shared photos of the same house Monday on Twitter, calling the pictures of the home ‘heartbreaking.' ‘They got the warning that the rocket was coming,' Cruz said while showing the mangled bed of the homeowner. ‘She evacuated, her caretaker didn't make it out.' ‘Her caretaker was killed right here,' Cruz added before showing the direct damage from the Hamas rocket hitting the roof. ‘This is all of the damage that came from one Hamas rocket,' Cruz said while showing the damage. ‘One terrorist who murdered a woman here in Ashkelon.'"

KTRH Houston - Cruz, in Israel, calls on Biden to deliver more weapons to the country
"Texas Sen. Ted Cruz traveled to Israel this week to look at damage left behind after 11 days of clashes with Hamas. In a tweet, Cruz called on President Joe Biden to deliver more weapons to the country. Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas agreed to a cease-fire on May 20 after 11 days of fighting killed at least 232 Palestinians, including 65 children. Nearly 2,000 people in Gaza were injured. At least 12 people in Israel were also killed, including two children and a soldier."

Jerusalem Post - Ted Cruz shares video of Ashkelon house destroyed by Hamas rockets
"US Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) visited Israel and witnessed the destruction Gazan rockets caused to homes in southern Israel during the latest round of conflict with Hamas. In a video shared over social media, Cruz visited a home in Ashkelon that was destroyed by a rocket. This home was the site of one of Israel's first casualties during the conflict: Soumya Santosh, a caretaker originally from Kerala's Idukki district in India. In a video, Cruz walked through the room and showed the damage the rocket caused, with the wall being completely destroyed and the interior an inhospitable mess of debris. ‘All of this came from one Hamas rocket, one terrorist, who murdered a woman in Ashkelon,' Cruz said in the video. Earlier Monday, Cruz accused US President Joe Biden of showing ‘weakness' to Israel's enemies. Speaking to the Associated Press, Cruz said that this perceived show of weakness is going to spark further escalations in terrorist attacks."

Jewish Press - Israel to Request $1B from US This Week to Replenish Iron Dome Interceptors
"The South Carolina senator joined GOP Senators Bill Hagerty of Tennessee and Ted Cruz of Texas in a tour of cities in southern Israel on Monday and Tuesday to see the extent of the rocket damage from Israel's recent miniwar with Iranian proxy Hamas. [...] Cruz told Fox News journalist Sean Hannity in a separate interview Tuesday about one Ashkelon home he saw after it was bombed by Hamas; ‘A Hamas rocket destroyed this home and killed an elderly woman's caretaker,' he said, showing viewers the remains of the residence. ‘You can see the elderly woman - that's her bed - they got the warning that the rocket was coming. She evacuated, her caretaker didn't make it out,' Cruz said, with visible sadness. ‘She was killed right here. . . This is all of the damage that came from one Hamas rocket, one terrorist who murdered a woman here in Ashkelon.'"

New York Post - Ted Cruz shares photos of rocket attack damage in Israel, accuses Biden of ‘weakness'
"Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) accused President Biden Monday of showing "weakness" toward Israel's enemies hours after tweeting "heartbreaking" images of damage from a deadly rocket attack. ‘The longer Joe Biden shows weakness to Hamas or Hezbollah or Iran, the more you're going to see terrorist attacks escalating," Cruz told the Associated Press after spending Monday touring Israel's Iron Dome defense system and and viewing damage in the port city of Ashkelon, just eight miles from the border with the Gaza Strip. ‘Appeasing terrorists doesn't produce peace," added Cruz, whose remarks broke with the once-customary practice of refraining from discussing domestic politics while overseas, particularly about the sitting president. Earlier, Cruz tweeted out a series of pictures showing the destroyed home of an elderly Ashkelon resident. ‘Heartbreaking. Countless times, I've seen a Mezuzah hanging on a door frame,' Cruz captioned the first image he posted. ‘This is the first time I've seen one on a home bombed by terrorists.' The senator noted that the rocket strike killed the woman's caretaker. A subsequent tweet from Cruz showed the woman's walker standing amid the rubble of the house. A third tweet showed more images of the damage."

Newsweek - Ted Cruz Tells Netanyahu Israel Has a 'Responsibility' to Defend Itself During Visit
"During a trip to Israel, Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that country has a ‘responsibility' to defend itself from Palestinian militant group Hamas. ‘It's good to be with my good friend, the prime minister, and it's important that we're here now to state, unequivocally, that the United States stands with Israel,' Cruz said while speaking with Netanyahu on Tuesday. ‘These are perilous times, but Israel not only has a right, but a responsibility to defend yourself.' [...] In response, the Israeli prime minister says: ‘I see two great friends of Israel...we have no better friends, over tested over time.' Cruz also expressed support for Israel and Netanyahu in a tweet responding to the video, where he wrote: ‘It was a pleasure to meet w/ my friend Prime Minister Netanyahu & reiterate America's strong & unequivocal support for Israel. These are perilous times & whether it's standing up to Hamas terrorists or stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons, the American people are with you.' During his visit to Israel, Cruz also posted a video on Twitter from a home in the Israeli city of Ashkelon, which he said was attacked by Hamas during the violent conflict.'"

Washington Examiner - Ted Cruz accuses Biden of showing ‘weakness' toward Hamas as he tours Israel
"Republican Sen. Ted Cruz accused President Joe Biden of showing ‘weakness' toward Hamas after a visit to Israel, where he saw an area devastated by the recent missile barrage. ‘Appeasing terrorists doesn't produce peace,' Cruz told the Associated Press after visiting the port city of Ashkelon, which is about 10 miles from the Gaza-Israel border. The Texas lawmaker said Biden was not doing enough to support Israel against the Hamas-governed Gaza Strip and predicted there would be additional attacks. ‘The longer Joe Biden shows weakness to Hamas or Hezbollah or Iran, the more you're going to see terrorist attacks escalating,' he said. Instead of condemning Hamas, Democrats are acting like press secretaries for the terrorists. Cruz also shared photos of a home damaged by the missile attack. ‘Heartbreaking,' Cruz captioned the photo. ‘Countless times, I've seen a Mezuzah hanging on a door frame. This is the first time I've seen one on a home bombed by terrorists,' he added."

 

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