Sen. Cruz: ‘The Hamas Talking Points, Which Are Being Printed by Our Media, Are Aimed at Whitewashing the Terrorists’ Genocidal Hatred of Israel’
Delivers floor speech on the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and the terrorist attacks on Israel
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), today delivered remarks on the Senate floor, where he spoke about his recent trip to the historic opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. During his speech he criticized the media for its bias against Israel and expressed his unequivocal support for Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas’ recent attacks on Israel's border.
“I was proud to have traveled to Jerusalem along with my fellow Senators for the official opening of the new embassy. It was an incredible honor to witness history unfolding. A joyous moment for Israelis, for Americans. A moment of history. […] But moving the embassy and recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has significance beyond that. It has significance because it is an unmistakable message to our friends and to our enemies that the United States stands with our friends and stands unshakably alongside the nation of Israel.”
Sen. Cruz sponsored a bipartisan resolution that passed Congress in 2014 condemning Hamas for using civilians as human shields and supporting Israel’s right to defend itself, and penned an op-ed emphasizing the repeated patterns of Hamas’ malice towards Israel, which may be viewed here.
Watch Sen. Cruz’s floor speech in its entirety here. The full text of his remarks is below:
“Madam President, I rise today to give thanks and celebration for the United States’ embassy established in the city of Jerusalem, and for the continued safety and security of the Jewish people, in Israel and across the world.
“Almost exactly 70 years ago, Israel’s founding father, David Ben-Gurion, brought together members of the Jewish People’s Council in the Tel Aviv Museum to declare the founding of the modern State of Israel. 11 minutes later, President Harry S. Truman courageously recognized the State of Israel, over the objection of many of his advisors and the State Department, and the fates of our two countries have been intertwined ever since. Until this week, when the U.S. Embassy was finally, finally, finally moved to Jerusalem, recognizing that it is the eternal capital of the Jewish people and the undivided capital of Israel.
“I was proud to have traveled to Jerusalem along with my fellow Senators for the official opening of the new embassy. It was an incredible honor to witness history unfolding. A joyous moment for Israelis, for Americans. A moment of history. I had the opportunity to visit with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the incredible significance of ending the 70 years of discrimination that Israel had faced.
“No other country on Earth did America have our embassy in a city other than its capital city. It was only Israel where our embassy was not in the capital. And I would note that for many years, presidents of both parties, Democrats and Republicans, have campaigned promising that they would move the embassy to Jerusalem, which is the capital of the nation.
“And yet presidents of both parties failed to do so. I commend President Trump for honoring that campaign commitment. For delivering on that campaign commitment. Moving our embassy to Jerusalem is an acknowledgment of undeniable truth: That Jerusalem is in fact the capital of the nation of Israel. It is where we find the Knesset, it is where we find the Supreme Court, it is where we find the Prime Minister, it is where we find the president of Israel. It is the capital city, and now our embassy reflects that fact.
“But moving the embassy and recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has significance beyond that. It has significance because it is an unmistakable message to our friends and to our enemies that the United States stands with our friends and stands unshakably alongside the nation of Israel.
“There was considerable debate within the Administration about if and when to move the embassy. That’s been true in prior administrations as well. Considerable debate. And the principle argument against moving the embassy, has always been that the enemies of Israel wouldn’t like it. Well that I believe is yet another reason this is the right thing to do. why this was the right thing to do.
“There were some who made the case that moving the embassy would diminish the chances of peace in the Middle East. Now I’ll confess, I am skeptical that peace will be obtained anytime soon.
“I don’t believe the impediment to peace in the Middle East is the nation of Israel. Israel wants peace. It is Israeli babies who are being murdered by the terrorists. The barrier to peace - I don’t believe we will see peace in the Middle East unless and until the Palestinian leadership number one, acknowledges Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. And number two, renounces terrorism. As long as the Palestinian leaders are in engaged in a unity government with Hamas, an avowed terrorist organization, seeking to destroy the nation of Israel and murder innocent Israelis, peace will not be had.
“But what I urged President Trump and urged the Administration is that moving the embassy increases, I believe, the chance of peace. Why is that?
“Because it demonstrates that America stands strong, stands by our friends, and is not shaken, is not buffeted, by global media opinion. I suggested to the Administration that our Arab allies in the region, they publicly would denounce the move - they would have to for domestic political concerns. However, I believe privately those allies, the Egyptians, the Jordanians, the Saudis, privately would be relieved that America moved our embassy. Why is that? Because an American president and an Administration strong enough to move the embassy and stand up to the nattering nabobs in the press, might well also be a president and Administration strong enough to stand up to Iran, to end the catastrophic Obama Iranian Nuclear Deal, and to do whatever is necessary to prevent the Ayatollah Khamenei from getting nuclear weapons.
“And indeed, we saw that assessment was true. I think it is quite fitting that the opening of the new embassy occurred just days apart from the President making the historic decision to pull out of the disastrous Obama-Iran Nuclear Deal. We are seeing the difference between strength and weakness. If history teaches anything it is that weakness and appeasement do not work. And instead I think America is far better when we pursue policies of peace through strength.
“We all recognize there are those who rage against the existence of the state of Israel. There are Ayatollahs of Iran who swear ‘Death to Israel,’ and ‘Death to America.’ Indeed, who refer to Israel as ‘Little Satan’ and America as the ‘Great Satan,’ and who finance terrorism at Israel’s doorstep and across the world.
“There are the terrorists of Hamas, who seized control of the Gaza Strip over a decade ago after Israel had already fully withdrawn from the territory. For the last several months, Hamas has been organizing civilian mobs, with terrorist cells embedded throughout, to attack Israel’s border and the soldiers stationed there.
“They call the riots the ‘March of Return,’ in reference to what they call their ‘Right of Return,’ which is a euphemism for having millions of descendants of Palestinians flood into Israel and destroy the modern state of Israel. End its existence as a Jewish state. Hamas timed their weeks of riots to culminate this week during what they call ‘Nakba Day.’ Nakba means catastrophe. It is the word they use to reference the creation of Israel. Madam President, we should understand that. They denounce every year when Israel celebrates the creation of the modern state of Israel, Hamas mourns the ‘catastrophe,’ to use their word, that Israel even exists.
“But inevitably, in these battles for survival that Israel faces daily, we can count on global media elites acting as little more than propaganda arms for Hamas and other terrorists. And no week has that been more evident than this week.
“Madam President, I direct you to the front page of the New York Times from this week. The New York Times’ headline, ‘Israel Kills Dozens at Gaza Border as U.S. Embassy Opens in Jerusalem’. Now anyone reading this headline [might think] - ‘Goodness gracious. Why are the Israelis murdering people?’ That’s what the New York Times says. One takes from the coverage apparently poor, innocent, unarmed people are being shot for no reason by Israel. That’s certainly what the global media elite are portraying.
“What are the actual facts? You remember facts. The things that used to be reported when journalists were actually being journalists and not propagandists. Well let’s talk about the facts.
“For several weeks, we’ve seen riots and violent attacks at Israel's borders. Terrorist attacks that culminated in the attacks that led to these shootings in self-defense.
“The rioters, they use massive tire fires to create smoke to cover their attacks. They used guns, they used pipe bombs, they used Molotov cocktails, they used grenades, they used they used mechanical catapults to attack the border and to attack Israeli troops. They tie petrol bombs to kites and they launched them to set fire to Israeli fields and livestock. The kites, well let’s take a look at the kites. The kites that they use are painted with swastikas. Just so you’re not confused about their motivations. These are pictures taken a couple of weeks ago of kites, of images of swastikas by the Hamas terrorists with gasoline bombs designed to commit murder and mayhem.
“Palestinians in the riots - they don’t hide their motives and intentions. It’s not that the New York Times can’t figure it out, it’s that they don’t care. One 23-year-old rioter told the Washington Post ‘we are excited to storm and get inside,’ and that if he got across the border he would do ‘whatever is possible, to kill, throw stones.’ Madam President, I would note a violent terrorist attacking the border seeking to murder people is not a peaceful protester. As the useful idiots in the media, falsely portray them.
“Another Hamas terrorist who was flying a swastika kite, told NPR, and this is a quote: ‘This is a kite that’s going to go to the Jews… The Jews go crazy for Hitler when they see it… This is actually what we want them to know, that we want to burn them.’ Now, let me remind you again of the New York Times headline. The New York Times headline says, ‘Israel Kills Dozens at Gaza Border.’ Kills dozens of what? Of whom? Do they say terrorists? Do they say Hamas terrorists flying swastika kites filled with gasoline seeking to murder Israelis who say quote, ‘This is actually what we want them to know, that we want to burn them.’
“A rational person when hearing about brave soldiers protecting innocent civilians from terrorists seeking to murder them, that is a good thing when terrorists are stopped before they can carry out their acts of terror. But the New York Times can’t be bothered to include those facts. There is a message to be conveyed, and for anyone lacking nuance or subtlety their message is simple: Israel, bad. Israel, bad - that’s their whole subtlety. And mind you, the bodies of those poor, helpless little terrorists - well you know, when a terrorist seeks to commit murder we do everything possible to prevent them from doing so.
“So, when you read the headline, understand that this is who the New York Times is celebrating. Although I ask you, Madam President, why wasn’t the swastika on the cover of the New York Times. Might people understand it differently if they actually showed photographs of what was happening?
“One of Hamas’ Facebook pages posted maps with directions to nearby Israeli communities, where thousands of Israelis live within 2 miles of the border. You look at this map, this map is posted. You need to understand - these protesters are not just there saying, ‘Make love man, not war.’ New York Times wants to paint them as some happy little hippies with daisies in their ears, ‘just give peace a chance.’ You know, John and Yoko are among them.
“Well why is Hamas posting this map saying, ‘If you cross the border, here’s where the Israeli communities are to go and murder Israelis. Here’s the map. ‘If you make it across the border, here’s where you can find victims to kill as many of them as possible.’ They’re not hiding their intentions. This is not subtle. ‘If you get across the border, your target is wherever you can find Jews to kill. These are the terrorists that the New York Times celebrates, ‘kills dozens.’ Why is it that the New York Times doesn’t mention the maps that they have to Israeli homes to murder innocent women and children to kill as many Jews as possible.
“Here’s a partial list of what happened on the border over just a few hours on Monday:
“At 12:53 p.m. there were five pipe-bomb detonations.
“At 12:58 another explosive device was detonated.
“At 1:15 a terror cell opened fire at Israeli soldiers who caught them trying to plant bombs.
“At 1:30 there was another shooting attack at Israeli soldiers.
“At 1:45 there was yet another shooting attack, this time by a terror cell of eight using the rioters as cover. As human shields.
“At 2:09 there were three more bomb detonations.
“At 2:13 there was a Molotov cocktail attack.
“At 2:49 there was another Molotov cocktail attack.
“At 3:10 there was yet another bomb attack. And so on, and so on, and so on.
“That’s just two hours. Where in the New York Times headline, and sadly, this is emblematic of much of the global media elite, who are unified in their antagonism to the state of Israel. Where is any acknowledgement [of] pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails, shooting? How would this headline read differently if, ‘Violent Hamas Terrorists Open Fire on Israelis Who Defend Innocent Civilians Taking the Lives of the Terrorists.’ That actually would be news. That actually would be factual. That actually would be describing what happened, instead of becoming a propagandist for the terrorists.
“The strategy for these riots, for these terror attacks, it’s a win-win for Hamas. If they breach Israel’s fence, then their terrorists can rush into Israeli towns, try to kidnap and kill Israeli civilians. If they fail to breach the fence, they attack the fence and Israeli soldiers defend Israel, and if they’re shot, then they know that the media - the useful idiots - will provide endless photographs and stories denouncing Israel.
“‘How dare you kill terrorists before they're able to murder innocent civilians?’ The media has been more than happy to oblige Hamas’ propaganda needs. Reporters, celebrity talking heads, and members of our political establishment have faithfully – and enthusiastically – parroted the Hamas line. They say that he riots are the fault of the United States for moving our embassy and that the rioters are ‘peaceful’ and ‘unarmed’ protesters.
“There’s a word for that. It’s called a lie. And when so-called journalists repeatedly and deliberately lie in the name of propaganda, well they shouldn't be surprised to have earned the moniker ‘fake news.’
“The Hamas talking points, which are being printed by our media, are aimed at whitewashing the terrorists’ genocidal hatred of Israel. In fact, these attacks are waged because Hamas refuses to accept the existence of Israel. Mind you, Gaza they control. Israel doesn’t govern Gaza. Hamas governs Gaza. This is an attack on the border of Israel seeking to murder innocent civilians.
“The New York Times has been unremitting in its dishonesty. They told their tens of thousands of Facebook followers that Israel ‘used tear gas and gunfire to keep Palestinian protesters from crossing the border fence with Gaza, killing at least 52 according to Palestinian officials. 40 miles away, officials celebrated the U.S. Embassy’s relocation to Jerusalem.’
“Once again, this is the New York Times pretending to report. Israel ‘used tear gas and gunfire to keep Palestinian protesters from crossing the border fence with Gaza, killing at least 52.’ These are not protesters, these are terrorists seeking to murder people. When you call a terrorist a peaceful and unarmed protester, directly contrary to the facts, you’re not engaged in journalism. You’re pursuing a political agenda on the pages of the old Gray Lady.
“Their website’s headline on Monday blared ‘Israel Kills 58 and Injures Over 1,300 by Gunfire at Gaza Border… A mass attempt by Palestinians to cross the border fence quickly turned violent, as Israeli soldiers responded with rifle fire.’ Gosh, where in their headlines, where in their coverage, is any mention that these are terrorists with bombs and guns and Molotov cocktails and kites carrying gasoline? ‘Oh no, no, no, these were just protesters who for no reason whatsoever, those bad, bad Israelis decided to shoot. They just got up and said, let’s just shoot a bunch of people.’ That’s what the New York Times tells us. ‘For no reason whatsoever, they just began firing into the crowd.’ By the way, if you go into the fever swamps of social media and you see the left, the New York Times knows what it’s propaganda does. It’s not hard to find people on Twitter suggesting, ‘that for no reason Israelis just began shooting people, because you know, shooting people is fun.’ Because remember, their message, it’s not complicated: ‘Israel bad.’ And so, if Israel bad, ‘then you just start shooting people because that’s how you approach a Monday morning.’ That’s the message, and it’s heard by social media. It’s heard by anti-Semites across the globe. It plays into vicious blood libels that go back millennium. It just happens to be a lie. Not an accidental misstatement. A deliberate, calculated, repeated lie.
“Undoubtedly, tragically, some of those killed have been Palestinian civilian human shields. This is by design Madam President. Part of what Hamas does is it uses terrorists to commit acts of terror, and it uses innocent Palestinians as human shields trying to get them killed, because that serves their propaganda purposes. Although I will say, consistently during these riots, it’s turned out that a great many of the deaths are of the actual Hamas terrorists picked off while planting bombs and attacking Israeli soldiers.
“[Had] the American military been able to shoot the terrorists on 9-11 who flew airplanes into the World Trade Center, who flew an airplane into the Pentagon. [Had] the military been able to stop those terrorists and shoot those terrorists. And in the New York Times reading, the headline would read, ‘American Military Shoots Peaceful Flying Passengers.’ When you stop a terrorist seeking to commit murder, it is not shooting a peaceful protester.
“During past riots, Hamas has acknowledged that up to 80% of those killed were terrorists. This time around, already, between one-third and one-half of those killed have been identified as terrorists. Look, this is Hamas telling you this. The people being shot are avowed terrorists. There’s no dispute that Hamas is a terrorist organization. There’s no dispute - this is their wall of martyrs. ‘These are the terrorists that we have sent, who were killed.’
“Where was the word terrorist in the coverage? Now you saw on TV images of violence on the border, juxtaposed with the image of the embassy unveiling. No doubt intended to put the blame for the attempted terrorism - to put the blame on the United States. ‘How dare the United States of America actually stand with Israel? How dare America open an embassy in the capital of Israel?’ The blame for the violence lies with the terrorists. Not America for standing with our friend. You know what? These terrorists - they hated Israel, they hated Jews, and they hated America before we moved our embassy. And they’re compatriots hate America, hate Israel, and hate Jews after we moved our embassy. Their hatred, their murderous, religious zealotry is the cause of the murder, of the violence.
“A Hamas spokesman went further on TV and said that ‘in the last round of confrontations, if 62 people were martyred, 50 of them were Hamas.’
“Well gosh, Madam President, the New York Times just said, ‘a bunch of unarmed protesters were standing there when for no reason Israeli soldiers began shooting them.’ What complete mendacity. Hamas admits these are Hamas terrorists. And yet the media does all they can to hide that.
“Imagine the outrage if, when the American Embassy in Benghazi was attacked by Ansar al-Sharia in 2012, a newspaper had printed ‘Americans kill dozens of Libyans.’ By the way, that’s the exact same headline the New York Times did. ‘Yes, protesters coming to commit murder, soldiers fight back to stop them from committing murder.’ Fortunately, even the New York Times didn’t quite have the gall to say that. But the facts are comparable.
“The blame for all the deaths – whether terrorists or human shields – is on Hamas and Hamas alone. Any implication otherwise is nothing less than shameful support for genocidal terrorism.
“In 2014, I introduced in this body, bipartisan legislation along with New York Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat, supporting Israel’s right to self-defense and condemning Hamas’ barbaric tactics, specifically condemning the use of human shields as a war crime. That resolution passed the United States Senate unanimously, and it passed the House of Representatives unanimously. And yet we see the tactic yet again, these terrorists using human shields, using innocent Palestinians as human shields precisely because they want them to come to die because they can trust the global media to carry their message.
“A few years back, when Israel faced rocket attacks from Hamas, one after the other after the other, Hamas had its headquarters in the basement of a hospital. Indeed some years ago I wrote an op-ed entitled, ‘A Tale of Two Hospitals,’ and it says that you can tell a lot about a society about how they treat their most vulnerable. And it compared two hospitals, one the Ziv Hospital in northern Israel which I visited. At the time the Ziv Hospital had provided over $8 million in free medical care to Syrians who had been badly wounded in the horrific civil war playing out in Syria. Freely caring for their neighbors being murdered by their own head of government.
“The op-ed contrasted that hospital to the hospital in Gaza, in whose basement Hamas had their headquarters. Now for Hamas it was a win-win scenario. ‘Option A’ is that Israel refrains from hitting the headquarters because it is in the basement of a hospital -- that’s obviously a win because then the terrorist headquarters doesn’t get targeted in a military conflict. That ultimately is what happened. And the Israeli forces did not hit Hamas’ headquarters. But ‘Option Two’ from Hamas’ perspective was also a win.
“If Israel did strike at their headquarters, a military target that was launching military attacks trying to murder Israelis then the result would be pictures of dead bodies on CNN and the New York Times. Pictures of the hospital being used as human shields, it is Hamas desiring the death of little Palestinian babies newborn in the maternity ward, because they knew if Israel actually took out Hamas’ headquarters they could take those babies who Hamas had used as human shields then they could count on the New York Times. Can you imagine Mr. President, the headline of that New York Times? ‘Israel Bombs Babies.’ It is not markedly different from their headline, ‘Israel Kills Dozens at Gaza Border,’ it’s propaganda.
“As long as Hamas has leaders who manipulate them, who lie to the Palestinian people, who manipulate them, lie to the world, and use human shields in their bloody terrorist campaign against Israel, there can never hope for peace or prosperity.
“Israel has the right to defend itself. And Israel is defending itself.
“I only wish that our global media had some tiny passing qualm of guilt to at least pretend to report the news, to at least pretend to tell the truth, to not function as Hamas’ propaganda agents -- but instead to tell the truth. Tell the truth when Hamas terrorists say with their Nazi swastika kite bombs, ‘we want the Israelis to know that we want them to burn,’ these are the facts they need to report. Even if it happens to disagree with their political agenda of undermining the state of Israel.
“But fortunately, Mr. President, regardless of the partisan bias, regardless of the propaganda that the New York Times and other globalist media outlets put out, America -- the American people -- stand and will continue to stand unshakably alongside our friends and allies, the people of Israel. And we have reason to celebrate. When I was in Jerusalem, just a couple of days ago, I visited with person after person, Israeli and American, who were reduced to tears -- and some were Holocaust survivors. And the phrase that I heard more than anything else was, ‘I thought I would never live to see the day.’ Well, we did live to see the day.
“America’s embassy should’ve been in Jerusalem 70 years ago, and it should’ve been there 60 years ago, should’ve been there 50 years ago, 20 years ago, 10 years ago, and one year ago. But fortunately, America’s embassy is where it belongs today in Jerusalem -- the once and eternal, undivided capital of Israel. Jerusalem was the capital of Israel 3,000 years ago. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel today, and the United States’ government recognizes that, and just as Harry Truman did 70 years ago, is leading the rest of the world to follow suit.”