NEW YORK, August 6 — The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has praised President Barack Obama for signing into law yesterday legislation passed by Congress granting an additional $225 million for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. The Iron Dome anti-missile system has played a prominent and vital part during the current hostilities with Hamas-controlled Gaza in intercepting nearly 90% of incoming Hamas rockets aimed at Israeli cities. The legislation was passed on August 1, first by a veto-proof unanimous vote of the U.S. Senate, then by the U.S. House of Representatives by an overwhelming vote of 395 to 8.
The ZOA has also praised Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) for a stirring speech in support of this legislation and condemnation of Hamas, which included the following:
“I want to stand resolute and about the cause of this crisis, and that lies squarely with Hamas … Their agenda is not peace for their people. written into their Charter is to eliminate the state of Israel … [they have] the evil determination to do everything necessary to achieve their goal .. They are in the interest of wracking up casualties .. This terrorist organization is willing to stop at no end to build up their tunnels … willing to deny their people construction material that could be building schools and infrastructure … This is unacceptable, this is unacceptable, and this is unacceptable … We cannot advocate a false peace that will allow Hamas, a terrorist organization, to continue their efforts to destroy the state of Israel. Hamas is not seeking peaceful coexistence between two states. What they are simply doing is to cause death and destruction … We in this nation cannot support any measures or any agenda that gives this terrorist organization harbor and support, that give this terror organization any advantage in trying to achieve their end … We cannot as a nation advocate for that kind of a false peace, that allows Hamas to go back to tunneling, to firing rockets, to hiding missiles in schools and hospitals and putting more innocent children at harm’s risk … not a pause that gives one side to go back to its evil ends, to tunnels and plotting the next attack … Right now we are in a state of crisis, and America’s voice must be resolute: we stand with our ally, we stand with the democratic state of Israel, we stand against terrorism … This is why today I come before you to support the $225 million in additional funding, requested by the Department of Defense to ensure that the Iron Dome in Israel remains equipped to protect civilians from Hamas fired rockets. Hamas has fired over 2,500 rockets at Israel in the past week, putting innocent Palestinians at risk, to protect their stockpile and their evil ends. Yesterday alone, 51 rockets and mortar shells were fired at Israel … We must stand with our ally, we must stand with the state of Israel, we must stand for peace, and therefore I support this expenditure and I continue a resolute and unwavering and unequivocal support of the continuance of the state of Israel” (‘Senator Booker on Israel,’ Youtube, July 29, 2014).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We praise President Obama for speedily signing into law this urgent and important legislation, which enables Israel rapid resupply of components necessary for the vital functioning of the Iron Dome missile system. The Iron Dome has highly successfully protected Israeli lives from the barrage of Hamas missiles fired deliberately at the heart of Israeli cities and towns. If not for it, many hundreds of Israelis could have been expected to be killed and hundreds more wounded in the rocket barrages of recent weeks.
“We also want to praise Senator Cory Booker for his outstanding, passionate and morally compelling speech on the Senate floor in support of this legislation. Senator Booker’s speech represent a moral clarity and understanding that is tragically missing among most world leaders, any of who, have condemned Israel’s careful self-defense measures because Gazan civilians have been harmed. Rather than lambast Hamas’ war crimes that have produced these deaths, they condemn Israel.
“Senator Booker’s speech offers a vital corrective to the false moral equivalence and anti-Israel hostility masquerading as concern for human rights of which we have heard so much in recent weeks.”