October 18, 2023

Young: We Must Stand with Israel, Oppose Antisemitism

Israel floor speech

**Click here or above to watch Senator Young’s floor speech.**

WASHINGTON U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.), lead Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism, today spoke on the Senate floor about the October 7 terrorist attacks in Israel, why the United States must support the Israeli people, and the importance of denouncing antisemitism.

“At the core of Hamas burns an age-old sickness: antisemitism…The worldview of Hamas must be added to the roll call of evil ideologies that failed to destroy the Jewish people…We must also stand vigilant against and always oppose antisemitism,” said Senator Young.

To watch the full floor speech, click here.

Senator Young’s full remarks, as delivered:

Throughout their history, the children of Israel have known persecution and sorrow.

They have lived in exile and enslavement.

They have faced bigotry and violence. 

Entire nations and civilizations have sought to extinguish them and vanished, but the Jewish people remain. 

And against all odds, millions of their descendants gathered together in the Holy Land and founded a nation.

Today, Israel is a vibrant democracy in the Middle East and a strong ally of the United States of America.

Many people of faith would say the existence and perseverance of the State of Israel is itself evidence of divine Providence.

Yet even today, even today, Israel faces existential threats. 

On October 7, Hamas terrorists carried out the worst attack on the Jewish people since the Holocaust.

The slaughter of 1,400 people…the decapitation of babies…the execution of grandmothers…and the taking of nearly 200 hostages, including children, women, seniors, and American citizens.

Thirty Americans were among the murdered. Thirty Americans. Many of our fellow citizens have friends and family in Israel.

Regardless of our faith, we are all, I know, heartbroken for the loss, sickened by the cruelty.

And on behalf of the Hoosiers I represent, I want to express my deepest condolences to the people of Israel as they mourn and pray and bury the dead.

As it has since its founding, against alliances of far larger nations and armies, this country – which is four times smaller than Indiana – will defend itself.

And America will be here for Israel and support its right to confront this violence, this barbarism.

We will do this because our values are the same – dedication to liberty and order, to tolerance and human dignity.

The days ahead will be difficult.

As members of this body know too well, Israel is still under threat, and the risk of additional fronts opening up is real.

Over the past several days, I’ve been heartened by the strong, bipartisan support in the United States Senate for the people of Israel.

During this time of peril, this body cannot succumb to isolationism; we cannot abandon Israel any more than we can abandon our friends in Ukraine or Taiwan.

On urgent matters of national security, we are stronger when we stand together.

And in the difficult days ahead, we will work to support the people of Israel. I know we will continue that spirit.

Relatedly, I call on the Biden Administration to consult and closely work with Congress to quickly fulfill – quickly fulfill – any urgent Israeli requests for assistance and do all we can to fully support Israel.

Now colleagues, the Constitution of the United States lays out our responsibilities.

Congress has an important Constitutional role in determining how the United States will respond to any additional acts of aggression.  

As we support and stand with our allies, we also must be crystal clear about what has happened.

The attacks on the people of Israel orchestrated by Hamas were barbaric, depraved, they were evil.

Long supported by the Iranian regime, Hamas’ stated mission is to destroy the Jewish people.

That’s right, at the core of Hamas burns an age-old sickness: antisemitism.

It was the twisted inspiration for their massacre. This broken thinking, this horrific ideology, liberates not a single life.

Instead, tragically it will cost only more, including those of innocent Palestinian civilians. 

For the past 15 years, many peace-keeping Palestinians in Gaza have had their lives upended and exploited by the Hamas terrorist group.

We acknowledge their suffering. We hope for change. 

Those in our media, on our college campuses, or even those serving in government who ascribe the actions of Hamas to anything else other than hatred…

…those who are so quick to decry injustices elsewhere but place murder and rape in some sort of perspective

…those who provide context for savagery…

…those who sigh that “both sides are guilty”…

To all of you, I say you are providing cover for monsters.

The worldview of Hamas must be added to the roll call of evil ideologies that failed to destroy the Jewish people.

And that is why we must stand with Israel. But that alone is not enough.

The murder of thousands of Jews brought reminders of the Holocaust, and echoes of Russian pogroms, and so many centuries of trials and tragedies.

So, we must also stand vigilant against and always oppose antisemitism, wherever it appears, whatever movement it is attached to, whatever banner it marches underneath.

In these difficult days, we echo the old prayer sung across synagogues for the Jewish people:

“May God have mercy on them and remove them from distress to relief, from darkness to light, from subjugation to redemption, now, speedily, and soon.”