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please welcome back to the stage.
Jerry Greenspan.
Hopefully, our program today has given you a chance to hear from pro Israel advocates on both sides of the political spectrum, starting with our by Potter's and panel featuring Congressman Eliot Angle and Michael McCaul to our conversation with Progressive Labor leader J.
D.
Cox to close out the program.
We'll hear from a passionate advocate and an outspoken leader on the US Israel relationship.
Since he was first elected to the Senate in 2012 r Final guests has been a strong voice advocating for key pro Israel legislation, and he regularly authors and co sponsors bills that strengthens the alliance between America and Israel.
Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming our final guest, a true ally of our movement and a champion of the US Israel relationship from the great state of Texas.
One of my U S.
Senators, Ted Cruz.
Thank you.
I don't think they know how they feel about you.
Like they appreciate your opening the barley that help, you know.
Welcome back to policy conference, I guess, is the answer there, Senator.
Very simply, you're an outspoken champion on this issue.
Why are you so supportive of Israel because it's the right thing to do.
It's the right thing to do from the head and from the heart from the head.
Israel is America's strongest ally in a very troubled region of the world.
Israel shares our values and the military support that we provide.
Israel provides enormous benefits to the United States is one of the things I think those of us in the pro Israel community.
When we're defending this relationship, we shouldn't do so from the perspective of, you know, we're just helping out someone in need.
If we tried to recreate the intelligence and the military benefits we get from the Massad from the idea from our cooperation with Israel, it would cost tens of billions of dollars for America to do so, because the enemies of Israel are also the enemies of America, and it benefits both countries to stand together.
Absolutely, Senator, I'll also say, is as a heart matter.
My dad fled Cuba.
My dad was in prison.
My dad was tortured in Cuba.
He came to America as a as a haven for freedom, and that's what Israel is.
It has been a haven for those facing oppression, those facing persecution, those facing murder, the modern state of Israel is the embodiment of the promise.
Never again and as the son of a Cuban immigrant that resonates powerfully, senator in a very bipartisan manner, you've worked to adopt critical legislation on Israel.
Last year you worked with Senator Donnelly of Indiana on legislation targeting Hamas and Hezbollah for their human shields.
And obviously today in the news Maur terror attacks from Thomas, which will likely require an Israeli response.
Tell us how the bill that you passed that was the other way signed into law by the president tells how it's gonna work to confront human shields and the effects of the bill and why you co sponsor while you sponsored it.
Well, as you know, human shields are a persistent pattern that terrorists use.
It's a persistent tool that Hamas and Hezbollah uses, and they use it because they know they can count on on the media to blame the deaths of those human shields on Israel and for that matter, to blame those deaths on America.
And so several years ago, I I I led bipartisan legislation a resolution condemning the use of human shields that passed both houses unanimously.
And then, just in December again, I introduced bipartisan legislation imposing sanctions on any organizations or governments that use human shields.
And look, we saw this powerfully.
Not too many months ago, I was in Jerusalem for the opening of our embassy, and we saw.
And what an incredible day, what a day that was long in coming.
What a powerful emotional time to be with Israelis and Americans in particular.
I visited with with with several several people who were Holocaust survivors who, with tears in their eyes as the embassy was being open to dedicated, said, I never thought I'd live to see this day.
Sure, on that day we also saw Hamas terrorists in Gaza attacking Israel, and we saw The New York Times and other outlets covering it in a way that that terrorists who were flying kites with swastikas who were taking petrol bombs into Israel to try to murder innocent Israelis and the media would cover that that behavior without acknowledging these were terror attacks and so imposing sanctions, calling out human shields it number one protects Israel.
But just as importantly, it protects America because these same tactics are and will be used against America.
Absolutely.
And Senator, when you talk about Hamas and when you talk about Hezbollah, really, when you see anything on fire in the Middle East, let's let's be real.
It's We're talking about Iran here.
What more should the United States?
What more should Congress be doing to confront Iran's regional aggression?
Everything in anything, Iran and the threat of a nuclear Iran, I believe, is the gravest national security threat facing the United States and the gravest threat facing Israel.
We need to be using maximum pressure, and and I think maximum pressure means maximum pressure Right now.
In the administration, there are debates about what maximum pressure means.
And indeed, there are folks within some of the agencies that are resisting where the president the administration want to go.
One of the things I think we need to do is end the oil waivers, end them now, no more oil waivers, and last year I introduced legislation to Cutter ran off from the Swiss systems of financial transactions so that maximum pressure ends the Ayatollahs reign of terror.
Senator, I love to stick around because we could have that conversation for a day and 1/2?
Probably, But I do want to turn to BDS.
It's It's been a huge issue here.
Very simply.
How do we confront the boycott?
Divestment, Sanctions moving.
How does Congress need to very clearly define what BDS is?
And then how do we approach protecting Israel from the harmful effects of it?
We need to speak out against it.
We need to call it out for what it is.
The BDS movement is anti Semitism.
It is driven by hatred of Jews and hatred of this and speaking.
The truth has power.
Look, every one of us here was heartbroken at what just happened in the House of Representatives, where the house couldn't come together on a simple resolution condemning anti Semitism.
Instead, they were at each other's throats.
Well, my hope is in the Senate weaken do better.
So So I've introduced a resolution condemning anti Semitism, condemning BTS and doing so clearly and unequivocally the history behind anti Semitism Going back millennia is unique.
It is distinctive, is targeting the economic livelihood of Jews.
It is accusing Jews of dual loyalty.
I mean, these these slanders go back for millennia.
I believe that the majority leader is said we're gonna take up my resolution anti Semitism and vote on in the Senate.
I can tell you right now we've got 15 co sponsors, but unfortunately, right now, they're all Republicans.
I'm hoping we see Democrats joined in a simple, straightforward resolution condemning anti Semitism.
Senator, I don't know how many times you've you've traveled to write more than one or two hands that can count for sure.
Give us a little picture of what you know and what you've seen in terms of the Golan Heights.
Obviously the news today.
But, um really, I want to talk a little bit more about Syria first.
What is it?
What are the issues we need to confront Syria?
What do we need to keep our eye on as it relates to Syria on aggression there?
Well, look, the Syrian civil war is tragic.
It is caused enormous death and suffering.
But one of the challenges is as bad as Assad is that many of the rebels and radical Islamic terrorists seeing seeing power handed over to to radical Islamic terrorists is not an improvement in Syria.
Um, you know, if you look at at the news about the Golan Heights.
What an incredible, tremendous victory on the Golan Heights.
The president's announcement was the right thing to do, and it has been a policy that I have been pushing that I have been urging the president, the National Security Council, the administration for many months.
In December, I introduced a resolution recognizing the Golan Heights as part of Israel.
And then just a couple of months ago, I introduced legislation mandating that the Golden Golan Heights be recognized as part of Israel.
This seems, Senator, I just a step to just continue to recognize the best defensible borders for Israel.
Long term affair.
Look, Look.
The Golan Heights was seized in the Six day war, a defensive war.
The Golan Heights are critical for defending the north of Israel, and and nobody in their right mind would want to see the Golan Heights go back to Assad or would want to see it in the hands of an Iranian proxy or would want to see it in the hands of Russia.
The Golan Heights provide too much of a strategic advantage to rain rockets down.
We've seen the terror that comes from Gaza and we can't allow the Golan Heights to become the same.
And this is a recognition of reality that the Golan Heights is part of Israel.
And let's not let's not be blinkered to reality.
Now let me say folks here.
So this legislation that I've introduced have introduced in the Senate.
There's companion legislation in the House.
We have had a number of House Democrats come out and speak in favor of the policy of recognizing the Golan Heights as part of Israel.
I think that's great.
I think that's fantastic.
We do not yet have any Democratic co sponsors in either the House or the Senate.
So let me encourage what the people here you're speaking with your representatives.
What a great day it would be to see bipartisan unanimous agreement in the Senate condemning anti Semitism and recognizing the Golan Heights is part of this.
And I want to stay there kind of the last two words, Senator, with respect to go on, because this all has to do again with Iran and Hezbollah and you mentioned early in your spot on the Foreign Relations Committee, how does one of the other things I think these folks will be lobbying on tomorrow's the foreign aid that's become so critical to Israel's defense to talk about how we continue to lobby you and your senators on both sides of the island on the House side for 3.8 billion.
The money that's needed for missile defense very clearly.
What are the best arguments to be making to you and your colleagues on this money?
Well, let's listen when it comes to lobbying me, it ain't hard.
Um, that's actually what we're doing right now, Senator, um, the military assistance we provide Israel is enormously beneficial to the United States.
If you look at the iron dome, uh, the the Iron dome has had such an extraordinary record of keeping people safe.
You know, one of my favorite videos.
If you haven't seen it, you can google it.
It's a video called Iron Dome Wedding and an Online.
You could see video of a wedding that was happening in Israel, and suddenly you see it's night time.
It's just a poem home video, and you see rockets coming in.
And then suddenly the Iron Dome interceptors come up and take out the rockets, and it explodes in the air, and it's like fireworks with the wedding music behind you and you think about without that missile defense, the end of that wedding could have been tragic.
Could have been death and suffering and misery.
And instead it's harmless lights.
And by the way, the iron dome, among other things, helps protect not only Israeli lives but also Palestinian lives.
It enables Israel to respond to Hamas and target the responses because of the ability to stop that murder.
And and I will say one of my favorite explanations of the issue is something Prime Minister Netanyahu said.
He said In Israel, we use our missiles to protect our citizens.
Hamas uses their citizens to protect their missiles and those those air not morally equivalent.
They're not the same thing, absolutely.
And and those those defensive missiles and actually you can see an iron dome battery in the background there, everybody, by the way, I have to say so.
That's the first trip I took the Israel after being elected was just weeks after I was elected, was an eight pack trips and we went and visited raw file industries where that's constructed and my first name is Rafael and I was like, Wow, that is really impressive.
Thank you.
I just thought I was good marketing, but I think it's maybe a little bit more of a coincidence.
Nonetheless, I decided that I convinced kids that I'm one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for this crowd will say it will say it's ironed on the last question when I asked Senator, eyes on just Israel's diplomatic place in the world we're talking.
The theme of this conference is connected for good.
Obviously, the things that Israel does help helps the world.
How do we and we've heard from Prime Mister Romania and others that are now talking about moving their embassies to Jerusalem?
And how do we continue to move Israel status forward diplomatically with the U.
S.
Help?
Well, look, we have strong American leadership standing with Israel.
The embassy was a critical moment, but but I think we in the pro Israel community need to do a better job winning people's hearts and minds, actually explaining that this moral equivalence is is false.
It's something that I try to do over and over and over again.
You'll remember some years back when Hamas kidnapped and ultimately murder 33 Israeli teenagers, one of whom was a dual American citizen.
I gave a long speech on the Senate floor with pictures of each of the three telling their stories telling their lives, and indeed joined with Bob Menendez.
We passed legislation out of the Senate for the State Department to give a $5 million reward for information leading to the capture of those terrorists.
Telling those stories is important.
I also wrote an op ed that was called a tale of two hospitals, and it compared to hospitals.
Number one does if hospital in northern Israel that I've visited on the border of of Israel that at the time I was there had given over $8 million in free medical care.
Syrians gravely wounded in the civil war, giving that that medical care free taking care of it was incredibly humanitarian gesture.
I contrasted that to the hospital in Gaza, in whose basement Hamas had set up their command headquarters, and Hamas was literally using Palestinian mothers and newborn babies as human shields because from their perspective, it was a win win.
Either the idea F would refrain from hitting their command headquarters because of the hospital that was a win or from their perspective, even better.
The idea would hit them and you would suddenly see thes Palestinian human shields whose lives were lost and and the media could be predicted to blame it all on Israel and that contrast between those two hospitals.
We need to collectively tell those stories we need to move people's hearts and minds.
We need to tell the truth.
Um, I think there is enormous power and truth and let me make a a final point.
Look, a Pakis had a wonderful tradition of really working hard to ensure bipartisan support for Israel.
That is important.
I commend you for doing so.
One of the worst legacies of the Iranian nuclear deal is that that bipartisan support was frayed and frayed substantially in Congress, and I think that consequence for all of us who are passionate about the US Israel relationship, it is really a dangerous development.
It's part of why I hope we see in the Senate I think it would be incredibly beneficial to see bipartisan unanimity on anti Semitism in the Golan Heights because it would be powerful to see both parties coming together and saying There may be issues on which we disagree, but on these issues we speak united with one voice.
Senator, I think it's an understatement to say how much we appreciate your support.
Your leadership on the U.
S.
Is relationship protecting America's friendship with Israel, protecting the safety and security of both nations.
And on behalf of all of us here, I just want to say thank you.
Ladies and gentlemen, Senator Ted Cruz.
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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) Interview

林宜悉 2020 年 3 月 13 日 に公開
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