Reactions of U.S. & NY Public Officials to Operation Protective Edge

Sen. Charles Schumer: Israel is entitled to take the steps necessary to protect itself from destructive rocket attacks from Hamas that are aimed at all Israeli civilians, regardless of their religion…This resolution supports Israel as it protects itself in a manner that values the safety of Palestinian civilians even as its own civilians face indiscriminate attacks from terrorists. It is time for Mahmoud Abbas to do the right thing and break ties with Hamas.


Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: I stand with the people of Israel in this difficult time and firmly support Israel’s right to self-defense against the shelling of towns and cities throughout the country by terrorists in Gaza.

“For several days, Israel has been forced once again to defend herself from aggression by a terrorist group that wants to see her destruction. The targeting of a nuclear facility is a deeply troubling and sobering escalation by Hamas that must be condemned while we also advance and strengthen the U.S.-Israeli cooperation on missile defense. This support is critical to protecting our nation’s strongest ally in the Middle East.

“My hope is the darkness of violence will be overtaken by the sunlight of peace and that innocent civilians will be free of fear. Everyone in the region must work towards that goal. Unfortunately, Hamas is once again showing that it seeks war and destruction rather than peace.


Rep. Charles Rangel:  I am deeply saddened by recent events in Israel and the West Bank.   I extend my deepest condolences to the family of Mohammed Abu Khder, and to the families of Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrach.

The loss of four children at the hands of their peers is a tragedy that no society should tolerate.

Likewise,  I condemn the rocket launches from Gaza into Israel, which only exacerbates an already delicate situation.  Israel’s right to defend itself remains unequivocal.

However, the continued circle of violence and retribution only creates further division between these societies at time when a peaceful solution is long overdue.

I again ask the Palestinian Authority to cut ties with Hamas, a terrorist organization that has no place in a legitimate coalition government.


Rep. Timothy Bishop: President Lyndon Johnson once opined that, “Peace is a journey of a thousand miles and it must be taken one step at a time.”  I am deeply troubled by the current conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians.  In order for long-term peace to be achieved in the region, all sides must be willing to work together toward a common goal.  The violence must end, and efforts to restore hope for peace and stability in the Middle East must resume with a renewed sense of urgency.  A step towards a new future for Israel and Palestine must be taken; and it must be taken now.


Rep. Joe Crowley: I am very concerned about the recent events affecting Israel. The firing of rockets into Israeli countryside, towns and cities needs to stop, and it needs to stop now. There is no justification for these kind of attacks, especially violence aimed at civilians. Israel has the right and the duty to defend itself.



Rep. Eliot L. Engel: As Hamas terrorists continue to rain down rockets across Israel, I strongly support Israel’s right to take all necessary actions to defend itself.  Ambassador Dermer confirmed for us today that Israel is balancing the need to defend its citizens and prevent casualties during Operation Protective Edge, even as those responsible for this violence are cowering behind human shields.  It’s fortunate that the Iron Dome is working so well, and we need to continue supporting this vital system.  As the House of Representatives said unanimously this morning, we will stand by our Israeli allies as they meet this challenge.


Rep. Steve Israel: As so many times before, the people of Israel are under missile attack from the terrorist group Hamas in Gaza, with 300 rocket attacks since June–150 just over the past few days–forcing children into shelters, with the promise of more violence rained on Israel. This is the same Hamas that has formed a unity government with the Palestinian Authority.


Mr. Speaker, some things are clear. When rockets are fired on Israel, Israel will defend its people. When Hamas chooses violence, Israel will protect its people. When Hamas commits itself to the eradication and extermination of Israel, Israel will do what it must to ensure its survival.


Today, I will be introducing bipartisan legislation reaffirming this country’s support for the people of Israel as it defends itself.



Rep. Nita Lowey: I join the Administration in condemning the barrage of rockets being fired against Israel from Gaza, which now threaten millions of innocent Israelis.  The government of Israel is responding as any responsible country would: protecting its citizens to the best of their ability while going after the terrorists who are responsible for such ruthless aggression.   Hamas’ actions only further demonstrate their complete disregard for their own people  and their intent to wreak havoc on innocent Israeli citizens.

As I’ve said before, any Palestinian government that includes the terrorist organization Hamas cannot possibly be a viable partner for peace with Israel and is therefore not an entity that will, or should, receive U.S. financial support.  I believe President Abbas has a clear understanding of this, as well as his choices going forward.  I continue to encourage him to stand against Hamas aggression and do what is best for all Palestinians.  I stand ready to implement U.S. law to the maximum extent possible should he continue to choose to partner with terrorists.

U.S. funding for Israel’s weapons defense systems remains absolutely critical, as this latest escalation proves. The Iron Dome has been called upon, and is delivering on, saving the lives of millions of Israeli all over the country.  I’m very pleased that the FY15 appropriations bill continues our strong, bipartisan support for the Iron Dome, the Arrow Weapons System, and David’s Sling.


Rep. Jerrold Nadler: I unequivocally condemn the indiscriminate launching of rockets from Gaza. Especially during this unending barrage of rockets against innocent civilians, we must continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel and in support of Israel’s fundamental right to defend itself against these terrorists. As long as these rocket attacks continue, Israel must take necessary steps to protect its population.


Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney: With hundreds of rockets falling on Israel, including areas with large settlements and areas north of Tel Aviv, Israel must defend itself.  Every nation has the right to defend itself and its people from deadly attack, and no nation should be asked to exercise restraint while missiles rain down on its cities.  Hamas began the current assault by kidnapping children and it has continued its terrorist activities by shelling Israel’s cities.  Israel has no choice but to act.


Rep. Carolyn McCarthy: Israel is one of our strongest and most vital allies.  I have always strongly supported the right of all Israelis to do everything necessary to ensure their security…No other country in the world faces daily rocket attacks, nor would any country tolerate such attacks. Israel cannot be expected to tolerate repeated attacks against its citizens and I stand with all friends of Israel who seek peace in the region.


Rep. Grace Meng: As Hamas continues to fire rockets at innocent Israelis, I continue to strongly support Israel’s right to defend itself. It is imperative that all nations condemn these unprovoked attacks in the strongest possible terms, and that we all stand by Israel during this very challenging time. I was in Israel last year and I cannot imagine how its citizens cope with these types of attacks, and the constant threat of aggression. Time and again, Hamas has rejected Israel’s efforts at peace, preferring instead to continue its reign of terror. Hamas’ cowardly escalation of violence is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated. It must end immediately.


Rep. Jose E. Serrano: I strongly condemn the rocket attacks from Hamas. These unjustified attacks against Israel must end. Until that time, Israel has the right protect itself and its people.  This latest round of violence demonstrates the need to re-launch a dialogue that can hopefully one day bring about a peaceful solution.


Governor Andrew Cuomo: Over the past week, rocket attacks on Israel by terrorist organizations have put six million lives at risk. For years, rockets have targeted the Israeli population; what were once indiscriminate acts of terror have now become an onslaught. Friends stand together in times of crisis, and the people of New York stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of Israel. Our state has always had a special relationship with Israel. We are home to the largest Jewish population outside of Israel. At a time of upheaval across the Middle East, Israel remains a bulwark of democracy and a beacon of courage and freedom.

We strongly support Israel’s right to defend itself. As New Yorkers, we have experienced global terrorism firsthand. At my direction, New York’s Department of Financial Services has aggressively cracked down on institutions that bankroll terrorist organizations. And we will continue to work closely with our ally Israel to fight global terrorism.


NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver: Since its birth, the State of Israel has sought nothing more than peaceful coexistence with its neighbors and to be recognized and respected as a contributing member of the civilized nations of the world.  Israel has survived and prospered despite relentless threats from forces determined to annihilate the Jewish homeland.  Over the years, countless Israeli citizens – innocent men, women and children –  have been the victims of terroristic brutality, most recently Naftali Frankel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach.

As Hamas rockets continue to rain down on Israel, I stand with Jewish leaders and communities throughout New York and our nation in supporting Israel’s right to defend its citizens with all of the necessary force.  I call again upon the leaders of the civilized world to awaken to the reality that savagery cannot be tamed with reason.  The remedy to war is unity against terrorism.  Until that day comes, we will continue to stand firmly in support of our homeland and we will continue to pray for the safety of the people of Israel.


NYS Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli: New Yorkers stand with Israel and its right to defend itself from attack. No nation would fail to respond with force when its civilian population comes under fire.


NYS Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein: As the only stable democracy in the Middle East, Israel has a fundamental right to defend itself from its enemies at home and abroad. I stand side by side with New Yorkers of all faiths who strongly support our country’s alliance with the people of Israel. Now more than ever, we  must stand strong and continue to offer our friends the same unwavering support that we have proudly displayed for generations past and present.


NYS Senator Brad Hoylman: I’m proud to join my colleagues in government who strongly advocate Israel’s right to defend itself in the face of wanton aggression by Hamas. The escalating violence must cease so the U.S. and other mediators can help pursue negotiations towards a two-state solution that achieves peace for the Israeli and Palestinian people.


NYS Senate Co-Leader Dean Skelos: I strongly condemn the recent rocket strikes on Israel from Hamas and other Gaza-based terror groups and pray for the families of those killed or injured. As these indiscriminate attacks on civilian communities continue, I fully support Israel’s right to defend itself and hope for an immediate end to the violence.


Mayor Bill de Blasio: Given the constant fire of rocket attacks Israel finds itself under, Israel has the right to defend itself. We hope for a quick end to the bloodshed and pray for a peaceful, secure future for Israel as the democratic homeland of the Jewish people.


I am the mayor of the city with the largest Jewish population anywhere on this earth. By definition, I’ve said many times … I consider it my responsibility to stand up for the state of Israel. And Israel has the right to defend itself. Period.


We all hope and pray for as quick an end to the bloodshed as possible. We all pray a resumption of the talks that could lead to a long-term solution. But the bottom line here is Israel came under unprovoked attacks by rockets from Gaza and has a right to defend itself.


NYC Comptroller Scott M. Stringer: Israel has lived under the constant threat of violence and destruction for decades – these recent rocket attacks on the innocent are deeply troubling,

and force Israel to once again defend itself against the hostility and brutality of Hamas.  I stand with our strongest ally and friend, Israel, and firmly support its right to the defense of its people. It is my sincere hope that the unnecessary bloodshed will end and the region can find an enduring



B.P. Gale Brewer: In the strongest of terms, I condemn the recent wave of rocket attacks on Israel. I also support Israel’s right to defend itself against extremists like Hamas, who shield themselves with innocents as they perpetrate violence and destruction on both Palestinians and Israelis. It is my most fervent hope that stability and security will be soon restored through a peaceful resolution.


B.P. Melinda Katz: Israel has the right to defend itself against threats to the safety and security of its people,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “The rocket attacks launched from the Gaza Strip clearly pose a dangerous threat and one that no nation can be expected to tolerate. I support Israel’s right to defend itself from these and all attacks.



D.A. Kathleen Rice: I am deeply disturbed by the escalating violence in Israel and I continue to pray for lasting peace and security for all those living there. But one thing is perfectly clear: no such peace will be possible as long as Hamas continues terrorizing innocent Israeli citizens. In the face of such unyielding violence, the Israeli government not only has a right but a responsibility to defend itself and protect its people. Now more than ever the United States has a responsibility to stand in solidarity with our greatest ally and support the state of Israel.


Ambassador Ido Aharoni, Consul General of Israel in New York: Israel is using missiles to protect its people. Hamas is using people to protect its missiles,” said Ambassador Ido Aharoni, Consul General of Israel in New York. “We are extremely appreciative for all the support given to us by the political and the communal leadership as well as the public at large. Once again, this great community has  stood by Israel.


Mr. Domenic M. Recchia Jr: Last month, the heinous murders of Gilad, Eyal, and Naftali reminded us of the terror and fear that the people of Israel face each and every day. Those responsible for these abhorrent acts must be held accountable and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. As a nation, the State of Israel has been a continuous partner and ally to the United States, and today more than ever, we must stand with Israel and reaffirm our shared values, culture, and national interests. My thoughts and prayers are with the families who have suffered loss and continue to live in a tenuous environment. I pray for them, for an end to the violence, and for restored stability and peace in the region.