On Friday, I joined my colleagues in the House of Representatives from both sides of the aisle in recognizing the democratic State of Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks from a terrorist organization based in the Gaza Strip. Hamas, a group whose founding goal was and remains the utter destruction of Israel, has launched more than 6,000 rockets and mortars into Israeli population centers from the Gaza Strip since Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the area in 2005.

In response to this barrage of firepower directed towards Israel’s civilians, Israel has responded. Every effort is made to target only terrorists during counter-attacks, and no expense is spared to shield civilians from danger. That is why Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, along with Republican House Minority Leader John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBottom line Cheney battle raises questions about House GOP's future Lott says lobbying firm cut ties to prevent him from taking clients MORE, introduced H.Res. 34, a House Resolution recognizing Israel's right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza, reaffirming the United States strong support for Israel, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

I proudly voted in favor of this resolution, and I wish to reaffirm my support for Israel, America’s most important strategic ally and the only democracy in the Middle East, in her time of need. While I join all Americans in praying for an end to the conflict, I believe that this cannot happen until Hamas ends all rocket fire and aggression towards Israel, and stops its resupply of lethal weapons. Until that day and beyond, we must continue to fortify, strengthen and support Israel’s survival, good health, and qualitative military advantage over all her enemies.