The following speech was delivered on the House floor on Wednesday, June 25, 2003.
Today, Israelis will wake up and go to work. They may drive their children to day care or have lunch with their friends.
Israeli children will go to school and play with their classmates.
We don't know which ones, and we don't where, but soon, some of them will probably die.
A bright light will flash. A terrifying concussion will boom through the air, and in an instant: fear, blood, panic, pain, and death.
And somewhere in Gaza, violent men will laugh.
If this is not evil, nothing is.
However unfashionable this so-called “simplistic” vocabulary is among the diplomatic elite, it is honest.
It is the vocabulary of the American people and their President, whose moral clarity has led our nation in our ongoing war on terror.
Individuals, nations, and organizations who equivocate, who see the savagery of terrorists and the self-defense of free states as two sides of the same coin – as a cycle of action and counter-action – undermine that clarity.
Those who say Israel's self defense is an impediment to progress miss the point.
The destruction of Palestinian terrorism is not an impediment to progress – it is the definition of progress.
Offers of temporary cease-fires by Hamas and other terrorist groups are not the solution to the problem.
The point of the war on terror is not just to defeat terror, but to destroy terrorists. Murderers who take three-month vacations are still murderers.
They are still enemies of the civilized world and must still be hunted and targeted as such.
Israel's fight is our fight.
Israel's liberation from Palestinian terrorism is an essential component of the global war against terror.
And in that war, there is no moral equivalence between aggrieved parties engaging in a so-called “cycle of violence.”
There is only the cold-blooded murderer and the soldier sworn to defend his nation.
This resolution makes that distinction and affirms American solidarity with the people of Israel and their war against terror.
It makes clear the American people acknowledge Israel's fundamental right to defend herself, and that her fight against terror is ours.
And it calls on the Palestinian leadership, at long last, to act in the interests of their suffering people and stop the terrorists.
No more empty promises. No more games. No more points for effort.
There is a war on, and the terrorists are going to lose it.
The only question is whether Palestinian leaders will stand with the civilized world in defiance of evil, or whether they will fail like their predecessors.
We must not allow the Palestinian people, who have been so long robbed of hope by corrupt and hateful leaders, to be used as pawns to undermine this President's vision for peace.
The ascension of Palestinian Prime Minister Abbas gives us reason to hope, but Israel and the United States must adopt a policy of “trust but verify.”
And the only way to verify the destruction of Palestinian terrorism is… the end of Palestinian terrorism, period.
When the violence stops, the peace process can move forward. Until it does, Israel must defend herself.
And either way, she will not stand alone because the people of the United States will never abandon their brothers and sisters in Israel, or any nation threatened by terror.
A vote for this resolution reaffirms the House's commitment to Israel, and to the moral clarity of our war on terror.
I urge all members to cast that vote, and join Israel's heroic stand against evil.