In a fiery floor speech Thursday, Sen. Marco Rubio ripped the Obama administration for its treatment of Israel in the wake of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reelection victory Tuesday.
In his speech, Rubio, a potential 2016 GOP candidate, said President Barack Obama has made a “historic and tragic mistake” by standing against the Israelis while actively “embolden[ing] their enemies.” The Florida Senator’s speech also comes in the midst of peace talks between the U.S. and Iran, which Netanyahu has strongly ridiculed.
RUBIO: I think Netanyahu is right. The conditions do not exist for a peace deal with people who teach their children that killing Jews is a glorious thing. The conditions for peace do not exist with a people — with a government I should say. Not a people. The people are victims of this government, the Palestinian authority, and not to mention Hamas, who teach people that killing Jews is a glorious thing, that there is no such thing as a Jewish people, that any methods of destroying them is valid that pay them salaries and benefits.
This president is making a historic mistake. Allies have differences. But allies like Israel, when you have a difference with them and it is public, it emboldens their enemies. To launch more rockets out of southern Lebanon and Gaza. To launch more terrorist attacks. To go to international forums and delegitimatize Israel’s right to exist, and this is what they’re doing. This is a historic and tragic mistake. Israel is not a Republican or Democratic issue. If this was a Republican president doing these things, I would give the exact same speech. In fact, I would be even angrier. This is outrageous. It is irresponsible. It is dangerous, and it betrays the commitment this nation has made to the right of a Jewish state to exist in peace.
No people on earth want peace more than the people of Israel. No people have suffered more at the hands of this violence and this terrorism than the people of Israel, and they need America’s support, unconditionally. If there are differences, they need to be dealt with privately like you do with other allies. and more than anything else, they deserve to be treated with more respect, not less, than the respect this president and this White House is giving the Supreme Leader of Iran. For he would not dare say the things about the Supreme Leader of Iran now that he is saying about the Prime Minister of Israel because he wouldn’t want to endanger his peace deal or his arms deal that he’s working out with them.
I hope he’ll reconsider. I hope the bipartisan nature of our support of Israel is reinvigorated. I hope that once again this body, this Congress and this government will recommit itself to this extraordinarily important relationship, because if America doesn’t stand with Israel, who would we stand with? If Israel, a democracy, a strong American ally on the international stage, if they are not worthy of our unconditional support, then what ally of ours around the world can feel safe in their alliance with us?