Senator John McCain addresses the National Convention of Christians United for Israel
July 17, 2007
[ Underlines below added by Radio Islam for emphasis.]
"Thank you for the honor of speaking before this gathering, and thank you for the work you do in support of the State of Israel. Your efforts are needed today more than ever, as it is harder to think of a time in recent memory when Israel's national security has faced so many varied challenges.
"The Jewish state has, of course, experienced tough times before - indeed, they have perhaps been the norm rather than the exception. When one thinks back over the conflicts - 1948, the Six Day War, Yom Kippur, Lebanon, the first Gulf War, two intifadas and Lebanon again - it is clear that Israel has been challenged more, in less time, than any nation on earth. Survival in the face of such trials would be impressive; flourishing would seem out of the question.
"Yet Israel has thrived. I would like to believe that Israel's success has been aided by America, Israel's natural partner and ally, and by its supporters here and the world over - several thousand of which are here today. But the tests continue - with Hamas and Hezbollah, in the anti-Semitism so pervasive in the Arab press, in the restive violence in Iraq and elsewhere, and in the vile threats issued routinely by the Iranian president.
"But Israel will survive. Just as it has thrived in the face of armies and terrorists, just as it has prospered in the most dangerous neighborhood on earth, so will it succeed in the face of today's threats. There will always, always be an Israel.
"And just as there will always be a proud, strong Israel, so too will there always be a close and enduring U.S.-Israel relationship. When it comes to the defense of Israel, we simply cannot compromise. In view of the increased threats to Israeli security, American support for Israel should intensify - to include providing needed military equipment and technology and ensuring that Israel maintains its qualitative military edge. Israel's enemies are too numerous, its margin of error too small, and our shared interests and values too great for any other position.
"Israel's strength will be put to the test. The world's chief state sponsor of international terrorism, Iran, defines itself by hostility to Israel and the United States. It is simply tragic that millennia of proud Persian history have culminated in a government today that cannot be counted among those of the world's civilized nations. When the president of Iran calls for Israel to be wiped off of the map, or asks for a world without Zionism, or suggests that Israel's Jewish population return to Europe, or calls the Holocaust a myth, it is clear that we are dealing with an evil man and a very dangerous regime.
"Tehran's continued pursuit of nuclear weapons clearly poses an unacceptable risk. Protected by a nuclear arsenal, Iran would feel unconstrained to sponsor terrorist attacks against any perceived enemy. Its flouting of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty would render that regime obsolete, and could induce Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and others to reassess their defense posture. Moderate Gulf states would have to accommodate the new reality, and the world would live, indefinitely, with the possibility that Tehran might pass nuclear materials or weapons to one of its allied terrorist networks. Coupled with its ballistic missile arsenal, an Iranian nuclear capability would pose an immediate and existential threat to the State of Israel.
"And every option must remain on the table. Military action isn't our preference. It remains, as it always must, the last option. We have some way to go diplomatically before we need to contemplate other measures. But it is a simple observation of reality that there is only one thing worse than a military solution, and that, my friends, is a nuclear armed Iran. The regime must understand that it cannot win a showdown with the world.
"Similarly, the leadership of Hamas must be isolated. The
Palestinian people are ill-served by a terrorist-led government that
refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist, refuses to renounce
violence, and refuses to acknowledge prior peace commitments. The
United States cannot have normal relations with such a government,
one that deliberately targets innocent Israeli civilians in an
attempt to terrorize the Jewish population.
"And to speak of terrorism is also to speak of Hezbollah. Israel's chance for enduring peace with Lebanon resides in a government that has a monopoly on authority within its country. That means no independent militias, no Hezbollah fighters, no weapons and equipment flowing to Hezbollah. Yet neither the Lebanese Army nor the international force there is prepared or willing to take on Hezbollah. So long as that is the case, the current pause is likely to enable Hezbollah to regroup, reconstitute, and rearm. There is one bottom line: to achieve lasting peace, sooner or later, one way or another, Hezbollah must be disarmed.
"Preventing Iraq from falling into the hands of terrorists and extremists is only natural for the United States, and springs from the same interests and values that compel our close relationship with the state of Israel. Violent Islamic extremists would have us believe that there is only one acceptable religious practice, and that those who diverge from it are not entitled to life or liberty. They are wrong, very, very wrong.
"It is evident that I am speaking, once again, of Israel. The bond between America and Israel is not just a strategic one, though that is important. The more profound tie between our two countries is a moral one. We are two democracies whose alliance is forged in our common values. To be proudly pro-American and pro-Israeli is not to hold conflicting loyalties. It is about defending the principles that both countries hold dear. That is why today I stand as I believe so many of you do: a Christian, proudly pro-American and proudly pro-Israel."