Lankford, Senate Republicans Stand with Israel
CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s remarks on the Senate floor on YouTube.
CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s remarks on the Senate floor on Rumble.
CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s press conference remarks on YouTube.
CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s press conference remarks on Rumble.
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK), co-founder and co-chair of the Senate Abraham Accords Caucus and the Senate Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Antisemitism, today spoke on the Senate floor and at a Senate Republican press conference in full solidarity with our friend and ally, Israel. Lankford spoke about the pain Americans are experiencing about the atrocities being committed by Hamas terrorists in Israel. Lankford also called out how terrorist threats from nations like Iran and Syria are entering and attempting to enter the United States at our southern border. He highlighted the very obvious national security threat that poses for the US and that every day Americans see it but many in Congress and certainly at the White House are turning a blind eye.
Following the terrorist attacks in Israel, Lankford joined Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and 18 Senate Republicans in calling on President Biden and the State Department to immediately rescind the waivers that allowed Iranian funds to be converted and moved to more accessible bank accounts. Lankford also stood up with Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Joni Ernst (R-IA), leaders of the Senate Abraham Accords Caucus, along with a bipartisan group of Senators, to urge Secretary of State Blinken to make it the official policy of the US to freeze $6 billion in Iranian assets.
Excerpts from Lankford’s floor speech
On the connection between Oklahomans and Israelis
For us in Oklahoma, we’re like many others that are in this chamber as well. It’s personal. It affects many families as well. Israel is a nation so small that there is no one that has not experienced the pain of a friend, a relative, somebody they work with. They know people who have been directly attacked. Many people in Oklahoma talk about families, friends that live in Israel or that travel back and forth. Quite frankly, last weekend I worshiped at a Jewish congregation and heard about their family and friends and what they have personally experienced as a family based on this terrorist attack. Quite frankly, my state of Oklahoma has a very close bond with Israel as the United States has a very close bond, close enough that we had many Oklahomans that were currently in Israel during that time of the attacks, and our offices actively worked to help get many of those out since many flights were canceled from Tel Aviv. We were able to get many of those individuals back home to Oklahoma, and they have quite a story to tell as you would assume.
On the national security threat from potential terrorists the US faces because of our open border
As I mentioned, we’ve had more than 70,000 of those that have crossed between our ports of entry just in the last two years. These are individuals from Syria, from Iran, from Iraq, from Pakistan, from West Africa, from locations where terrorism is known to exist, and we don’t have any criminal history of those individuals. If you’re thinking, ‘I’m glad we picked them up between ports of entry,’ well, let me finish the story for you. Most of those 70,000 special interest aliens were identified between the ports of entry and then were released into the country under Biden’s policy on how he handles immigration currently. Those 70,000 individuals that were identified as potentially possessing a national security risk to the United States or its interest are in the United States right now.
Just in the past week, four individuals from Iran were picked up. Multiple Syrians were picked up between our ports of entry and then released, awaiting a hearing in the future and in current status right now that hearing will be eight to ten years in the future. They’re unmonitored. They’re wandering around within our borders awaiting a hearing eight to 10 years from now in the future after being identified as a special interest alien.
On false claims that Israel attacked a hospital, despite evidence that Hamas terrorists are responsible
All of us are absolutely heartbroken at a hospital that had a major explosion from a rocket in Gaza. The initial reports came out just immediately, ‘This must have been the Israelis that attacked a hospital.’ And many countries around the world immediately made statements that Israelis bombed a hospital. Meetings were canceled with President Biden while he was in the region because the Israelis had bombed a hospital until the facts and information actually came out. Now, less than 24 hours later, we have overhead that can identify the movement of different rockets that we can see.
We have information that is now out in the public, and the President has confirmed that that was not an Israeli strike on that hospital. That was a rocket that was launched from inside Gaza that erupted and landed on a hospital and killed almost 500 people. It was a terrorist attack that instead of hitting innocent civils in Israel, it hit innocent individuals in Gaza. I would call on all of the nations that condemned Israel for attacking a hospital, to immediately address that it was terrorists and that it was to launch rockets to kill civilians in Israel that actually killed civilians in Gaza.
Full transcript of Lankford’s remarks at the press conference
So 50 years after the Yom Kippur War, and right at the moment when all of the normalization conversation was happening between Saudi Arabia and Israel is at its peak, that’s when Hamas decides to attack. Literally we have the Abraham Accords moving now with Morocco, with UAE, and Bahrain—continued engagement there and normalization in the region. And Hamas decides this is against their self-interest, and they literally slaughter 1,400 individuals to try to deter all of that dialogue.
We not only stand with Israel but we stand with the civilized world that would say, ‘This kind of brutality simply because someone is Jewish is not only heinous and horrible but should be deplorable to anyone in the world, regardless of your faith background, community, or country that you’re from.’
We’re speaking out not only for Israel and its right to not only be able to defend themselves, but we’re also speaking out for truth and for facts. Twenty-four hours ago, a hospital was hit in Gaza. Around 500 civilians lost their lives senselessly, and immediately Hamas and nations around the region announced that it was Israel as an air strike that killed all those individuals. The meetings with Biden were canceled because of that. But now that the facts of come out and as we’ve been able to note and to be able to show authoritatively that was actually a misguided rocket fired from Gaza toward civilians in Israel that actually hit civilians in Gaza. That was not an Israeli airstrike. I would call on all of the nations around the world that called out Israel for that strike to immediately change their statement and to be able to call out Hamas for that strike against that hospital, and to be able to let their own people know this is what is happening with these heinous acts of terrorism and with the violence that Hamas is actually bringing.
And one last comment, while we’re saddened and grieved and overwhelmed by 31 Americans that have died and 1,400 Israelis, and countless numbers of civilians in the area, we also should be keenly aware that 9/11 occurred with 20 individuals in the United States that were illegally present in the United States that we did not account for, and they carried out those heinous acts of terrorism here.
In the past two years on our southern border, 70,000 individuals have crossed and been released into our country that were identified by DHS as what they call special interest aliens. These are high-risk individuals coming from Iran, from Iraq, from Syria, and other nations. They’ve crossed our southern border and been released into the United States awaiting their hearing. We have no idea where they are—70,000. These are individuals that came between the ports of entry and got into our country even after their identification as a special interest alien.
The Biden Administration needs to take seriously not only what’s happening in Israel—and we are glad to be able to stand alongside our ally, Israel—but we should take seriously the lessons that should have been learned from 9/11 for our own border that we will not have an insecure border that is ignored from the real threats that are coming across. This Administration needs to shut down that border and needs to be able to pursue all those special interest aliens currently in our country to have them not currently roaming free in our nation.