Hudson: Israel stands on the front lines

Last week, I was honored to welcome Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to a joint meeting of Congress. As the Prime Minister entered the U.S. House chamber to deliver his speech, he received a warm bipartisan welcome. It was an incredible moment to experience, and I’m humbled that I was able to personally welcome the Prime Minister and shake his hand as he worked his way down the aisle. As I sat on the House floor and listened to his message, I got the sense that I was witnessing one of the great speeches of my lifetime.

U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson This Week in Washington

U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson
This Week in Washington

The Prime Minister’s address was a tremendous opportunity for the American people to hear from one of our greatest allies about the threats to our security and our way of life. Israel stands on the front lines of our shared battle against radical Islamic terrorist as the only true democracy in the Middle East. At a time when terrorist organizations like ISIS and murderous regimes like Iran wreak havoc through the region and threaten global security, America must lead. Unfortunately, President Obama and his administration have not done a credible job in demonstrating strength of conviction to confront our enemies. In stark contrast, Prime Minister Netanyahu is a world leader who speaks with clarity about the nature of the enemy and about the grave threats we face.

As Prime Minister Netanyahu warned Congress and the American people in his address, a nuclear equipped Iran is the single greatest threat to our security. We’re talking about a country that is the number one state sponsor of terrorism. We’re talking about a country that today is destabilizing the Middle East as it seeks to gain power, dominate this volatile region and threaten Israel with annihilation. We’re talking about a country that is tarnished with countless brutal human rights violations against its own people. If this isn’t enough evidence to paint the picture of Iran’s dangerous ambitions, take into consideration that on February 25, Iran blew up a replica of an American aircraft carrier in “war games.”

Clearly, Iran is an untrustworthy regime, and I fear that President Obama’s naive approach has emboldened Iran and further weakened the U.S.-Israeli relationship. I strongly agree with the Prime Minister that our ability to maintain peace and stability in the world hinges on our success at completely halting Iran’s quest to obtain nuclear weapons. Currently, six world powers are in talks with Iran to reach a nuclear agreement. As Prime Minister Netanyahu said, the administration’s deal being brokered “doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb. It paves Iran’s path to the bomb.” Frankly, the stakes have never been higher. The impending nuclear deal would allow Iran to maintain tens of thousands of operating centrifuges and expand its capacity, providing it with a short time to go from no nuclear weapons to an entire nuclear arsenal. With little time to react, the U.S. and our allies would be caught flatfooted and powerless to stop a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

Unfortunately, it appears the president is more concerned with reaching a deal – any deal – than he is with stopping Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability. He has said the choice we have before us is this deal or war, and that is simply not true. The options before us are to accept this really horrible deal or we double down on the sanctions, we get tough with Iran and we get a better outcome by showing strength.

Our nation faces a serious challenge to ensuring the security of our nation, Israel and our allies. As your Representative, I’ll continue to work with my colleagues to stand with Israel and do whatever is within my power to ensure Iran does not – and never will – develop nuclear weapons.

Richard Hudson, a Republican, represents the 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The district includes a small part of Mecklenburg County and takes in all or parts of the counties of Cabarrus, Union, Randolph, Rowan, Davidson, Stanly, Anson, Montgomery, Richmond, Scotland and Robeson.

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