AIPAC Annual Conference - Sacramento
Over the seven years that you have invited me to speak at this conference, the situation in the Middle East has steadily darkened and deteriorated.
Today, Islamic Fascism is emboldened and ascendant throughout the region. Most disturbing of all, Iran is on the verge of a nuclear break-out, and has made its intention to use these weapons crystal clear to anyone who has been listening.
In these perilous times, the Congress has sought the counsel and advice of the Prime Minister of Israel and invited him to address a joint session of that body.
This is entirely fitting, appropriate and necessary.
The United States Congress is charged by the Constitution with deciding war and peace, regulating the military, defining offenses against the laws of nations and regulating foreign commerce.
The President’s constitutional responsibility is to execute the laws; Congress’s responsibility is to make them.
I believe that the American people and the Congress are in agreement on the danger posed to us by a nuclear Iran, and that the vast majority are determined that Israel -- our only reliable ally in the Middle East – must have all the equipment, supplies, and assistance it may need, and that it must have the unqualified support of the United States government when it is forced to take action for its own security.
Never has the security of Israel been more important to the security of the United States.
The greatest threat to Israel’s security -- and our own -- is the Islamist government of Iran. Two days ago, one of its senior military commanders announced his desire to attack Israel through the West Bank. The same day, its leaders announced plans to expedite its nuclear enrichment program.
When are we going to believe the very clear and consistent statements and actions of this regime? Does anyone doubt that it would gleefully provide such weapons for use by terrorists in the United States?
The folly of diplomacy with a rogue state like Iran should be obvious to all. And the fine point of it is that as long as that regime exists, it WILL acquire nuclear weapons and once acquired, it WILL use them.
And the ONLY way to stop that from happening -- short of war -- is for that regime to collapse from within.
Here is the good news: very strong opposition and resistance to the Islamist dictatorship has been seething and simmering within Iran for many years. It nearly boiled over in 2009.
Indeed, at that crucial hour, IF the United States had given the Iranian opposition the material and moral support it desperately needed, we might be facing a far happier world situation. Persia might today have redeemed its proud heritage and re-emerged to take its place among the civilized nations of the world.
Tragically, that did not happen. But internally, that regime is still weak, and now is the time to apply the maximum economic pressure upon it from without, while from within assuring that the Iranian opposition has all the material and moral support the civilized world can provide.
I believe the Congress will act in coming days – and I hope that it will be able to override any threatened veto of sterner sanctions.
We have reached an hour when there is no substitute for action, and I believe the United States government – with or without its President – must do so.
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