Visiting US senators vow to provide Israel all assistance: ‘You are not alone’

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

From left, US senators Bill Cassidy, Mark Kelly, Chuck Schumer, Jacky Rosen, and Mitt Romney at a press conference in Tel Aviv, October 15, 2023 (screenshot)
From left, US senators Bill Cassidy, Mark Kelly, Chuck Schumer, Jacky Rosen, and Mitt Romney at a press conference in Tel Aviv, October 15, 2023 (screenshot)

“Israel is a strong nation,” says Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in Tel Aviv, “and we say to Israel, You are not alone.”

“The United States stands beside you as an unrelenting partner,” he says at a press conference with a bipartisan group of senators.

He is joined by Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ).

Schumer says meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his war cabinet were “good and productive.” The five senators also met with President Isaac Herzog and Opposition Leader Yair Lapid.

The senators cried as they met with families of those kidnapped, adds Schumer.

The group was forced to run to shelters twice because of Hamas rocket fire.

Schumer says Hamas herding kibbutz members into a room and shooting them all reminds him of the fate of his great-grandmother in the Holocaust, who was machine-gunned along with dozens of Jews from her Ukrainian town.

“If we don’t prevent the threat from Hamas from occurring, it will happen again,” he continues.

“We cannot let this evil continue to foul the earth.”

Schumer says that he and the bipartisan group will lead efforts in the Senate to make sure Israel has what it needs to fully defend itself.

The senior Senate Democrat repeats the Biden administration’s admonition that “democracies are stronger and more secure when we uphold the rule of law. We echoed that to the Prime Minister and every Israeli official we met.”

Schumer acknowledged that “it’s difficult, we know it’s difficult to minimize civilian casualties,” but it must be done.

According to Schumer, the Israelis stressed the importance of sending over precision-guided bombs, Iron Dome interceptors, 155-mm mortar shells, JDAM guidance kits, as well as intelligence support.

Schumer is instructing relevant committee heads to prepare an aid package that will be ready “within the next few weeks.”

“We’re not waiting for the House,” he says.

Schumer says he believes he will think about October 7 “every day for the rest of my life, just as I think about 9/11 every day for the rest of my life.”

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