Today, speaking on the Senate floor, Senator Ted Cruz delivered an impassioned plea on behalf of three Israeli teenagers from the West Bank who were kidnapped two weeks ago. Cruz minced no words, and called Hamas a "violent terrorist organization" and said the "full weight of the world should bear down" on them.
"This is an issue that should be on the front page of every newspaper in the United States," he began, before proceeding to relate the story of the kidnapping. He stood before photos of the three missing teenagers and asked Americans to imagine if it were our own children who were missing, kidnapped while waiting for their school bus. He emphasized their innocence, that they had done nothing wrong.
Cruz blasted Hamas, outlining their terrorist acts, their rocket attacks, and their desire to destroy Israel, calling it "business as usual" for Hamas.
There can be no more illusions that Hamas has any role in any future government formed by the Palestinian Authority. They must not receive any further recognition or legitimization. Hamas is a violent terrorist organization ready and eager to brutalize the most innocent. Hamas is a terrorist organization that kidnaps three innocent school boys.
Hamas, give the boys back. Hamas, give those boys back now.
The full weight of the world should bear down on Hamas to give them back safely and immediately. If they do not, we should use all of the available means to stand unequivocally with Israel for however long it takes to find these boys and to bring them home. These are teenagers who were targeted for who they are, who have done no wrong, who have done nothing that comes near to deserving what has happened to them that day while waiting at the bus stop to go home from school.
Israel identified two suspects in the kidnapping, and Senator Cruz described who they were and what they believe at length. He cited those who bless and condone the kidnappings, including members of the Palestinian unity government.
Cruz's description of the lives of the missing boys, of their relationships, of their ties to their community and to America, should illustrate to all that this issue does not belong in a partisan divide. Just as left and right here demand the return of the kidnapped Nigerian girls, so also both sides should demand the return of these boys. As the world condemned Boko Haram for their terror, so the world should condemn Hamas.
"I ask that all of us lift them up in prayer," Senator Cruz said in closing. "I pray that America will stand strong, will shine a light, and do everything possible to apprehend the terrorists and bring these boys home." In Israel, and here at home, many voices join that prayer.