NASHVILLE, TN—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, today joined America’s Newsroom on Fox News to discuss the Iran-backed Hamas attack on Israel and the Biden Administration’s irresponsible appeasement strategy that has emboldened and empowered Iran and its terrorist proxies.
Hagerty on Iran’s role in the attack on Israel: “If anybody thinks that Iranian funds, technology, and know-how aren’t behind this, they need to wake up. Hamas has acknowledged Iran’s role. Hezbollah has acknowledged Iran’s role. I’ll tell you this: We know what happened when President [Donald] Trump imposed maximum pressure on Iran. We took their funds, [and they] flowed down to a trickle. Hamas and Hezbollah were going broke again because their lifeline to Iran was running thin. What’s happened when the Biden Administration came in, is they went back to the appeasement process that [President Barack] Obama started, the same appeasement process that brought the violence that we saw in Gaza back in 2014 and 2015. When [President Joe] Biden came into office, we’ve seen the appeasement process again that’s delivered billions of dollars of illicit oil sales to Iran. That’s replenished the fund flow back to Hamas, back to Hezbollah. That is the exact precipitant of what we saw in 2021 with the 11-day War and today what we’re seeing now in Israel with this massive attack that has killed more Jews than any time since the Holocaust. I cannot believe that Joe Biden will not acknowledge Iran’s role.”
Hagerty on the need for the Biden Admin to stop appeasing Iran and support Israel: “President Biden needs to keep up with the facts. Israel’s already said that they’re not going to occupy Gaza—he needs to keep up with that. And he also needs to make certain that our diplomatic efforts match our military efforts to achieve deterrence. We’re not doing that right now. We need to snap back sanctions immediately. They worked during the Trump Administration. They’re not working under Biden because [the Biden Administration is] looking the other way. We need to bring back maximum pressure because that did work. We need to cut off the funds flow to Iran, which will have an immediate impact on Hamas and Hezbollah; that’s what we need to be doing. And what should Israel do? Israel needs to do what it can do. They’re totally capable of addressing Hamas; we need to give them the headroom to do that. I think we also need to understand that there’s going to be a tremendous amount of propaganda coming from Gaza. You notice that Hamas has told their people not to leave, even though the IDF, the Israeli Defense Force, is encouraging people, civilians, to leave Gaza right now—they don’t want them involved in this. But Hamas leadership, while they’re sitting in the comfort of their hotels in Qatar, are telling people in Gaza not to leave their homes. They want to see this carnage take place. They don’t care about their people. Israel needs to make this clear as well.”