NASHVILLE, TN—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, yesterday joined Fox News Live to discuss the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel, the Biden Administration’s appeasement of Iran, and his legislation would redirect funds appropriated for Hamas-dominated Gaza to replenish Israel’s defense missile systems.
Hagerty on holding Iran accountable for its role in Hamas’s attack on Israel: “[Preventing Iran from getting involved is] absolutely possible; we just have to make our deeds follow our words. You’ve now seen aircraft carrier strike groups move into the region; I think that’s a good first step. It took the White House 48 hours, but [President] Joe Biden finally came out and acknowledged Israel’s right to defend itself. But what we need to do is go back to what has worked. I can tell you what hasn’t worked, and that’s the appeasement policies of the Obama Administration. In the first instance, when they developed the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action], we saw the violence coming out of Gaza in 2014 and 2015. When President [Donald] Trump came in and tore up the Iran deal, when he imposed maximum pressure, what we saw was a completely different story. During that time, I served as the U.S. Ambassador to Japan. My job was to get the Japanese to stop buying Iranian crude [oil]—we did that. We cut fund flow to Iran down to a trickle. Hamas and Hezbollah were going broke; that was widely reported. When Joe Biden comes back into office, what does he do? Right back to appeasement. Enriching Iran, looking the other way, tens of billions of dollars have flown to Iran. Now they have the funds to do this, to support this, and this is exactly what we get when we don’t impose maximum pressure. We need to go back to what works. We need to put maximum pressure in place right now; that’s what the Biden Administration needs to do. Snap back every sanction under the JCPOA, every sanction under the United Nations Security Council, and exert maximum diplomatic pressure right now to match the military presence that we’re putting in place.”
Hagerty on the Biden Administration continuing the Obama Administration’s appeasement of Iran: “Under the Obama Administration, they put Iran on the path to get a nuclear weapon. They misrepresented it to the people of the United States; they said that what they were doing was going to have immediate and intrusive ability to have inspections—that was untrue. Interestingly, at the point of the sphere of these miscommunications with Jack Lew, who is now going to be put in front of the Senate next week to become our Ambassador to Israel, that’s an insult beyond insults. It’s amazing that the left sees things this way. It’s the appeasement process [that] does not work, and we’re right back to where we were with [President Barack] Obama, and even worse, with the worst slaughter of Jews that we’ve seen since the Holocaust.”
Hagerty on how the U.S. should properly support Israel, including with his legislation to Replenish Iron Dome: “There’s several things we could do. First, we need to cut off funds [flowing] into Gaza. I’ve put forward legislation—I’m going to bring it back—to take the funds that we send to Gaza, which Hamas takes these funds—the funds are fungible—and they use this to attack Israel. Instead, we’re going to use those funds to replenish [the] Iron Dome. With respect to the people sitting in Hamas right now, as the IDF, the Israeli Defense Force, is calling for Palestinian civilians to leave, to evacuate, these people are sitting in hotels in Qatar calling for them to stay. What cowardness. We need to get our allies, to the extent they are in Qatar, to step up and help us stop this. To jail them, to extradite them, to do whatever we need to do, I’d love to see that happen.”