- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, said Wednesday that President Biden bears responsibility for the eruption of hostilities in the Middle East, blaming the Democrat’s “ambiguous” stance on Israel for emboldening Hamas.

Mr. Cruz credited former President Trump’s staunch support for Israel for creating “a flowering of peace in the Middle East,” including the historic 2020 Abraham Accords, blaming the turnaround on Mr. Biden for undermining Israel with moves such as seeking to reenter the Iran nuclear deal.

“The conflict we are seeing is the direct result of the tragic mistakes of the Biden foreign policy,” Mr. Cruz said. “And when you are ambiguous, when you are agonizing, when you undermine our support for Israel, what happens is it encourages the terrorists who attack and launch the kind of missile and rocket attacks we’re seeing right now.”

Israel launched airstrikes Monday against Hamas targets in Gaza after militants fired rockets at Jerusalem, escalating tensions that began weeks ago with Palestinian clashes with Israeli security forces over control of holy sites in East Jerusalem.

“It is exceptionally dangerous, and unfortunately I fear there is a good chance it will get worse, because Biden is not going to change and is going to continue for four years to systematically undermine Israel,” Mr. Cruz said.

Mr. Biden’s moves include seeking to restore aid to the Palestinian Authority cut by the Trump administration, as well as reenter into talks to rejoin the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran nuclear deal, with the backing of progressive Democrats.

“We saw peace in the Middle East for four years,” Mr. Cruz said. “What happens? Joe Biden gets elected. His number one foreign policy priority is to reinstate the catastrophic Obama Iran nuclear deal, and they’re already engaged in this strategic ambiguity where they can’t decide if they’re with Israel or the Palestinians. And this is the result.”

The White House condemned Tuesday the rocket attacks on Israel by Hamas and other terrorist groups while stressing that Israel “must be a place of co-existence” and calling for “restoring a sustainable calm.”

“The president’s support for Israel’s security, for its legitimate right to defend itself and its people, is fundamental and will never waiver,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

Mr. Cruz said that the Defense and State departments opposed moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but that Mr. Trump’s decision to do so in 2017 “made clear to our friends and our enemies that we stand unshakably with Israel.”

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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