Rep. Porter Delivers Remarks to Orange County Jewish Community on Attacks in Israel

On Tuesday, Rep. Porter delivered the following message to members of the Orange County Jewish community following the attacks in Israel. Watch the video HERE. 

Hello, I’m Congresswoman Katie Porter. As we all watch with horror the unfolding devastation in Israel, I want to join our community in mourning and in finding strength in our shared love for Israel. I was required to travel to Washington, D.C., today as our Congress prepares to receive classified briefings and pass legislation to aid our ally, Israel. I encourage everyone here tonight to continue to engage with our vibrant faith and community organizations in this difficult time. 

In the early morning of October 7th, during a holy time for Jewish people, Hamas launched a horrific, unprovoked terrorist attack that has killed over a thousand people, including many civilians. More are injured or missing, and the official death toll has continued to rise in updated estimates. This weekend’s atrocity occurred exactly 50 years and one day after the beginning of the Yom Kippur War, and it marks the deadliest day that Israel has seen in decades. 

My heart breaks for Israel and for its people. 

Let me be 100% clear: I will continue to stand with Israel in this time of anguish, fear, and danger. I mourn with Israelis as they respond to and recover from this recent terrorist attack and affirm that Israel absolutely has a right to defend itself. 

As a global leader, the United States must work with our allies to deliver justice. The terrorists who carried out this attack should answer for their crimes, as should their backers in Iran. I am concerned by reports this weekend that Iranian officials worked with Hamas on this assault. I will support ongoing investigations to determine how this happened and continue to call out and condemn the Iranian regime. 

The United States must take stronger actions to limit Iran’s abilities to fund and support terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah. We cannot remain idle as Israel suffers attacks and threats, and Iran undermines peace and stability in the Middle East. We cannot give in to Iran’s efforts to weaken our long-standing special relationship with Israel. Peace cannot occur unless the United States continues to stand strong with Israel. 

In Congress, I have consistently taken decisive actions to support Israel and counter Iran. I proudly voted to fund the Iron Dome, which has proven effective in saving lives during the current crisis, and I stand ready to replenish its weaponry. I have worked with Democrats and Republicans to urge tougher sanctions on Iran, and I led a bipartisan push for more transparency into the United States’ policy toward Iran. I have already signed onto a resolution expressing solidarity with Israel, and I am prepared to review and pass additional security assistance.

The long-standing conflicts facing Israel are incredibly personal for so many in our community and around the world. Many of us have traveled to Israel, making special memories there, or have loved ones there that you are worried sick about.

When I traveled to Israel earlier this year in February, I visited a kibbutz very near Gaza. That very community was subjected to horrific violence, including against children. I mourn the loss of these Israelis, who spoke movingly to me of their desire for peace and of their heartache for the people of Gaza living under Hamas’ reign of hardship and terror. Even under risk of violence from Gaza, their humanity was a testament to the foundational values of Judaism that Israel nurtures. The massacre in this community is an outrage, and I weep with all of those who love Israel at these atrocities. And I pray for the safe return of those held hostage and those serving in the Israeli Defense Forces to keep Israel safe. 

There are no easy answers for how we achieve enduring peace in the Middle East, but I will stand with our ally Israel as it repels this threat and works to defeat these terrorists. As your Representative, I will continue to amplify the voices of our Jewish community and support Israel as it seeks justice and peace.  

Please know that during this difficult time that I hear your stories and feel your pain. May God console you among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Watch Rep. Porter's video message HERE