Washington, D.C. - Congressman Brad Sherman on Thursday said Israeli military strikes against Lebanon were a measured reaction to the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers, and he blamed Hezbollah sponsors in Iran for trying to provoke war in the Middle East.
“The kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers and the death of eight others in this latest outrage is an act of war by Hezbollah against Israel. It was unprovoked, vicious, and designed to further destabilize the situation in the Middle East,” Sherman said during an appearance at the National Press Club with Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon.
“The Israeli response is not just a response to this incident, but to continued terrorist activity against Israel by Hezbollah,” Sherman added. “Viewed in the wider context – six years of continued Hezbollah aggression notwithstanding Israel’s withdrawal from Southern Lebanon – the response is hardly disproportionate. In fact, no one can rightly say Israel’s response is disproportionate unless they think Israel should be doing more. At some point, Israel had to say enough is enough.”
Sherman, a senior member of the House International Relations Committee, also said Iran cannot escape responsibility. “This is not only an act of war by Hezbollah, but an act of war by proxy by Iran,” he said.
The links between Hezbollah and the regime in Tehran are well documented. Hezbollah was created by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in 1982, and it receives most of its external support from the Iranians. “It is highly unlikely that such a provocative act would be undertaken without the knowledge and approval of people at the highest levels of Iran’s government,” Sherman said.
The attack on Israel on Wednesday, Sherman said, was foreshadowed by a warning on Tuesday by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that Israel would be hit by an "explosion" of Muslim anger. “The fury of Muslim nations is getting more intense. It is likely to reach an explosion point soon. If this day arrives, the shockwaves of this blast will not be restricted within our regional boundaries and will strike the supporters of this fake regime.”