Carroll Report Maryland

Delegate Tomlinson Denounces Resolution that would Support a Ceasefire in Gaza

Annapolis, MD – February 19th – Delegate Chris Tomlinson issued the following statement after being contacted by numerous constituents and non-constituents about a Joint Resolution calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Palestine (HJ02/SJ05). This resolution would be sent to Maryland’s Congressional Delegation if passed by the Maryland General Assembly.

I will not be supporting this Resolution. I cannot help but think of the families of the young Israeli women held hostage by Hamas who I spoke with in Annapolis last month. In January, State legislators heard from a mother, a father, a sister, and a cousin whose loved ones at that point had been held hostage by Hamas for over 100 days. They reminded us that these women are not prisoners of war but innocent people who were kidnapped from their homes or from a music festival by terrorists. As the father of a four-month-old baby girl who was born the day prior to the attack in October, I cannot imagine the pain these families go through every single day. While I feel the sponsors of the Resolution have good intentions, I believe it is misguided in many ways.

First, the timing of this resolution is far too late. A call for a ceasefire was needed on October 7, 2023, and in the days that followed as the world watched in horror while radical Islamic militants of Hamas began firing thousands of rockets from Gaza into Israel at civilian and military targets alike. This marked the beginning of a coordinated attack against the Jews, the likes of which has not been seen since the Holocaust. Hamas militants infiltrated Israel by boats, paragliders from the sky, vehicles crashing through border checkpoints, and through a vast underground tunnel system. Reports from Israel recounted young people slain while attending a music festival, babies found beheaded, families burned alive in their homes, and hostages taken into Gaza as human shields against Israeli military reprisals. Why is it now when the IDF is fighting back in Gaza to snuff out Hamas terrorists and rescue the remaining hostages, that people are calling for a ceasefire? The IDF has every right to fight tooth and nail in Gaza to eliminate Hamas terrorists still in the region and rescue the remaining hostages after months of captivity.

Second, trusting that a radical Islamic terror group such as Hamas would abide by a ceasefire and return hostages to Israel in good faith is a fool’s errand. Hamas has made it clear that they will stop at nothing until they destroy Israel and create their own Islamic Palestinian State. A ceasefire as called for by this Resolution would only lead to the IDF pausing their hostilities while Hamas militants regroup, rearm, and prepare to attack once again. Radical Islamic terrorists do not play by the rules, and we should not give them the opportunity to reorganize and butcher innocent Israelis yet again.

Instead of simply stating my opposition to this ceasefire Resolution, I would like to also offer a resolution that I believe would be more effective in achieving peace in the region. The Maryland General Assembly should immediately call on Congress and the President to denounce the Islamic Republic of Iran for its continued support of Hamas and to enact further economic sanctions. For years Iran has funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to bankroll Hamas and directly facilitate the training and arming of its militants to commit terror attacks on Israel. A public denouncement and increased economic sanctions on Iran would hurt its ability to bankroll terror organizations in the region, thus limiting Hamas’ capabilities to continue terror operations in Gaza and Israel.

The Israeli-Palestine conflict is a complex one that spans many decades, and the proposed Ceasefire Resolution would do little to end it. However, a major step towards peace in the region would be achieved by holding bad actors, such as Iran and Hamas, accountable for their actions while supporting our greatest ally in the Middle East, Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, as it fights against radical Islamic terror.

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