Governor Moore Delivers Remarks During Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington’s Stand with Israel Rally

Published: 10/13/2023

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Governor Wes Moore today delivered remarks in support of the state of Israel and the Jewish community at the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington’s Stand with Israel rally. The governor made clear that the State of Maryland stands with Israel, and he condemned the actions of the terrorist organization Hamas, which targeted and killed innocent civilians.

Governor Moore’s speech as prepared:

I thank the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington for bringing us together this afternoon.

We are here to stand with the State of Israel–to recognize the right of Israel to exist–to recognize the right of Israel to defend itself–and to recognize the right of Israelis to live without fear.

But today is not just a time to stand with Israel. It is also a time to stand, unequivocally, against Hamas.

I’ve led soldiers in combat. I’ve seen not just the direct impacts of terrorism, but also the collateral damage it leaves.

Terrorists target civilians, and that’s what Hamas did. 

Terrorists hold entire families hostage, and that’s what Hamas did.

Terrorists slaughter innocent women, children, and the elderly in cold blood, and that’s what Hamas did.

If you stand with Israel, you stand against Hamas. And if you stand with the Palestinian people and their right to self-determination, you stand against Hamas too.

Let's be clear: Progress for Hamas is not Israelis and Palestinians living peacefully together.

Progress for Hamas is not self-determination or knowing that every child should have the right to live without fear.

Progress for Hamas is destruction.

And that's why Hamas is not–and will never be–a partner in this important work.

President Biden has been very clear: The United States will always have Israel’s back. And the State of Maryland stands in lockstep.

But our solidarity doesn’t erase the pain of these attacks.

My heart breaks for the victims and their families.

And in times like these–when the hurt is so deep–I turn to the place that has always granted me solace and peace.

I turn to my faith.

I’ve reached out to faith leaders. I’ve spoken with rabbis, imams, and pastors.

And in every conversation, two things have been clear.

First: That the attacks by Hamas last weekend were horrifying and defy every common principle of morality.

Second: That we must do everything we can to come together, condemn this violence, and work to build security for everyone in the region.

That means standing against Hamas and all who aid and support their vile mission.

That means standing with the Jewish people, at home and around the world.

That means recognizing that the innocent victims and their families will need to be supported, uplifted, and prayed over.

And that means rooting out antisemitism, anti-muslim hate, and fighting bigotry in all its wicked forms.

Buried beneath this Plaza, there is a time capsule. It contains a Bible that once belonged to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

If we could retrieve that book and read it together, I’d turn to the third section of the Hebrew Bible, the Book of Psalms, which reads:

“From the ends of the earth I call to you. I call as my heart grows faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

Today we gather in solidarity.

Today we gather in peace.

Today, we gather committed to a long-term peace.

And I speak for Maryland when I say we stand with Israel.

Let us keep marching toward that higher rock.

Thank you all.