More than a third of the Wyoming Legislature signed a resolution Thursday initiated by state Sen. Dan Laursen, R-Powell, that affirms support for Israel and condemns the terrorist group Hamas.
The groups are engaged in a war that has caught the hearts and minds of many Americans, and it embodies what Laursen calls a “battle over good over evil.”
“I think it’s very timely to let Israel know that we support them,” he said.
Overall, 35 members from both chambers of the Legislature signed the resolution, including Senate President Ogden Driskill, R-Devils Tower, and Majority Floor Leader Rep. Chip Neiman, R-Hulett. No Democrats signed on.
Laursen said he didn’t receive any verbal opposition to the resolution from any lawmakers.
One of the signees was Rep. Jeremy Haroldson, R-Wheatland, who visited Israel earlier this year for a 10-day trip with 26 other U.S. pastors to the Middle Eastern country.
“Uniting the churches to understand that Israel is a legitimate country deserving of the protection and safety that comes from being a country,” Haroldson said when he returned about why the trip was important. “The partnership that America has with Israel, that Wyoming needs to have with Israel, is vitally important.”
The resolution is considered unofficial as the Legislature is not currently in session to formally approve it.
The resolution states that those who signed it support Israel’s welfare and survival and recognize its right to defend itself. They also oppose any pressure on the country to enact a cease-fire “before Israel has secured its safety.”
Although some Democrats have called for a ceasefire in the war, President Joe Biden has not. Instead, Biden has advocated for a humanitarian “pause” to bring in aid and let trapped civilians get out of the war that has killed thousands of people.
The Wyoming resolution also says Israel should not be interfered with or condemned for eliminating Hamas and any other affiliated groups until these actors are “permanently neutralized and public safety is assured.”
The resolution also mentions how Hamas has targeted Israeli civilians in its attacks and taken them hostage. Israel, in turn, has bombed many locations where Palestinian civilians are located.
“When you have nations or groups forever intent on pushing to eliminate another group you have to take a stand now,” Laursen said.
Call To Action
The resolution also calls on the state’s law enforcement agencies to protect Israeli Americans and all Israeli supporters “from acts of crime and unlawful discrimination.”
Laursen said he would like to see America support Israel as much as possible in its war.
It also encourages other state legislators to condemn Hamas or any other body that refuses to recognize Israel’s right to act in self defense.
Laursen said he won’t be surprised if official legislation is brought during the 2024 session formalizing support for Israel.
Leo Wolfson can be reached at Leo@CowboyStateDaily.com.