Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes joined about 3,000 Chicago community members at a rally to express support and solidarity with the state of Israel.
His remarks appear below:
"Once again, Israel stands at a bloody crossroad of history. It didn’t have to be this way.
"In 2005, Israel decided the pathway to lasting peace was to give the Palestinian people a sovereign territory of their own.
"To that end, Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza. No settlements. No military checkpoints. No hidden consequences. All they left behind was an infrastructure capable of seeding future prosperity.
"But the new rulers of this land were not interested in prosperity. They destroyed the engines of economic growth. They built no institutions upon which their society could flourish.
"Instead, they fed their people a daily diet of hatred; they tunneled into Israel to kidnap its citizens; they riddled the despoiled land with terror bases from which to plan the unprovoked launching of thousands of rockets into Israel. And finally, putting their darkest angels to work, they placed those weapons in and around the homes of their own women and children, maximizing the chances of civilian casualties.
"Throughout the course of these events, Israel has wanted just one thing, and one thing only: peaceful coexistence with its neighbors in Gaza.
"Hamas, it is clear, also wants just one thing, the eradication of Israel. Given its own military inferiority, that means a continual state of terror and indiscriminate acts of violence against the Israeli people.
"I stand with Israel. And I stand with the U.S. Senate, which yesterday reaffirmed Israel’s inalienable right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza. And I agree with Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, who asked his colleagues to imagine how they’d react if rockets were being fired from Toronto, Canada into Buffalo, New York. I think we all know the answer to that.
"Israel must prevail in this conflict. If it does not, lasting peace will remain out of reach."
Chicago and Illinois elected officials have shown their support and understanding of Israel's right to defend its citizens.