Congressman Griffith’s Weekly E-Newsletter 4.12.24


One of my favorite movies has always been The Wizard of Oz.

When my children were younger, I would often, in trying to teach them, recite the famous lines of the Cowardly Lion.

“What makes the flag on the mast to wave?”


“What makes a King out of a slave?”


One day as I was driving, a little voice piped up from the car seat in the back.

 “Daddy, has that ever happened? Has the flag on the mast ever waved because of courage?”

I thought for a minute, and several examples came to mind, including the United States War of Independence against Great Britain, which makes our beloved stars and stripes on the mast to wave.

But on that occasion, I responded with the 1948 Israeli War of Independence, and the movie Cast a Giant Shadow.

The movie follows U.S. Army Colonel David Marcus, who is played by actor Kirk Douglas. Colonel Marcus, who is of Jewish faith, feels the call to return to duty in order to help the nascent Israel form an army.

The Jewish people had never completely left the Holy Land. And after (a) promises by the British government in 1917, (b) the Holocaust during WWII and (c) a United Nations resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish State in 1947, many Jewish refugees returned to the Holy Land. They came to form a Jewish State in British-held territory as they were promised.

Many of the Arab nations were opposed. The British left! And the Jewish people fought for independence.

They had so much determination and courage, that as the film depicts, in one of their battles, some of the Jewish charged forward without knowing how to click off the rifle’s safety. Even though they couldn’t fire their weapons, courage spurred them into charging against daunting odds.

Courage made the flag of Israel on the mast to wave.

And that is what I told my son.

I recalled that incident recently as I traveled to Israel.

On the trip, I talked to one of the former residents of the Nir-Oz Kibbutz. Nir-Oz is one of many villages that were ambushed by Hamas during their October 7 attack. We were shown where civilians died and where houses were burned and bombed.

After that we went to the outdoor music festival site where more than 250 attendees were murdered. Hamas videos of the attacks were circulated online and on social media.

Visiting the site, we spoke to a twenty-year-old survivor, who is alive today only because she is a tiny girl. In a frightened state, she hid in the back of a small bomb shelter. She was shielded from gunfire by the bodies of the dead on top of her.

She told us she could hear Hamas soldiers laughing as they fired into the shelter.

Her boyfriend was killed in the attack.

Nonetheless, she affirmed that life has to go on, and that Israel must continue.

I am asked about stopping Israeli efforts to eliminate Hamas. Hamas supporters often cite the loss of innocent Palestinian life.

War is always a horrible thing!

Even in war, minimizing death is important.

But since Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007, they have consistently shelled Israel, particularly in Israel’s Gaza envelope.

Hamas adheres to their “from the river to the sea” concept, threatening the very existence of Israel and the Jewish people.

Further, Hamas has no problem using Palestinian civilians as shields from gunfire and it takes refuge in hospitals and homes.

Hamas started the current war when 3,000 Hamas soldiers crossed the border into Israel and targeted civilians, men, women, and children, and brutally murdered the defenseless.

In the attack, it is estimated that Hamas killed approximately 1,200 people. Over two hundred were kidnapped, and some are still hostages as of this writing, including the son of the man who gave us the tour of Nir-Oz.

As the young lady at the festival testified, they must have the courage to go on.

Israel has come to recognize they have no choice but to eliminate the terrorist organization Hamas, because Hamas is determined to spend all of their time, efforts and money to eliminate the State of Israel.

While I continue to pray for peace, without the courage of the Israelis to live on and defend themselves, Israel would not have a flag on the mast to wave.

What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage.

If you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office.  You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671.  To reach my office via email, please visit my website at


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