BIRMINGHAM — U.S. Sen. Katie Britt (R-Montgomery) and Auburn head basketball coach Bruce Pearl spoke at a Jewish temple in Birmingham about the attacks on Israel early last month, decrying Hamas and advocating for a more aggressive foreign policy.

The attack occurred on the Jewish holiday Simchat Torah, which celebrates the conclusion of the annual cycle of public readings from the Torah. Militants with the terrorist organization Hamas fired rockets and razed multiple towns near the Gaza Strip, inciting retaliation by Israeli armed forces.

"This is exactly what happened in Nazi Germany," Pearl said, himself Jewish. "Hitler told the world what he wanted to do. Do the world and to the Jews. He wrote Mein Kampf … He murdered six million of our brothers and sisters because of our faith. And we said never again. We say never again … We can't ever, ever let that happen again. Number one, we must destroy Hamas."

Britt traveled to Israel last month following the attack. She insisted she was horrified at what she saw.

"It was life-changing and not in a good way," she said. "The takeaway from all of it is the evil that is Hamas. It is beyond comprehension. It is something that I didn't want to think or believe human beings were capable of. And then the fact that the existence of a state of Israel actually hangs in the balance, meaning we must eradicate Hamas."

Pearl also criticized colleges and university administrations around the country for not decrying what he called propaganda.

"Our kids believe right now in colleges in universities that they're fighting for their freedom, that there's apartheid," he said. "That there's oppression ... It's lies, and it's propaganda."

Comparing the situation to the trend of kneeling during the national anthem that spread throughout the country in 2016, Pearl said it's not the fault of the students, however.

"Everybody wanted to blame kids, but it wasn't the kid's fault," he said. "It was our fault … We haven't taught them to love this country enough. We haven't taught them to embrace the opportunities available to every single one of us … We need to teach so when days after this genocide - the most Jews killed since 1945 … and yet our university leadership cannot at least just condemn Hamas."

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