House Democratic leaders have condemned the Hamas terrorist attack against Israel, but they have yet to address statements from two fellow Democrats who condemned Israel as an “occupation” and an “apartheid system” in the aftermath.
“I grieve the Palestinian and Israeli lives lost yesterday, today, and every day,” Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., said in an Instagram statement Monday. Not only did she mention Palestinian lives first, but she also added that she is “determined … to fight for a just future,” beginning with “lifting the blockade, ending the occupation and dismantling the apartheid system that creates the suffocating, dehumanizing conditions that can lead to resistance.”
“As long as our country provides billions in unconditional funding to support the apartheid government, this heartbreaking cycle of violence will continue,” Tlaib warned.
Tlaib, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, has faced criticism for keeping a Palestinian flag up in front of her congressional office. She also refused to answer when Fox News correspondent Hillary Vaughn asked her to condemn the Hamas slaughter of Israeli babies.
Like Tlaib, Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., mourned the deaths of Israelis and Palestinians, but also condemned Israel in her statement on the violence, urging the U.S. government to stop supporting the Jewish state.
“As part of achieving a just and lasting peace, we must do our part to stop this violence and trauma by ending U.S. government support for Israeli military occupation and apartheid,” she wrote.
Bush, unlike Tlaib, did explicitly condemn Hamas militants.
The Daily Signal reached out to the offices of House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y.; House Minority Whip Katherine Clark, D-Mass.; Democratic Caucus Chairman Pete Aguilar, D-Calif.; and Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn, D-S.C. None of them responded to a request for comment by publication time.
The Daily Signal reached out to Jewish members of the Democratic caucus, including Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.; Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y.; Susan Wild, D-Pa.; and Mike Levin, D-Calif., and they did not respond by publication time. Neither did former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Former House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., has defended Tlaib’s decision to keep the Palestinian flag outside her office, comparing it to the Danish flag he flies at his house. Hoyer did not respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment.
Reps. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., and Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., condemned Tlaib’s and Bush’s attacks on Israel.
“U.S. aid to Israel is and should be unconditional, and never more so than in this moment of critical need,” Torres told Jewish Insider. “Shame on anyone who glorifies as ‘resistance’ the largest single-day mass murder of Jews since the Holocaust. It is reprehensible and repulsive.”
“Two of my colleagues called for America to end assistance to Israel, despite the countless images of Israeli children, women, men, and elderly, including Americans, murdered by radical Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists,” Gottheimer said in a statement obtained by The Hill. “It sickens me that while Israelis clean the blood of their family members shot in their homes, they believe Congress should strip U.S. funding to our democratic ally and allow innocent civilians to suffer.”
Neither Torres nor Gottheimer responded to The Daily Signal’s requests for further comment.
Democratic leaders such as Jeffries had condemned “the violent and ghastly attack by the terrorist organization Hamas on the Jewish people and the state of Israel.”
On Tuesday, the Israel Defense Forces reported having regained control over the border with the Gaza Strip, about 72 hours after Hamas terrorists blew through sections of the barrier and launched the invasion early Saturday morning, The Times of Israel reported.
Hamas militants attacked Israel on the last day of the Jewish festival of Sukkot, as well as the Sabbath day of rest and the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. The terrorists slaughtered more than 1,200 Israelis, including about 250 at a music festival, and kidnapped more than 100. The State Department confirmed Wednesday that 22 Americans had died in the attack.
“This morning, on Shabbat and a holiday, Hamas invaded Israeli territory and murdered innocent citizens, including children and the elderly,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter) Saturday. “Hamas has started a brutal and evil war.”
“They didn’t go for military targets. They went for civilians. They went for grandmothers, children, babies,” Israel Defense Forces’ international spokesman, Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, said in a video message Sunday. “The numbers are unprecedented.”
“The style of attack is barbaric,” Hecht added. “In a way, this is our 9/11.”
Hamas militants shot civilians at bus stops, on roads, and in their cars, photos show, according to Israeli experts who spoke to the Times of Israel. Videos reportedly show Israeli civilians, including women and children, getting abducted and taken to Gaza. Two videos raise concerns of sexual assault or rape.
An Israel Defense Forces commander told journalists that soldiers found beheaded babies in the carnage of Hamas terrorists.
Israeli forces have launched airstrikes into Gaza, preparing for an assault to root out Hamas in response to the horrific terrorist incursion.
President Joe Biden has unequivocally stood with Israel in the attack’s aftermath, though critics have claimed that Biden’s negotiations with Iran—including a $6 billion prisoner swap—emboldened Tehran, which supports and finances Hamas.
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