Anti-Israel “Squad” House Democrats faced backlash from conservatives following their milquetoast statements following Hamas’s deadly attacks in Israel.
Several informal, progressive caucus members released statements condemning the violence and calling for a ceasefire.
However, “Squad” member Rep Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., has been silent following the attacks.
On Saturday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., called for a “ceasefire and de-escalation.”
“Today is devastating for all those seeking a lasting peace and respect for human rights in Israel and Palestine. I condemn Hamas’ attack in the strongest possible terms,” the New York Democrat said in a statement.
“No child and family should ever endure this kind of violence and fear, and this violence will not solve the ongoing oppression and occupation in the region,” Ocasio-Cortez continued.
“An immediate ceasefire and de-escalation is urgently needed to save lives,” she added.
AOC’s statement drew criticism from South Carolina GOP Rep. Nancy Mace.
“Hamas apologist asking for ‘ceasefire’ after one side launches a massive terrorist attack. Nice try,” Mace wrote.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., condemned “the horrific acts we are seeing unfold today in Israel against children, women, the elderly, and the unarmed people who are being slaughtered and taken hostage by Hamas.”
“Such senseless violence will only repeat the back-and-forth cycle we’ve seen, which we cannot allow to continue,” Omar said.
“We need to call for de-escalation and ceasefire,” she continued. “I will keep advocating for peace and justice throughout the Middle East.”
Fox News reported:
Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Ayanna Pressley said these “devastating attacks on Israelis are deeply alarming and my heart breaks for the victims [and] their loved ones.”
“We need an immediate ceasefire & de-escalation. It is long past time to stop this cycle of violence [and] trauma, and work toward a just [and] lasting peace in the region,” Pressley wrote.
Conservative commentator known online as Comfortably Smug criticized the “Squad” in a response to Pressley’s post.
“The squad telling Israel to stand down after it was attacked and hundreds of its citizens were massacred,” he wrote. “Incredible.”
New York Democrat Rep. Jamaal Bowman took to social media Saturday to call for an end to the Gaza blockade and condemned the Iranian-backed Hamas terrorist attack on Israel.
“I strongly condemn the horrific attacks by Hamas and am saddened by the loss of precious lives, especially on the holy day of Simchat Torah,” Bowman said in a statement, which was shared to social media.
“We need a way to end this deadly violence that is killing and traumatizing generations of Israelis and Palestinians alike — including the blockade of Gaza,” he added. “I have been to the Gaza border and know that Israelis and Palestinians are constantly living in fear. We must work harder to ensure peace in the region.”
As new developments are made, Bowman, who made headlines recently after he pulled a fire alarm in Congress amid a vote to keep the government open, said he and his team will be monitoring the situation closely, “especially since several of our Westchester service members are in the area of attacks.”
Conservative radio host Jason Rantz tweeted that “Bowman can’t merely condemn terrorism.”
“He has to include his ignorant criticism of Israel,” Rantz said.
Bowman has been criticized for his position toward Israel, and was one of nine progressives who voted against a resolution affirming Israel was not a racist or apartheid state earlier this year.
Rep. Cori Bush said in a statement that she is “heartbroken by the ongoing violence in Palestine and Israel, and I mourn the over 250 Israeli and 230 Palestinian lives that have been lost today, and the thousands injured, following attacks by Hamas militants on Israeli border towns and Israeli military bombardment of Gaza.”
The Missouri Democrat said she strongly condemns attacks on civilians and called for an “immediate ceasefire and de-escalation to prevent further loss of life.”
“Our immediate focus must be saving lives, but our ultimate focus must be on a just and lasting peace that ensures safety for everyone in the region,” the progressive congresswoman wrote. “Violations of human rights do not justify more violations of human rights, and a military response will only exacerbate the suffering of Palestinians and Israelis alike.”
Bush concluded by calling for an end to the “U.S. support for Israeli military occupation and apartheid.”
“As part of achieving a just and lasting peace, we must do our part to stop this violence and trauma by ending US government support for Israeli military occupation and apartheid,” she wrote. “I am continuing to closely monitor the situation, and my Office is ready to support residents of the First District with family members and loved ones in the region.”
Defense Attorney Maria Medvin said Bush mourns the death of the “Palestinian terrorists and equates that to the brutalities and butcherings the Palestinians committed of Jewish civilians.”
“Palestinian terrorists murdered children and their parents in their homes, kidnapped women and children and a bunch of young girls from a music festival, and this is the same, she says, as Israel killing the terrorists,” Medvin added.
In July, Bush and Tlaib boycotted Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s joint address to Congress. The pair of congresswomen said in a statement at the time, “Bestowing President Herzog with the rare honor of a joint address to Congress while the Israeli apartheid government continues to enable and directly support racism and brutal settler attacks is a slap in the face to victims, survivors, and their loved ones.”
In recent weeks there have been protests in Gaza backed by Hamas against economic blockade of the region, which leaders described as aggressive.
“If there’s to be an explosion, let it be against the party that created these conditions, which is the (Israeli) occupation,” senior Hamas official Bassem Naim said earlier this week, Reuters reported.
Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists invaded areas of southern Israel as rocket barrages launched from the Gaza Strip struck the area on Saturday, killing over 200 Israelis.
A senior Hamas military commander, Mohammad Deif, announced the start of the operation in which he called on Palestinians everywhere to attack the Israelis, saying in a broadcast on Hamas media that the group launched 5,000 rockets. He called the attack “the day of the greatest battle to end the last occupation on earth.”
Israeli media reported that at least 300 people have been killed in the wide-ranging assault, while Gaza health officials say that at least 200 Palestinians have died in Israeli air strikes made in response to the Hamas attack. The death toll is continuing to rise as Hamas militants and Israeli fighters continue fighting near Gaza. The number of wounded people has risen to at least 1,590.