A gaggle of far-left Democrats — including members of the so-called “Squad” — paraded onto the House floor Thursday night to deliver a series of rhetorical broadsides against Israel, with some linking the Jewish state’s latest conflict with Hamas to issues like racism and illegal immigration in the US.
“As a black woman in America, I am no stranger to police brutality and state-sanctioned violence,” said Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.). “We have been criminalized for the very way we show up in the world … Palestinians are being told the same thing as black folks in America: there is no acceptable form of resistance.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “a far-right ethno-nationalist” on the House floor and asked: “How can we pay lip service to a Palestinian state, yet do absolutely nothing to make that state a reality while the Israeli government we fund tries to make it impossible?”
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), the first Palestinian-American woman elected to Congress, told her colleagues that “Palestinians aren’t going anywhere, no matter how much more money you send to Israel’s apartheid government” before rounding on the Biden administration over its response to the conflict.
“To read the statements from President Biden, Secretary [of State Antony] Blinken, [Secretary of Defense] General [Lloyd] Austin, and leaders of both parties, you’d hardly know Palestinians existed at all,” said Tlaib, who became visibly emotional at several points in her remarks.
That criticism was echoed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who acknowledged that “the president stated that Israel has a right to self-defense” before asking, “do Palestinians have a right to survive?”
Elsewhere in her remarks, Ocasio-Cortez posited that Americans “are scared to stand up to the incarceration of children in Palestine because maybe it’ll force us to confront the incarceration of children here on our border.”
Biden said earlier Thursday that he spoke with Netanyahu about calming the fighting but added that “there has not been a significant overreaction” by Israel. Blinken said Thursday he had spoken to both Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
“We’ve been very clear that rocket attacks must cease,” Blinken said. “We’ve been very clear about Israel’s right to defend itself.”
A day earlier, the Pentagon issued a statement saying Austin had spoken with his Israeli counterpart Benny Gantz, during which Austin “conveyed the Department’s ironclad support for Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself and its people, and … condemned the launching of rockets by Hamas and other terrorists [sic] groups that targeted Israeli civilians.”
As the speeches continued, the Israeli military said that its air and ground troops had struck Gaza in what appeared to be the heaviest attacks yet.
“I said we would extract a very heavy price from Hamas,” Netanyahu said in a videotaped statement. “We are doing that, and we will continue to do that with heavy force.”
With Post wires
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