The White House said Tuesday that statements from members of Congress calling for a ceasefire in Israel instead of issuing their full support for the country, following the surprise attack by Hamas, are “wrong” and “disgraceful.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about President Biden’s message to members of Congress who seem to be equating the Hamas terror attack with actions that were previously taken by Israel. When asked which members, Real Clear Politics reporter Philip Wegmann said that some members have called for a ceasefire and not gone as far as backing the administration’s call for support for Israel.
“So, I’ve seen some of those statements this weekend. And we’re gonna continue to be very clear. We believe they’re wrong. We believe they’re repugnant and we believe they’re disgraceful,” Jean-Pierre said.
Jean-Pierre did not mention any lawmakers by name or specific statements. But at least two Democratic lawmakers — Reps. Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) — issued statements calling for a ceasefire and de-escalation of the situation.
Omar and Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) are also facing criticism over statements in which they each labeled Israel as an apartheid state and called for the U.S. to end funding to the nation.
“Our condemnation belongs squarely with terrorists who have brutally murdered, raped, kidnapped, hundreds, hundreds of Israelis,” Jean-Pierre added. “There can be no equivocation about that. There are not two sides here. There are not two sides.”
Biden earlier Tuesday harshly condemned the “abhorrent” terrorist attacks by Hamas against Israel. He also said that Americans are among those being held hostage by the terrorist group and that the death toll of Americans had risen to 14.
“President Biden has been clear on where he has stood. … You heard from him directly today,” Jean-Pierre said.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who is of Palestinian heritage, in her statement called for “dismantling the apartheid system that creates the suffocating, dehumanizing conditions that can lead to resistance.” Bush said she condemned the targeting of civilians and called for the end of U.S. support for Israel.
Their comments were quickly met with pushback, including from fellow Democrats in the House, Reps. Ritchie Torres (N.Y.) and Josh Gottheimer (N.J.).
Source: The Hill