Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) criticized Democratic leaders in a Tuesday interview for not condemning more forcefully Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s (D-Mich.) statement calling on the United States to halt aid to Israel after the country suffered the deadliest terror attack in its history by Hamas early Saturday.
“And if you watched Tlaib, Tlaib said, our country provides billions in unconditional funding to support the apartheid government. The cycle of violence will continue, saying America caused this because we stand with Israel,” McCarthy said in an interview on Fox News Radio’s “The Guy Benson Show,” paraphrasing Tlaib.
“The sad part here is, Biden didn’t denounce that. Hakeem Jeffries haven’t denounced that,” McCarthy continued.
At another point in the interview, McCarthy said, “Hakeem Jeffries can’t stand up to the antisemitism in his own conference.”
The Hill has reached out to Jeffries’s office for a response to these claims.
The White House on Tuesday did respond to statements from members of Congress that called for a ceasefire and or didn’t issue their full support to Israel, calling them “wrong” and “disgraceful.”
“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,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday when asked what President Biden’s message is to those members who seem to be equating Hamas terror attacks with actions taken by Israel.
Jean-Pierre did not mention any members by name.
“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.”
House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.) previously made his support for Israel clear, saying on Sunday that his commitment to Israel was “ironclad” and said it’s important to provide Israel with the assistance it needs.
“The most important thing that needs to be said is that the United States will continue to stand strongly behind Israel. America’s bond with Israel is unshakeable and unbreakable. We have stood strongly behind Israel during its first 75 years. We will stand strongly behind Israel for the next 75 years and beyond,” he said.
Tlaib said in her statement over the weekend, “The failure to recognize the violent reality of living under siege, occupation, and apartheid makes no one safer. No person, no child anywhere should have to suffer or live in fear of violence. We cannot ignore the humanity in each other.”
“As long as our country provides billions in unconditional funding to support the apartheid government, this heartbreaking cycle of violence will continue,” she continued.
Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) made similar remarks, saying, “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.”
Their remarks were met with swift backlash from members of both parties.
“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,” Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) said in a statement.
“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,” he added.
“U.S. aid to Israel is and should be unconditional, and never more so than in this moment of critical need,” Rep. Richie Torres (D-N.Y.) said in a statement to 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.”
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