First bipartisan call for ceasefire issued from Democrat Chris Murphy, Republican Todd Young

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

US Senators Chris Murphy (L) and Todd Young. (AP/collage)
US Senators Chris Murphy (L) and Todd Young. (AP/collage)

The first bipartisan call for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has been issued by Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy and Republican Sen. Todd Young.

“Israel has the right to defend itself from Hamas’s rocket attacks, in a manner proportionate with the threat its citizens are facing. As a result of Hamas’s rocket attacks and Israel’s response, both sides must recognize that too many lives have been lost and must not escalate the conflict further. We are encouraged by reports that the parties are exploring a ceasefire. We hope that this ceasefire can be reached quickly and that additional steps can be taken to preserve a two-state future,” say Murphy and Young.

Murphy is the chairmea of the US Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism; Young is its ranking member.

Murphy also joined 27 other Democratic senators, the majority of the party’s caucus in the Senate, in a joint statement calling for an immediate ceasefire. That statement was shorter and did not mention Israel’s right to defend itself, which appeared to have been a key point in bringing a Republican on board.

Progressive critics of the Biden administration have claimed its insistence in recent days that Israel has a right to defend itself in response to Hamas rockets, has signaled to Jerusalem that it can continue its bombing campaign in the coastal enclave.

As the civilian casualty count rose significantly by several dozen on Sunday, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the Security Council that Hamas must cease its rocket fire immediately, but did not highlight Israel’s right to defend itself as US officials had been doing in statements since the rocket fire began.

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