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Moderate Democrats offer ‘unwavering’ support for Israel from House floor

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz speaks from the House Floor on May 13, 2021. (Screen capture/US House of Representatives)
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz speaks from the House Floor on May 13, 2021. (Screen capture/US House of Representatives)

In brief speeches from the House floor, a group of more moderate Democrats are expressing their solidarity as it responds to Hamas rocket fire from Gaza.

The lawmakers spoke in front of a map of Israel full of pinpoints representing where rockets had targeted in recent days.

Rep. Debbi Wasserman Schultz offers “unwavering and steadfast support for the state of Israel” and says Hamas is “single-handedly responsible” for the ongoing violence. She calls for a two-state solution and laments the loss of life to both sides.

“Even though we may not always agree about Israel’s policies, we should be very clear that nothing, nothing justifies a terrorist organization firing rockets at our allies,” says Rep. Josh Gottheimer.

Rep. Brad Schneider insists “Israel is rightfully responding to [Hamas] attacks, defending its citizens and protecting its borders.” He notes the large discrepancy in casualties between the sides, but argues that Israel goes out of its way to avoid civilian casualties, while Hamas does the opposite.

“Please don’t be fooled by false choices. Israel and Hamas? If I am asked [to choose] between a terrorist organization and our democratic ally, I will stand with Israel every day of the week,” says Rep. Ted Deutch.

Rep. Kathy Manning notes having experienced what it’s like to be in Sderot when rocket sires have gone off and says she attended an IDF briefing earlier today where she was told that Israel has only been targeting terrorists in its counterstrikes.

“Who would turn a cheek when their mere existence is being questioned,” says Rep. Elaine Luria, who adds that she chooses to stand with Israel ‘as an American Jew.'”

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