update deskU.S. News

Congressmen, state leaders stand with Israel six months after Hamas attack

"President Biden must stand with Israel until Hamas is in ruins," stated Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.).

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meet at the Pentagon on March 26, 2024. Credit: U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Alexander Kubitza/U.S. Department of Defense.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meet at the Pentagon on March 26, 2024. Credit: U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Alexander Kubitza/U.S. Department of Defense.

Members of Congress offered a range of comments on and around the six-month mark since Hamas terrorists attacked Israel and kidnapped civilians to Gaza, where they continue to hold them.

“Six months ago today, Israelis suffered unspeakable violence and terror. The slaughter of innocent lives by Hamas will forever be etched in the memory of our Jewish brothers and sisters, and I join Americans across the country who are mourning the loss of those tragically taken on Oct. 7,” House Majority Leader Mike Johnson (R-La.) stated.

“Since the massacre, it’s been appalling to watch anti-Israel rhetoric and support for an unconditional ceasefire grow among Democrats in Washington, even as Hamas holds 130 Israelis and Americans hostage in Gaza,” Johnson added. “Unlike our Democrat colleagues, House Republicans remain clear-eyed about who the enemy in this fight is, and we will not stop working and praying until each of the hostages is returned home.”

On April 7—the six-month mark since Oct. 7—”Washington must be united in our support for our great ally, Israel, as they fight for their sovereignty and right to exist,” the House speaker said. “It’s time to stop lecturing Israel on how it should best defend itself and begin equipping our friend with the resources necessary to eliminate the threat of Hamas, once and for all.”

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) stated that Hamas’s attack “destroyed entire communities, traumatized the nation and directly led to an increase in antisemitic hate against Jews throughout the world.”

“On this solemn six-month observance, it’s important that we reaffirm Israel’s unequivocal right to exist as a Jewish, Democratic state and eternal homeland for the Jewish people,” he stated. “The special relationship between the United States and Israel will always endure.”

Jeffries added that the Israeli military must conduct itself “at all times in strict adherence to the international rules of war.”

“Upon the complete restoration of Israeli security and comprehensive reconstruction of Gaza, the only way forward is an enduring two-state solution with a safe and secure Israel living side by side with a thriving and demilitarized Palestinian state, providing dignity and self-determination for the people of Gaza and the West Bank,” Jeffries said.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who has faced criticism including from U.S. Jewish leaders and within his party for his recent remarks about Israel, stated of the Oct. 7 massacre that “the viciousness of that attack remains ever present in our minds.”

“Today, we remember those who still remain in captivity at the hands of Hamas,” Schumer said. “For the last six months, I have worked side by side with the families to help secure the safe release of the hostages cruelly held by Hamas. Each day that their loved ones don’t come home carries indescribable anguish and grief.”

Schumer added that he urges “every actor at the table—the Israelis, the Biden administration, the Qataris, the Egyptians and anybody else at the table—to continue doing everything possible to secure a deal to free the hostages. There is no time to waste.”

The senator appeared to emphasize Hamas’s responsibility at the bargaining table more than U.S. President Joe Biden did when he told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a recent phone call that he must “empower his negotiators to conclude a deal without delay to bring the hostages home.”

“Hamas has already been given a negotiated deal. Today, there is only one obstacle standing in the way of a hostage deal, and that obstacle is Hamas. They should say yes and free the remaining hostages,” Schumer stated.

Rep. Elise Stafanik (R-N.Y.), the House Republican Conference chair, stated that “It has been six months since Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists invaded Israel and brutally murdered, raped, tortured and kidnapped over 1,000 innocent Israeli civilians.”

“Since that day, Israel has been fighting for its right to exist against barbaric Hamas terrorists in Gaza,” she said. “It is unacceptable that instead of showing resolute support for our greatest ally, Joe Biden has chosen to abandon Israel and embrace Hamas terrorists as he desperately tries to appeal to the antisemitic far left.”

“There are still over 100 innocent civilians, including Americans, being held by Hamas and we should be doing everything in our power to bring them home,” Stefanik added. “Instead, Joe Biden’s strategy of appeasement continues to embolden our adversaries and abandon Americans and our great ally Israel.”

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) noted that “Six months later, Hamas is still holding Israelis and Americans hostage and opposing peace. We must unequivocally stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our great ally Israel in this fight against evil.”

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said “as Democrats turn their backs on our ally, I will continue to stand with Israel and work to bring our citizens home.”

“Today marks six months since Hamas attacked Israel. Now, more than ever, we must ensure that Israel has the tools necessary to destroy Hamas,” wrote Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chair of the House Judiciary Committee. “We should always stand beside our great ally Israel. Period.”

“There was a ceasefire on Oct. 6, and six months ago today, Hamas terrorists chose to end it,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) stated. “Pres. Biden must stand with Israel until Hamas is in ruins.”

“In the six months since the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks, the world has watched as Hamas has rejected multiple ceasefires, continued to kill innocent civilians and failed to return hostages,” wrote Rep. Nick LaLota (R-N.Y.). “The U.S. must continue to stand with Israel, today and every day. I stand with Israel.”

‘We must do everything to get them home’

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte, a Republican, stated that “to this day, hostages, including American citizens, remain in the blood-soaked hands of Hamas terrorists.”

The governor said that he and his wife “continue to pray for their release and for strength for Israelis as they eliminate Hamas. Until all the hostages are home, the Israeli flag will remain in front of my office, standing alongside the flags of the United States and Montana. Montana will continue to stand with Israel.”

Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) named the five U.S. hostages believed to still be alive in Gaza: Edan Alexander, Omer Neutra, Sagui Dekel-Chen, Keith Samuel Siegel and Hersh Goldberg-Polin. “We must do everything to get them home as soon as possible,” he stated, in a lengthy statement marking the six-month anniversary of Oct. 7.

“For Israel, winning the war means more than simply defeating Hamas. Real victory means fighting this war, on the battlefield and in public perception, in a way that opens the path to a genuine pursuit of true and lasting peace, security and prosperity for the entire region,” he added.

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