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Sanders, AOC, Tlaib respond to Hamas terror attacks on Israel

Leading progressive legislators temper their usual anti-Israel rhetoric while one kept quiet when questioned about the killing of infants.

Bernie Sanders in Boston on Feb. 29, 2020. Credit: Lauryn Allen/Shutterstock.
Bernie Sanders in Boston on Feb. 29, 2020. Credit: Lauryn Allen/Shutterstock.

“Hamas’s terrorist assault on Israel will have horrific short- and long-term consequences,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said in a statement released on Wednesday. “The gunning down of young Israelis at a music festival is an image the world will not soon forget.”

The former presidential candidate and Democratic Socialist still lambasted Israel for “the daily humiliations of occupation,” “horrendous living conditions” and “open-air prison” that is the Gaza Strip, he said. However, he conceded that “Hamas’s terrorism will make it much more difficult to address that tragic reality and will embolden extremists on both sides, continuing the cycle of violence.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who once cried on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives after failing to stop emergency funding of Israel’s Iron Dome air-defense system, released a statement on Monday in which she said: “I condemn Hamas’s attack in the strongest possible terms. No child and family should ever endure this kind of violence and fear, and this violence will not solve the ongoing oppression and occupation in the region.”

On social media, she commented on the conflict further on Tuesday, sharing a video with clips of people calling for exterminating all Palestinians or removing them from their homes in an act of ethnic cleansing. 

“We will not allow bigotry to destroy our community and city in this devastating moment. Islamophobia, antisemitism and victim-blaming cannot be tolerated,” Oscasio-Cortez responded. “We can and will reject it all. Not hard. We must focus on the lives currently at stake.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s fellow progressive “Squad” member, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) released a statement on Instagram on Monday that made no mention of Hamas, in which she said: “As long as our country provides billions in unconditional funding to support the apartheid government, this heartbreaking cycle of violence will continue.”

With stories emerging of human-rights atrocities, Fox News sought comment from Tlaib, asking the representative if Israel had a right to defend itself. Video depicted her fleeing, refusing to answer for the murderous brutality inflicted by the terrorist group governing Gaza that has to date resulted in 1,200 Israelis dead, more than thousands wounded, and some 150 men, women and children taken captive.

“You can’t comment about Hamas chopping off babies’ heads?” the reporter asked a stone-faced Tlaib before repeating the question multiple times. “Do Israeli lives not matter to you?”

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