President Biden on Monday condemned “despicable” anti-Semitic attacks on American Jews in the United States who have found themselves the target of death threats, hate speech and violent physical attacks amid conflict between Israel and the Palestinians .
“The recent attacks on the Jewish community are despicable and must stop,” Biden said. “I condemn this hateful behavior at home and abroad – it is up to all of us not to give hatred any refuge. “
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Biden’s comments come as New York, New Jersey, California, Illinois, Utah, Arizona and Florida have seen a wave of anti-Semitic attacks on American Jews.
Fighting between Israel and Hamas ended on Friday after more than 200 deaths in 11 days when Israel announced a ceasefire, which was negotiated with the help of Egypt, the neighboring country which for decades. decades served as a mediator in conflicts. In the region.
But before the ceasefire agreement, Democratic leaders, including President and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., drew a thin line between supporting Israel’s right to defending themselves and avoiding alienating vocal anti-Israel voices within their own party.
Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Introduced a resolution Thursday to force a vote on whether to block arms sales to Israel.
“At a time when US-made bombs are devastating Gaza and killing women and children, we cannot just pass up another huge arms sale without even a debate in Congress,” Sanders said in a statement, saying reference to US $ 735 million. arms deal with Israel which has come under scrutiny in recent days.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y., also supported the Sanders effort.
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“The United States should not stifle arms sales to the Israeli government as it deploys our resources to target international media, schools, hospitals, humanitarian missions and civilian bombing sites,” he said. she declared.
Representative Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Accused Israel of “terrorism” as a flood of Democrats hit the House floor to deliver speeches against Israel. Some have targeted the Biden administration’s policy towards Israel, including Representative Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.
“As long as Washington’s message is that our military support for Israel is unconditional, Netanyahu’s far-right government will continue to expand settlements, continue to demolish homes and continue to make prospects for peace impossible,” he said. she declared.
And following the ceasefire, Tlaib said, “The United States must make funding conditional on respect for human rights, and end funding entirely if those conditions are not met. Tlaib had a heated exchange with Biden during a visit to Michigan this week when she confronted him, before saying later on MSNBC, “Enough, President Biden… You have to speak out against this violence in a very agressive. “
Some Democrats, however, have made strong pro-Israel statements both in the House and when answering questions from the press. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., Proclaimed in the House that “Hamas and Islamic Jihad alone are responsible for the escalation that led to the bloodshed of Israelis and Palestinians … Israel has it right. right to defend oneself ”.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Also supported Israel.
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“Hamas, a terrorist organization that has made it very clear that it wants to see Israel erased from the Middle East, the Jewish state to be destroyed,” Hoyer said. “Israel’s right to defend itself against such an attack. “
But Democrats, including Omar, have condemned anti-Semitic violence, including an incident at a Los Angeles sushi restaurant reported by the Los Angeles Times that is being investigated as a hate crime.
Fox News’ Tyler Olson, Yael Halon and Associated Press contributed to this report.