“Squad” House Democrats known for criticizing the state of Israel faced massive backlash from conservatives online over their milquetoast statements following Hamas’ deadly surprise attack on Israel.
Several members of the informal progressive caucus published statements on Saturday condemning the violence and calling for the conflict to de-escalate.
Of the “Squad” members, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., has been silent on the attack on Israel.
Meanwhile, “Squad” queen Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., called for a “ceasefire and de-escalation” after the surprise terrorist attack by Hamas on Israel.
“Today is devastating for all those seeking a lasting peace and respect for human rights in Israel and Palestine. I condemn Hamas’ attack in the strongest possible terms,” the New York Democrat said in a statement.
“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,” Ocasio-Cortez continued.
“An immediate ceasefire and de-escalation is urgently needed to save lives,” she added.
B) Ocasio-Cortez: 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. An immediate ceasefire and de-escalation is urgently needed to save lives.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) October 7, 2023
Ocasio-Cortez’s statement drew criticism from South Carolina GOP Rep. Nancy Mace, who referred to her Democrat colleague as a “Hamas apologist.”
“Hamas apologist asking for ‘ceasefire’ after one side launches a massive terrorist attack. Nice try,” Mace wrote.
Hamas apologist asking for “ceasefire” after one side launches a massive terrorist attack. Nice try. https://t.co/sQsaZTpBZq
— Nancy Mace (@NancyMace) October 8, 2023
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. – who has a history of controversial statements about Israel – condemned “the horrific acts we are seeing unfold today in Israel against children, women, the elderly, and the unarmed people who are being slaughtered and taken hostage by Hamas.”
“Such senseless violence will only repeat the back and forth cycle we’ve seen, which we cannot allow to continue,” Omar said.
“We need to call for deescalation and ceasefire,” she continued. “I will keep advocating for peace and justice throughout the Middle East.”
I condemn the horrific acts we are seeing unfold today in Israel against children, women, the elderly, and the unarmed people who are being slaughtered and taken hostage by Hamas. Such senseless violence will only repeat the back and forth cycle we've seen, which we cannot allow…
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) October 7, 2023
“FOX & Friends Weekend” co-host Rachel Campos-Duffy criticized Omar in a response to her statement, saying the congresswoman “will never acknowledge that there was peace in the Middle East [and] Europe when Trump was in office.”
She will never acknowledge that there was peace in the Middle East & Europe when Trump was in office. https://t.co/PjUi8NPXCL
— Rachel Campos-Duffy (@RCamposDuffy) October 7, 2023
Conservative commentator John Hasson also blasted Omar over her tweet.
“Notice how she only condemns the acts against ‘children, women, the elderly, and the unarmed.'” Hasson wrote. “She’s implying that attacking/killing IDF forces is fine.”
Notice how she only condemns the acts against “children, women, the elderly, and the unarmed.”
She’s implying that attacking/killing IDF forces is fine https://t.co/UB1VRpbqkc
— John Hasson (@SonofHas) October 7, 2023
In 2021, Omar landed in hot water with senior members of her own party as well as her opponents when she compared America and Israel to murderous terrorist groups Hamas and the Taliban, saying the two democracies have committed “unthinkable atrocities.”
“We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban,” Omar wrote at the time. “I asked [Secretary of State Antony Blinken] where people are supposed to go for justice.”
Additionally, during a 2021 cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, Omar said the fighting stopping wasn’t enough and that the U.S. was “underwriting crimes against humanity” through support for Israel and that there needed to be “accountability for every war crime committed.”
Amid the 2021 conflict, Omar also accused Israel of engaging in “terrorism” through their airstrikes that tragically killed civilians in the Gaza Strip.
“Israeli air strikes killing civilians in Gaza is an act of terrorism. Palestinians deserve protection. Unlike Israel, missile defense programs, such as Iron Dome, don’t exist to protect Palestinian civilians. It’s unconscionable to not condemn these attacks on the week of Eid,” Omar wrote on social media at the time.
In 2019, during her first term in office, Omar came under fire for a since-deleted tweet from 2012, where she wrote “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”
Omar said the “unfortunate words were the only words” she could “think about expressing at that moment” while referring to the Israeli armed forces’ 2012 operation against Hamas in Gaza. She also defended the comments while speaking to comedian Trevor Noah on “The Daily Show.”
Omar, who previously expressed regret over that tweet, responded by saying she had to “take a deep breath” and “understand where people were coming from and what point they were trying to make.”