In a stark divergence from the bipartisan support typically seen in Congress regarding US-Israel relations, members of “The Squad,” a group of far-left House Democrats, have ignited a controversy with their statements on the ongoing Hamas attack on Israel.
The notorious group, which includes representatives Cori Bush, Jamaal Bowman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib, has sparked calls for their removal from Congress and has drawn condemnation from some of their own party colleagues.
Voices of ‘The Squad’
Representative Cori Bush of Missouri stated that the United States should cease its support for the “Israeli military occupation and apartheid.”
Her comments reflect a growing sentiment within the progressive wing of the Democratic Party that views US support for Israel as problematic and in need of reassessment.
Meanwhile, Representative Jamaal Bowman from New York called for an end to Israel’s “blockade of Gaza.”
He argued that this blockade exacerbates the suffering of Palestinians in the region and that addressing this issue is critical for achieving peace and stability.
Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley, from New York and Massachusetts, respectively, called for an “immediate ceasefire and de-escalation” in the ongoing conflict.
They expressed concerns that Israel’s military actions could lead to further loss of life and suffering among Palestinians in Gaza.
Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota initially criticized the violence caused by Hamas while urging “de-escalation and ceasefire.”
She framed the ongoing conflict as part of a “back and forth cycle,” highlighting the cyclical nature of violence in the region.
However, she later emphasized the need for a “moral awakening” in the US to address the human suffering in Gaza.
Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan placed the blame for Israel’s suffering squarely on Israel itself.
She advocated for lifting the blockade, ending the occupation, and dismantling what she termed the “apartheid system” that creates the conditions conducive to resistance.
Tlaib also called for the end of US support for Israel, linking it to the perpetuation of violence in the region.
Calls for expulsion from Congress
The controversial rhetoric from these Squad members has triggered a growing chorus of calls for their expulsion from Congress.
“Ilhan Omar, AOC, Cori Bush, Rashida Tlaib and the entire SQUAD should be expelled from Congress for their hateful rhetoric towards Israel,” one posted on X.
“Need to remove the Squad Team that supports Hamas,” another wrote.
“They should be expelled for violating their oaths of office,” a comment read.
“Will this be the last straw? Most Dems in Congress support Israel and always have. Once a new Speaker is elected, will Congress finally expel the anti-Semitic, anti-American members of ‘the Squad’?” someone else chimed in.
“Send them on a plane to the Gaza Strip,” another quipped.
Ilhan Omar, AOC, Cori Bush, Rashida Tlaib and the entire SQUAD should be expelled from Congress for their hateful rhetoric towards Israel.
— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) October 8, 2023
Need to remove the Squad Team that support Hamas pic.twitter.com/XeZ2heJTdd
— Donna Marie (@sabback) October 9, 2023
They should be expelled for violating their oaths of office.
— Model Y Maniac 🇺🇸 (@ModelYManiac) October 8, 2023
Will this be last straw?
Most Dems in Congress support Israel and always have. Once a new Speaker is elected, will Congress finally expel the anti-semetic, anti-American members of “the Squad”? https://t.co/Y9DtlxmsBh
— Anita (@LAdair_SD) October 9, 2023
Send them on a plane to the Gaza Strip
— Ellie (@CourtrightEllen) October 10, 2023
As reported by National Review, the controversy has not been confined to external voices, as members of their own party have also offered strong condemnations.
Representative Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey expressed his dismay, stating that it “sickens” him that while Israelis grapple with the aftermath of violence, some in Congress advocate for stripping U.S. funding to a democratic ally, potentially causing further civilian suffering.
Representative Ritchie Torres of New York labeled the Squad members’ comments as “reprehensible and repulsive.” He stressed the need for Congress to provide Israel with necessary support to defend itself amid unprecedented terrorism.
Torres also condemned the portrayal of violence as “resistance,” particularly given the tragic historical context of anti-Semitic violence. “Shame on anyone who glorifies as ‘resistance’ the largest single-day mass murder of Jews since the Holocaust,” he said.