Members of the “squad” of House progressive Democrats are calling for Israel to let bygones be bygones and cease its military response to the massacre of more than 1,400 civilians in Israel at the hands of Hamas.
A resolution demanding a ceasefire was drafted by Democratic Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri, a member of the so-called “squad.” Last week, in the immediate aftermath of the attack, Bush called for an end of aid to Israel, according to KSDK-TV.
Fellow “squad” members Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Jamaal Bowman and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York co-sponsored the resolution as did Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey, Nydia Velázquez of New York, André Carson of Indiana, Summer Lee Pennsylvania and Delia C. Ramirez, Jesús “Chuy” García and Jonathan Jackson of Illinois, according to a statement on Bush’s website.
The resolution said that “hundreds of thousands of lives are at imminent risk if a cease-fire is not achieved and humanitarian aid is not delivered without delay.”
The resolution, which is unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled House, urges the White House “to immediately call for and facilitate de-escalation and a cease-fire to urgently end the current violence.
The resolution also demands that the U.S. “promptly send and facilitate the entry of humanitarian assistance into Gaza.”
By calling for a ceasefire with 199 Israeli hostages in Gaza, after Hamas death squads brutally murdered 1,300 Israelis, you are *literally* calling on us to stand by. https://t.co/fK4iV85UuX
— Eylon Levy (@EylonALevy) October 16, 2023
“I am grieving for every Palestinian, Israeli, and American life lost to this violence, and my heart breaks for all those who will be forever traumatized because of it,” Bush said in her statement,
“War and retaliatory violence doesn’t achieve accountability or justice; it only leads to more death and human suffering,” she said. “The United States bears a unique responsibility to exhaust every diplomatic tool at our disposal to prevent mass atrocities and save lives. We can’t bomb our way to peace, equality, and freedom. With thousands of lives lost and millions more at stake, we need a ceasefire now.”
“We are watching an unfolding humanitarian catastrophe as a result of the Israel’s military campaign in Gaza,” Omar said in a statement on Bush’s website.
“Over a million people have now been displaced from their homes, nearly 3,000 have been killed—1,000 of them children. Human rights groups have put forward credible reports of white phosphorous being used in civilian areas—a war crime. Electricity remains cut off, with many hospitals on the brink of collapse today,” she said.
Of course the Terror Squad wants a ceasefire LOL
— John Tabor (@TacTabor) October 16, 2023
“We must be clear: violence does not justify more violence. Killing innocent children and civilians will only exacerbate the violence we have seen, and do nothing to bring about a political solution. We must urge an immediate end to the violence in Gaza, a release of the hostages still held in Gaza and at long last steps towards justice and peace,” she said.
Carson’s comments on Bush’s website noted that “Gaza’s 2 million civilian residents – half of whom are children – are particularly vulnerable right now.”
“The Israeli government cut off Gaza’s medical supply, food, fuel, water, and electricity; announced plans for ground military operations against civilians; and warned 1 million North Gaza residents to evacuate their homes. Palestinians are already surrounded by long-term military blockades — they have literally nowhere to go,” Carson said.
Although the “squad” and its allies have pushed for a ceasefire, some Democrats have vented their disgust with their fellow party members.
But Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.), who is staunchly pro-Israel, said the Democratic Party is united in its support for Israel, with a few exceptions that he said are not representative of the majority.
“Every country, every sovereign state has the right to defend itself, and if you and your neighbors were the targets, had your homes invaded, if you and your neighbors were murdered or wounded or terrorized, what would you expect your government to do?” Democratic Rep. Ritchie Torres of New York has said, according to The Washington Post.
“Those who insist Israel should do nothing in the face of unprecedented terrorism [are] holding the Jewish state to a double standard that no other country, including the United States, would ever impose on itself,” he said.