Nine House Democrats voted against a resolution on Wednesday that would’ve backed Israel and condemned militant group Hamas attack against the country earlier this month.
In a 412-10-6 vote, the House chamber showed string support for Israeli allies after Hamas launched a surprise attack against the country earlier this month that left 1,400 Israeli citizens dead and more than 200 others held in hostage by Hamas.
In response, Israel has launched a series of airstrikes in Gaza, resulting in the deaths of 6,546 residents and 17,439 suffering injuries, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
While the majority of lawmakers expressed their support for Israel, some lawmakers have criticized Israel for their airstrikes in Gaza and even calling for the U.S. to end its funding to the nation.
Here are the nine House Democrats who voted against the resolution:
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (Mich.)
Tlaib, who is of Palestinian heritage, has been a vocal critic of the Israeli government, previously denouncing a House resolution earlier this year supporting Israel in a floor speech.
“Israel is an apartheid state. To assert otherwise, Mr. Speaker, in the face of this body of evidence, is an attempt to deny the reality and an attempt to normalize violence of apartheid,” Tlaib said during a floor speech.
Tlaib was one of the few progressive members of Congress that skipped Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s address to Congress in July.
Tlaib also faced backlash earlier this month for her initial statement on the attack, labeling Israel an an apartheid state and calling for the U.S. to end its finding for the country.
“The failure to recognize the violent reality of living under siege, occupation, and apartheid makes no one safer. No person, no child anywhere should have to suffer or live in fear of violence. We cannot ignore the humanity in each other,” Tlaib said in her statement. “As long as our country provides billions in unconditional funding to support the apartheid government, this heartbreaking cycle of violence will continue.”
Rep. Cori Bush (Mo.)
Bush, who called for the U.S. to end its support for Israel earlier this month, also led a coalition of progressive lawmakers who called for President Biden to work for an immediate cease-fire between Hamas and Israel.
The Ceasefire Now Resolution, introduced last week, urged Biden to push for an agreement to end the conflict and “promptly send and facilitate the entry of humanitarian assistance into Gaza.”
“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,” the Montana lawmaker said in a statement.
“War and retaliatory violence doesn’t achieve accountability or justice; it only leads to more death and human suffering,” she added. “The United States bears a unique responsibility to exhaust every diplomatic tool at our disposal to prevent mass atrocities and save lives…we need a ceasefire now.”
Rep. Jamaal Bowman (N.Y.)
In a statement earlier this month, Bowman called for the U.S. to work on a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine, noting that “Israeli and Palestinian civilians do not deserve to be killed due to this war. And we must govern in ways that nurture humanity, not succumb to violence.”
Bowman was also one of the few progressive members of Congress who skipped Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s address to Congress in July.
“We must remember that Palestinian civilians are not responsible for Hamas’s actions. We must ensure we center human rights and be clear-eyed about the loss of life that will unnecessarily be inflicted upon all innocent civilians,” Bowman said in his statement.
“We need open discussion of the root causes of this conflict to end this violence and stop Hamas once and for all and bring us to a peaceful two-state solution,” he added.
Rep. Andre Carson (Ind.)
Carson, who skipped Herzog’s joint address to Congress in July, also called for a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine, saying the U.S. call for the end of “Israel’s unfair, two-tiered rule over the Palestinian people.”
Carson also joined Bush as a co-sponsor of the Ceasefire Now Resolution in early October.
“This latest escalation of violence painfully demonstrates the urgent need for just and lasting peace,” Carson said in his statement. “To achieve this, the US must rededicate ourselves and our resources to a real two-state solution, and call for the end of Israel’s unfair, two-tiered rule over the Palestinian people. This includes concrete steps to preserve the future of a Palestinian state.”
Rep. Al Green (Texas)
In a statement, the Texas congressman explained the reason he wouldn’t support the resolution was due to his position on working for a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, saying his “preeminent rationale from which others emanate is my philosophical conviction that issues of war and peace are questions of conscience, coupled with my sincere belief that we must plan for peace at the genesis of war.”
“Winning a war while losing the peace likely portends future wars. Regrettably, the resolution at hand does not mention a two-state solution in tandem with the necessity to provide aid to the Palestinians, yet both are part and parcel to any hope for lasting peace,” Green said in his statement. “I was proud to see President Biden take a similar stance in his address to the nation of Israel on October 18th.”
“My desire for a two-state solution is why, on October 12th, 2023, prior to President Biden’s statement, I sent a letter to the Foreign Affairs Committee Chair and Ranking Member explaining in greater detail why I had not signed onto H.Res. 771.”
Rep. Summer Lee (Pa.)
The freshman lawmaker joined Bush and her colleagues in co-introducing the Ceasefire Now Resolution earlier this month.
“The violence that continues to escalate in Israel and Palestine is devastating to watch. I once again strongly condemn the violence, terrorism, and hostage taking by Hamas that tore away the lives of over a thousand Israeli civilians,” Lee said in a statement.
“But we cannot allow innocent civilians in Gaza – including children – to continue to be collectively and inhumanely punished for Hamas’ horrific actions, as we’ve already seen Israeli airstrikes kill thousands of civilians against international human rights law, and force hundreds of thousands of people out of their homes,” Lee added. “Continued retaliation against civilians will do nothing to end this tragic cycle of violence.”
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.)
In a statement earlier this month, Ocasio-Cortez called for an “immediate ceasefire and de-escalation” between the two sides.
“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. 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 said in her statement. “An immediate ceasefire and de-escalation is urgently needed to save lives.”
Ilhan Omar (Minn.)
In a statement, Omar explained the reason she voted against the resolution, which was that she “cannot support a resolution that fails to acknowledge and mourn the lives of Palestinians taken by the Israeli military.”
“The resolution also fails to acknowledge the Israeli government’s military bombardment of Gaza, especially after Israeli officials openly admitted to implementing collective punishment of Palestinians in Gaza,” Omar said in her statement.
“Our position should be consistent in defending innocent lives. We must use diplomacy to secure the release of hostages, end the violence by negotiating a ceasefire, restore water, food, and fuel to Gaza, and work toward lasting peace.”
“My unwavering commitment to human rights and peace compels me to oppose any action that perpetuates a crisis that has already ended many lives,” she added. “For this reason, I cast my vote against House Resolution 771.”
Delia Ramirez (Ill.)
Ramirez, a first-term lawmaker, issued a statement on the reason she decided to vote against the resolution, saying that the resolution didn’t honor a two-state solution between the two sides “and did not recognize the interconnectedness of the Israeli and Palestinian people in their struggle for liberation and safety.”
“We cannot unequivocally support or condone the Israeli government’s collective punishment of the Palestinian people in Gaza. The Palestinian people are not Hamas,” Ramirez said. “We must use our collective voice and influence to end the siege that has claimed the lives of more than 2,000 Palestinian children, displaced thousands of Palestinians, and limited the humanitarian aid that can reach the region. Violence cannot bring peace, and atrocities cannot justify further war crimes.”
“I believe in a future where Israelis and Palestinians are free and safe. Our futures are interconnected, and that realization can provide a path to liberation and coexistence.”
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