Philip Weiss & Michael Arria
Mondoweiss / October 7, 2023
It did not take very long for Israel’s friends in the U.S., including many liberal Democrats and liberal Zionist organizations, to declare utter support for Israel against Hamas “terrorists.”
The incursion by Gaza militants into Israel this morning surprised Israel but it also took Americans by surprise. It did not take very long for Israel’s friends in the U.S. to declare utter support for Israel against Hamas “terrorists.”
Supporters seemed to outdo one another in their declarations of support for “our incredible ally,” as Rep. Haley Stevens described Israel, or “our greatest ally,” as Rep. Mike Lawler put it.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris led the way, condemning the “appalling” and “heinous” terrorist attacks and pledging their “unwavering” support.
“Today, I spoke with @IsraeliPM about the appalling Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel. I offered our support and reiterated my unwavering commitment to Israel’s security. @FLOTUS and I express our heartfelt condolences to the families who have lost loved ones,” tweeted Biden.
“Doug’s and my prayers are with the victims of the heinous terrorist attacks in Israel. @POTUS and my support for Israel’s security is unwavering,” added Harris.
Other supporters included many liberal Democrats and liberal Zionist organizations, saying that they “stand with Israel.” Although right-wing Zionist organizations also leaped on to the news, with AIPAC congratulating all the politicians from both sides, including Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan, and Chris Van Hollen, who have sided with Israel.
Here are some of the American responses this morning.
Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey leaped to Israel’s defense and blamed Iran:
On the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, Iran-backed terrorists fired rockets into Israel and even invaded southern Israel. This unprovoked attack against the Jewish State must be unequivocally condemned.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders condemned the attack. “I absolutely condemn the horrifying attack on Israel by Hamas and Islamic Jihad. There is no justification for this violence, and innocent people on both sides will suffer hugely because of it. It must end now,” he tweeted.
Rep. Mikie Sherill of New Jersey also condemned the “terrorists.” New York Democrat Jerry Nadler saw “wickedness:”
“Israeli citizens are experiencing unspeakable horror as Hamas terrorists launch attacks across the country. Israel has a right to defend itself against such wickedness and violence. I stand with Israel.”
There almost appeared to be a competition among Israel supporters to get their statements of support out, with AIPAC tracking such statements from 7 a.m. today.
Rep. Gregory Meeks issued a condemnation at 8:36 a.m.
I lend my voice to the international condemnation of the terrorist organization Hamas’ unprovoked attacks against Israel, who has every right to defend herself.
Dan Goldman of New York had his condemnation up at 7:47 in the morning. “I unequivocally condemn the actions of Hamas and other terrorist groups this morning.”
Republican Rep. Mike Lawler, in a swing district in the Hudson Valley, said Israel should do whatever it wanted.
Israel must be able to do whatever is necessary to protect its country from these terrorists and we must stand with our greatest ally.
Democratic Rep. Haley Stevens, who won a narrow victory in Michigan last year, said she stands “fiercely” with “our incredible ally.”
Your legions of supporters are with you and these acts of war will be overcome.
“This morning’s awful terrorist attacks against Israel, which have claimed over 40 lives and wounded hundreds more, including civilians, are heartbreaking and deeply troubling,” said California Rep. Katie Porter, who is running to take over Dianne Feinstein’s Senate seat. “I stand with the Israeli people, condemn this violence, and reaffirm Israel’s right to defend itself.”
New York Congressman and AIPAC favorite Ritchie Torres is one of the few politicians who made reference to the Palestinians being killed in Gaza, but only to justify the bloodshed. “Israelis are doing precisely what we, as Americans, would do if we found ourselves under sudden attack: defending themselves,” he explained. “I unequivocally stand with Israel as it rightly defends itself from Hamas, a terrorist organization that has long sought the destruction of the Jewish State.”
“The United States and the American people stand with Israel,” insists Nevada Senator Jacky Rosen. North Carolina Rep. Kathy Manning says she’s “devastated and appalled” by the “unprecedented” attacks. Florida Congressman Jared Moskowitz is “horrified” and “infuriated.” He tweeted that, “America must unequivocally stand by its ally.”
The ADL had a statement up by 8:30 this morning of solidarity and outrage over Iranian-backed “war crimes.”
We call on responsible members of the international community to take concrete actions both in support of Israel and against those who support the Palestinian terrorists.
Liberal Zionist groups were also not equivocal about the attacks. Americans for Peace Now said it stands in “solidarity” with brothers and sisters in Israel.
“We unequivocally condemn these horrific acts of terror. The targeting and kidnapping of civilians is an inexcusable, outrageous war crime.”
J Street declared that it is “outraged, horrified” by the “Hamas terrorist assault” on Israel. It called for a “swift and decisive” defeat of the “murderous” Palestinians:
This is a day of profound anguish and horror. Israel is in a state of war and national emergency. J Street stands in solidarity with the Israeli people in this hour of terrible danger, fear and worry. We stand with the Israeli armed forces working furiously to repel this assault, protect Israelis and defeat the terrorist onslaught.”
Philip Weiss is senior editor of Mondoweiss.net and founded the site in 2005-2006
Michael Arria is the U.S. correspondent for Mondoweiss