Congressional Democrats are fearful that their caucus could soon turn on Israel following the initial outpouring of support after Saturday’s Hamas terrorist attacks, Politico reported Tuesday.
President Joe Biden lit up the White House in blue and white Monday evening to show the U.S.’ support for the ally after over 900 Israelis and at least 11 Americans were killed, with many others taken by Hamas as hostages. Democratic members are concerned that the unequivocal support for Israel could wane as the ally begins its counteroffensive against Hamas in Gaza, which could jeopardize military aid to the country, they told Politico.
“For the last couple of days we’ve seen all the pictures of girls who were killed at this festival and the children and the parents and the Holocaust survivor and the elderly, and the hundreds of people who are dead and the stories about them being raped,” a Democratic congressman told Politico. “That’s over. Okay? The media is going to turn from all of that real soon. And the only images we’re going to see for the next couple of weeks are dead Palestinians.”
“So that’s when the Progressive Caucus will get all ginned up,” the congressman added.
In March, a Gallup poll found that Democrats’ sentiment toward Israel had significantly changed, with more showing sympathy toward Palestinians by a margin of 49% to 38%. The survey indicated that Democrats’ sympathy toward Palestinians increased by 11 points over the previous year, while sympathy toward Israelis dropped.
“Squad” members, like Democratic Rep. Cory Bush of Missouri, expressed sympathy toward the hundreds of Palestinians and Israelis dead “following attacks by Hamas militants on Israeli border towns and Israeli military bombardment of Gaza,” and called for deescalation.
Another Democratic lawmaker told Politico that while this sentiment is not as widespread within the caucus, they could see it infiltrating the party once the war drags on.
“Everyone just presumes that they’re going to play to type and say what they’re going to say. I don’t think anyone’s surprised about that. The key is making sure that it doesn’t grow and metastasize,” the Democratic congressman told Politico. “The question is, a week from now or five days from now, what are we looking at when the counterassault begins in earnest?”
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly told Biden that the country has no other option but to invade Gaza after Hamas initially launched 2,200 rockets into the country. Israel mobilized over 300,000 reserve troops on Monday in response to the terrorist attacks.
Neither the White House nor House Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries immediately responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.
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