Deadly violence has once again erupted between the Israelis and Palestinians as the terror group Hamas and other militants in Gaza have indiscriminately fired hundreds of rockets into Israel, prompting carefully targeted retaliatory airstrikes by Israel into Gaza.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) issued a statement Tuesday condemning Hamas for its rocket attacks, contradicting the message espoused by some of her far-left progressive colleagues who cast blame on Israel for the worsening situation, Fox News reported.
The differing messages highlight the deepening rift among Democrats — a split between those who believe Israel has a sovereign right to defend itself and those who view Israel as an oppressor nation that gets what it deserves when hit with terrorist attacks from Palestinians.
Pelosi condemns Hamas
“I condemn the escalating and indiscriminate rocket attacks by Hamas against Israel. Israel has the right to defend herself against this assault, which is designed to sow terror and undermine prospects for peace,” Pelosi said in the statement. “Every civilian death is a tragedy that we mourn. Hamas’s accelerating violence only risks killing more civilians, including innocent Palestinians.”
Pelosi did not hold Israel entirely blameless for what was occurring, however, and said, “The recent inflammatory provocations including by extremist forces in Jerusalem have exacerbated the situation, and restraint must be shown by all to de-escalate the crisis.”
What Pelosi was likely referring to, according to a report Wednesday from Reuters, were claims of violent clashes on the streets between Jews and Arabs in and around Jerusalem and other ethnically mixed cities and towns in Israel.
Riots result in clashes that provoke airstrikes
This current round of violence, the worst seen in at least the last four years, was touched off Friday. A riot erupted at the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, as well as in other parts of that city and Palestinian-dominated East Jerusalem, over a since-delayed court case regarding the evictions of Palestinian families from Jewish-owned homes in an East Jerusalem neighborhood.
The riots, which continued over the weekend, resulted in clashes with Israeli police and instances of street violence, all of which was escalated Monday when Hamas began to fire its rockets indiscriminately into Israel, prompting the targeted airstrikes against Hamas locations in Gaza.
As of Wednesday, there are reports that upwards of 65 Palestinians in Gaza, some of whom were children, had been killed — including a Hamas commander and several of his militants — as well as at least six Israelis in Israel, some of whom were Arab citizens and children. A U.S. envoy, along with other envoys from neighboring Arab states and the United Nations, are currently trying to negotiate a ceasefire to halt any further escalation.
Far-left progressives blame Israel
Meanwhile, several prominent far-left progressive Democrats have pointed the finger of blame for the current violence at Israel and Israel alone. That group includes some of the usual anti-Israel suspects, such as Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), along with her “squad” mates Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), the Washington Examiner reported.
Joining them in casting blame on Israel were Reps. Andre Carson (D-IN), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and Mark Pocan (D-WI), as well as, to a lesser extent, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who seemed to decry both sides of the conflict as being equally complicit in the violence that erupted.
It appears as though, at least for now, the Biden administration is standing in support of Israel and acknowledging its right to self-defense, which has earned the administration its own heated criticism from the Israel-blaming progressive Democrats, according to Business Insider.