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PROGRESSIVE SPLIT

Far-left lawmakers call for Israel-Gaza cease-fire, breaking with other progressives

Thirteen House Democrats, led by the Squad, called on the U.S. to push for a cease-fire in Israel

JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images

A picture taken from the southern Israeli city of Sderot on October 17, 2023, shows plumes of smoke ascending over the northern Gaza Strip following Israeli military strikes, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and Hamas.

Thirteen House Democrats, led by members of the Squad, introduced a resolution on Monday calling on the U.S. to push for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. The statement highlights a division between the larger House progressive movement — which has stopped short of calls for a cease-fire — and the far left.

Reps. Cori Bush (D-MO), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Andre Carson (D-IN), Summer Lee (D-PA), Delia Ramirez (D-IL), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Chuy Garcia (D-IL), Jonathan Jackson (D-IL), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) are co-sponsoring the cease-fire resolution.

The resolution “urges the Biden administration to immediately call for and facilitate deescalation and a cease-fire to urgently end the current violence” and to promptly send and facilitate the entry of humanitarian assistance into Gaza.”

The sponsors of the resolution include some of the fiercest critics of Israel in the House, with the exception of Jackson, who has thus far been supportive of pro-Israel legislation. He also visited Israel recently with the AIPAC-affiliated American Israel Education Foundation.

More than half of the lawmakers who joined the resolution also signed onto a letter from a significant group of House progressives on Friday that urged the Biden administration to caution Israel over its response to the Hamas terrorist attacks, but did not call for de-escalation or a cease-fire. Bush, Tlaib, Jackson and Omar did not join the other letter.

But further highlighting how the shocking Hamas attack has scrambled dynamics among House progressives, Watson Coleman, Garcia, Jackson and Velazquez also joined nearly all of their House colleagues on a bipartisan resolution expressing staunch support for Israel and its self-defense and offering additional security assistance to Israel — a message that seems to be at odds with the one delivered in the new resolution introduced today.

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