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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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Politics

Israel-Hamas war: Some lawmakers blame Iran, others point at Israel

Oct 09, 2023

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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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More than 1,300 people and counting have been killed and thousands more wounded after Hamas terrorists attacked Israel by land, sea and air over the weekend of Oct. 7. The casualties are from both Israel and Gaza.   

Members of Congress are condemning the attacks, but there are key differences between statements from Democrats and Republicans. 

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What Democrats are saying: 

Rep. Dan Goldman, D-N.Y., was in Tel Aviv with his wife and three children when the attack began and got out safely. 

“At a minimum, Congress must replenish — and expand — the Iron Dome as soon as possible. I hope Republicans can get their House in order so we can pass emergency legislation to assist Israel in defending herself,” Goldman posted on X. 

There is strong bipartisan support in Congress for Israel’s security and defense, however, the House can’t do anything until it elects a speaker. Based on its current schedule, that will take at least a week to do.

Other Democratic lawmakers put out statements that were, in part, critical of Israel. 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., condemned Hamas’ attack and added, “this violence will not solve the ongoing oppression and occupation in the region.”  

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., said she supports a path to peace.

“The path to that future must include lifting the blockade, ending the occupation, and dismantling the apartheid system that creates the suffocating, dehumanizing conditions that can lead to resistance,” Tlaib said.

What Republicans are saying: 

Republicans are specifically placing blame on Iran, which supports Hamas with weapons, training and funding. Hamas has been on the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations since October 1997. 

“I am convinced that this unprecedented and brutal attack by Hamas is not only supported by Iran, it was designed to stop peace efforts between Saudi Arabia and Israel,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said.  

Graham is referring to efforts to normalize relations between the Arab and Jewish nations. Saudi Arabia had said on Friday, Oct. 6, it was willing to increase its oil production to help secure a deal in which it would recognize Israel in exchange for a U.S. defense agreement. 

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., called on the Biden administration to take action against Iran. 

“This means the president needs to make major changes in personnel and policy. Just last month the administration unfroze $6 billion in Iranian funds, and just last week we learned that the administration is staffed by agents of an Iranian spy ring.”

The Biden administration waived sanctions to unfreeze $6 billion dollars of Iranian money in a deal to free five American prisoners. Smith was also referring to reporting in Iran International that revealed three staff members for the Biden administration’s envoy on Iran were part of an influence network led by the country’s Foreign Ministry. 

The Biden administration said it has not seen direct involvement from Iran in these attacks but did state the nation is complicit. The national security team said it will continue to watch the situation closely.

“What I can say without a doubt is that Iran is broadly complicit in these attacks. Iran has been Hamas’ primary backer for decades,” U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Jon Finer said on CBS mornings.  

The president said his administration’s support for Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering. The Pentagon sent an aircraft carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean to assist Israel if necessary.

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More than 1,300 people and counting have been killed and thousands more wounded after Hamas terrorists attacked Israel by land, sea and air over the weekend. The casualties are in both Israel and Gaza.   

 

Members of Congress are condemning the attacks, but there are key differences between statements from Democrats and Republicans. 

 

Rep. Dan Goldman, D-N.Y.,  was in Tel Aviv with his wife and three children when the attack began and got out safely. 

 

Goldman posted on X, “At a minimum, Congress must replenish — and expand — the Iron Dome as soon as possible. I hope Republicans can get their House in order so we can pass emergency legislation to assist Israel in defending herself.” 

 

There’s strong bipartisan support in Congress for Israel’s security and defense. But the House can’t do anything until it elects a Speaker which will take at least  a week based on the current schedule. 

 

Other Democratic lawmakers put out statements that were, in part, critical of Israel. 

 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., condemned Hamas’ attack and added, “this violence will not solve the ongoing oppression and occupation in the region.”  

 

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., said she supports a path to peace. She explained, “The path to that future must include lifting the blockade, ending the occupation, and dismantling the apartheid system that creates the suffocating, dehumanizing conditions that can lead to resistance.”

 

Republicans are specifically placing blame on Iran which supports Hamas with weapons, training and funding. Hamas has been on the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations since October 1997. 

 

“I am convinced that this unprecedented and brutal attack by Hamas is not only supported by Iran, it was designed to stop peace efforts between Saudi Arabia and Israel,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said.  

 

Graham is referring to efforts to normalize relations between the Arab and Jewish nations. Saudia Arabia had said on Friday it was willing to increase its oil production to help secure a deal in which it would recognize Israel in exchange for a US defense agreement. 

 

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., called on the Biden administration to take action against Iran. 

 

“This means the President needs to make major changes in personnel and policy. Just last month the Administration unfroze $6 billion in Iranian funds, and just last week we learned that the Administration is staffed by agents of an Iranian spy ring.”

 

The Biden Administration unfroze $6 billion dollars of Iranian money in a deal to free five American prisoners. Smith was also referring to reporting in Iran International that revealed three staff members for the Biden Administration’s Envoy on Iran were part of an influence network led by the country’s foreign ministry. 

 

The Biden Administration says it has not seen direct involvement from Iran in these attacks but says the nation is complicit and that they will continue to watch it closely.

 

What I can say without a doubt is that Iran is broadly complicit in these attacks. Iran has been Hamas’ primary backer for decades,” US Deputy National Security Adviser Jon Finer said on CBS mornings.  

 

The President said his administration’s support for Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering. The Pentagon sent an aircraft carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean to assist Israel if necessary.