Progressives' pressure on Biden mounts after Gaza hospital blast
Driving the news: After hundreds of people were killed in a blast on the al-Ahli hospital in Gaza City, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) called on Biden "to push for an immediate ceasefire to end this slaughter."
Context: Palestinian officials said the explosion was the result of an Israeli air strike. The Israel Defense Forces denied responsibility and blamed a failed rocket launch from Gaza.
What they're saying: "Bombing a hospital is among the gravest of war crimes," Omar said in an online post.
- Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), the only Palestinian member of Congress, also addressed Biden online statement, saying, "This is what happens when you refuse to facilitate a ceasefire" and help de-escalate.
- "Your war and destruction only approach has opened my eyes and many Palestinian Americans and Muslims Americans like me," Tlaib added. "We will remember where you stood."
- Comments by the high-profile, left-wing "Squad," which generally is more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, have sparked internal backlash among the overwhelmingly pro-Israel Democratic Caucus, Axios' Andrew Solender and Eugene Scott report.
- After Hamas launched its surprise terrorist attack on Israel, Squad members Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) called for an end to U.S. aid to Israel, while Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) called to end "unconditional" military aid. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) said "this heartbreaking cycle of violence will continue" unless the funds are cut off.
Of note: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) offered a more cautious response, criticizing Hamas' attacks and urging "de-escalation" between the two sides.
Meanwhile, Biden was preparing for his Wednesday visit to Israel to reaffirm U.S. solidarity amid the ongoing war against Hamas.
- The unprecedented visit is the first by a U.S. president while Israel is actively at war.