AOC, 'Squad' members' anti-Israel comments blasted by lawmakers and pro-Israel groups
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., weighs in on John Kerry's Congressional hearing and the unrest escalating in the Middle East
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y, and other members of the left-wing "Squad" members are facing backlash for their controversial anti-Israel tweets amid intensifying violence between Israel and the terrorist organization Hamas this week.
Republican and Democrat lawmakers, as well as pro-Israel groups, are pushing back against remarks by the progressive group that appeared to blame Israel, rather than Hamas terrorists, for the violence.
According to Israeli Defense Forces Lt. Colonel Jonathan Conricus, over 1,100 rockets were launched by Hamas into Israel over the last few days. Israeli counteroffensives targeted Hamas and the Islamic Jihad military complexes in Gaza.
President Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday to reaffirm U.S. support for Israel amid the deadly conflict.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Ocasio-Cortez said President Biden's defense of Israel's use of force to protect itself against Hamas was "siding with the occupation."
In addition, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., said on Monday that Israel is "promoting racism and dehumanization" under a discriminatory "apartheid system."
One of the most inflammatory tweets came from Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., who accused Israel of "terrorism" amid the fatal clashes with Hamas.
In a Twitter post on Monday, Omar wrote: "Israeli air strikes killing civilians in Gaza is an act of terrorism. Palestinians deserve protection. Unlike Israel, missile defense programs, such as Iron Dome, don’t exist to protect Palestinian civilians. It’s unconscionable to not condemn these attacks on the week of Eid."
Christians United for Israel Action Fund chairwoman Sandra Parker strongly condemned the anti-Israel statements made by the Squad members.
"Despite the statements from certain fringe politicians in the United States, there remains no excuse for terrorism," said Parker in a statement to Fox News.
"As terrorists hide behind Palestinian civilians while indiscriminately killing Israeli civilians, Reps. Ocasio-Cortez and Omar have regressed yet again into demagoguery. Thankfully, their fringe beliefs are completely unrepresentative of the American public’s view, including the position of the overwhelming majority of Democrats in Congress."
Parker continued, saying that Ocasio-Cortez's statements are out of touch because of the long-standing positive history between Israel and the U.S. She continued, "Israel is a democracy and stalwart American ally. The Jewish state has a right and responsibility to keep its citizens safe."
Florida Democrat Rep. Ted Deutch said in a tweet: "No one should defend Hamas. Ever."
"Hamas terrorists have launched >500 rockets at Israel hoping to kill civilians. The international community has condemned Hamas for using human shields & launching rockets from in or near schools and hospitals in violation of international law," he continued.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., also directly addressed Omar's inflammatory tweet in a Fox News interview.
The Florida senator said Omar was "out of her mind" when she posted the tweet.
"Number one, the Iron Dome wouldn't need to exist if it wasn't for Hamas and Hezbollah. The reason it exists is because these terrorists have rockets and they use it to try to kill Israelis. That's the reason why it exists," said Rubio.
On Wednesday, Fox News reported that Omar is fundraising off of the backlash she's received from her anti-Israel comments.
The Minnesota congresswoman's campaign advertised a Facebook fundraiser on Wednesday highlighting remarks from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who said she is acting as a "press secretary for Hamas" due to her tweets.
Fox News' Joe Schoffstall contributed to this report.