Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell harshly criticized Democrats who have urged the Biden administration to put more pressure on Israel not to carry out threatened evictions of Palestinian families from homes in a Jerusalem neighborhood due to a property dispute over whether Jews are the legal owners, The Hill reported on Wednesday.
Some are citing the dispute as a reason for the severe flareup in violence between Israel and the Palestinians.
McConnell stressed his strong support for Israel, calling massive rocket attacks launched by Hamas indiscriminately into Israeli population centers as “barbaric terrorism” and “not a legitimate protest.”
“Whatever complaints Palestinians have with Israel’s government, wanton violence against civilians is completely and totally inexcusable,” McConnell emphasized on the Senate floor. “Nor is it legitimate for Israel’s obsessive critics to suggest any equivalency whatsoever between these inexcusable attacks and Israel’s measured and quite targeted response against terrorists.”
He also slammed pro-Palestinian protesters in the capital.
“Here in Washington, street protesters screamed - listen to this - 'Israel is a terrorist state,'” he said. “Some members of Congress echoed that rhetoric almost exactly. Look, the state of Israel has every right of self-defense.”
Several Democrats lawmakers have lashed out at Israel over the latest flareup, according to The Hill.
Rep. Ilhan Omar said that “Israeli air strikes killing civilians in Gaza is an act of terrorism,” adding that “Palestinians deserve protection. Unlike Israel, missile defense programs, such as Iron Dome, don’t exist to protect Palestinian civilians. It’s unconscionable not to condemn these attacks.”
Other progressives, such as Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, as well as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, have concentrated on the dispute over the homes in Jerusalem, which is currently under review before the Israeli Supreme Court,saying that the evictions of the Palestinians should not be allowed to hapopen.
In his remarks on Wednesday, McConnell put the focus on Hamas’s attacks.
“Yet again air raid sirens have been sounding in Israel,” he said..”Israeli civilians have been huddling in basements, shelters and hospital stairwells. Hamas rocket attacks are lighting up the skies, hitting buildings and terrorizing, injuring and killing innocent people. Of course, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic jihad receive significant support from Iran.”
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