Washington Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal appeared to suggest Israel was partly to blame for the ongoing conflict with Gaza while speaking on CNN Thursday.
CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Jayapal what the appropriate type of response should be from the Israeli government, noting Hamas began indiscriminately firing rockets at Israel more than a week ago.
“Well we condemn Hamas’ firing of those rockets but I think you have to look at what prompted even that behavior,” Jayapal said, appearing to shift the blame onto Israel. “I think there was you know the continued annexation that Israel has been undertaking for years.”
Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal says the US has to do everything it can to work toward a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Jayapal joined a Congressional resolution disapproving the arms sale between Israel and the US. “I do not think that this is the moment for it.” pic.twitter.com/H8QB9waE0j
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) May 19, 2021
“This has been a pattern of action from Israel that frankly has taken away the idea even of a two-state solution, and has led to increased hopelessness from the Palestinian people,” she said. “I think what Hamas has done is – obviously we condemn that – but we have to look at the power balance here, or imbalance as it were, and we have to put more responsibility on Israel in maintaining peace in the region.”
Other members of Congress have appeared to shift most of the blame to Israel as well. (RELATED: FLASHBACK: Ocasio-Cortez Admits She Has No Clue What She’s Talking About Immediately After Attacking Israel)
Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said President Joe Biden “reinforces the false idea that Palestinians instigated this cycle of violence.”
By only stepping in to name Hamas’ actions – which are condemnable – & refusing to acknowledge the rights of Palestinians, Biden reinforces the false idea that Palestinians instigated this cycle of violence.
This is not neutral language. It takes a side – the side of occupation.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 12, 2021
Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders published an op-ed in The New York Times where he also appeared to shift the blame from Hamas to Israel.
“We should also understand that, while Hamas firing rockets into Israeli communities is absolutely unacceptable, today’s conflict did not begin with those rockets.”
Sanders pointed to the Sheikh Jarrah evictions and claimed “those evictions are just one part of a broader system of political and economic oppression.”
While Sanders goes on to say there is no excuses for Hamas, he quickly points to Israel as being too authoritative.
“None of this excuses the attacks by Hamas, which were an attempt to exploit the unrest in Jerusalem, or the failures of the corrupt and ineffective Palestinian Authority, which recently postponed long-overdue elections,” Sanders wrote.
“But the fact of the matter is that Israel remains the one sovereign authority in the land of Israel and Palestine, and rather than preparing for peace and justice, it has been entrenching its unequal and undemocratic control.”
Democratic Michigan Rep. Ilhan Omar retweeted a clip of Israeli politician Ofer Cassif who also blamed Israel for the recent conflict. It said, “Netanyahu ignited a fire to maintain his rule. We shall say that everywhere and in every language”
נתניהו הצית שריפה כדי לשמור על שלטונו. נאמר זאת בכל מקום ובכל שפה.
نتنياهو أشعل النار للحفاظ على حكمه. سوف نقول هذا في كل مكان وفي كل لغة.
Netanyahu ignited a fire to maintain his rule. We shall say that everywhere and in every language. pic.twitter.com/xzCWWTsdln
— Ofer Cassif עופר כסיף (@ofercass) May 18, 2021
Omar has also accused Israel of committing “war crimes.”
Bombing a school is a war crime. Bombing a hospital is a war crime. Bombing news outlets is a war crime. Firing rockets at civilians is *also* a war crime.
If we believe in human rights, we should hold anyone who commits war crimes fully accountable.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) May 19, 2021
But let’s make no mistake – even if the current escalation wasn’t raging, Congress should be questioning the sales of these types of weapons to Israel—and any country in the world that has committed human rights abuses.
Congressional oversight on arm sales is long overdue. https://t.co/yAR9GwLHFN
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) May 19, 2021