Another Dem Rep Leaves Progressive Caucus After Members’ Anti-Israel Comments: REPORT

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Kate Anderson Contributor
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Democratic Rep. Ritchie Torres of New York has reportedly left the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) following other members’ comments criticizing Israel for the war in Gaza, according to Axios.

Torres is a strong supporter of Israel and said following Hamas’ attacks on Oct. 7 that “No one should blame the victim, no one should explain or excuse the terrorism,” in a stark departure from other members of the caucus, according to Axios. Torres was removed from CPC’s list of members, and a House Democrat and a familiar source confirmed his departure to Axios. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Over 70 Activists, Former Lawmakers Demand Congress End Funding For UN Agency Over Hamas Scandal)

Torres is the second Democrat to leave the caucus since the Oct. 7 attacks, following Rep. Lois Frankel of Florida, who left in November, according to Axios. Frankel left after voting to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, another member of the caucus, for her comments condemning Israel for the war in the Gaza Strip after Hamas left over 1,200 Israelis dead and took over 240 as hostages.

House Lawmakers Return To Capitol Hill After The Weekend

Rep. Robert Garcia (D-CA) looks on as Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) speaks during a news conference about Rep. George Santos (R-NY) on Capitol Hill July 17, 2023, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

House Democrats who spoke to Axios reportedly claimed that Torres’ exit was a long time coming, with one saying he “has been real pro-Israel, and being from the Bronx, that’s a good place for him to be.”

“Shocked he was ever in the CPC,” another told the outlet.

Torres, who has not officially confirmed the news of his departure, posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, Tuesday that the “international community” should be more focused on getting the remaining hostages released instead of “pressuring Israel.”

“How about pressuring Hamas to release the hostages, surrender unconditionally, and end a war it started? How about pressuring Hezbollah to comply with UN Security Council Resolution 1701 so that 60k Israelis, displaced from the north, are no longer living as exiles in their own land,” Torres wrote.

Several members of the Squad are facing primary challenges funded by the pro-Israel super PAC American Israel Public Affairs Committee. A spokesperson for the PAC previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation that “our activists are deeply engaged in helping to elect pro-Israel candidates and defeat detractors.”

Torres and CPC did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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