‘Squad’ members comment on Iran attack, condemning both Israel and Iran
Israel at warUS/Israel relations

‘Squad’ members comment on Iran attack, condemning both Israel and Iran

Summer Lee: " "I condemn Iran's retaliatory strikes on Israel & Israel's strike on the Iranian consulate."

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi speaks to troops at the Nevatim Airbase in southern Israel, April 15, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi speaks to troops at the Nevatim Airbase in southern Israel, April 15, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

After more than a day of silence, some members of the so-called “Squad” in Congress commented on Iran’s attack on Israel. Reps. Summer Lee of Pennsylvania, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Jamaal Bowman of New York criticized both the Islamic Republic’s attack and the Jewish state.

“We must oppose all violent escalations right now,” Lee wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “I condemn Iran’s retaliatory strikes on Israel & Israel’s strike on the Iranian consulate.”

“For months, we’ve warned against the threat of regional escalation that could lead to another endless war in the Middle East,” Lee wrote. “Now a ceasefire — to bring home the hostages, save Palestinian lives & protect the lives of so many other innocent people in the region — must be a priority.”

Omar’s statement was similar.

“I condemn the attacks by the Iranian military on Israel, as well as Israel’s military attack on the Iranian consulate in Syria that further escalates tension in the region,” Omar stated.

“As leaders in Washington jump to call for war with Iran and rush additional offensive weapons to the Israeli military, we need to exercise restraint and use every diplomatic tool to de-escalate tensions,” Omar said. “Civilians in not only Gaza, Israel, the West Bank and Iran but also Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen are bearing the brunt of this escalation, and there must be a ceasefire on all sides.”

“I will continue to call for de-escalation, restraint and lasting peace,” she added.

Bowman stated that “In this critical moment, we need to engage with peace, not weapons.”

“I unequivocally condemn the Iranian military’s attack on Israel, just as I condemn the Israeli military attack on the Iranian consulate in Syria ordered by Prime Minister Netanyahu that sparked this dangerous escalation,” he added. “While there were no fatalities, shrapnel from an Iranian missile did severely injure Amina al-Hassouni, the 7-year old Bedouin girl, and I am praying for her swift recovery.”

“I am deeply concerned by those demanding military reprisal. That is why I stand in support of President Biden’s immediate call to de-escalate this situation, and his actions to prevent the further spread of violence in the region,” he said.

A frequent and harsh critic of the Jewish state, Bowman accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — who is part of a war cabinet that makes military decisions — of “warmongering” that “is putting the lives of millions of civilians at risk, including the Israeli people.”

“It is why even as I condemned Hamas’s horrific attacks on Oct. 7, I also called for immediate de-escalation and a ceasefire,” he said. “We cannot condemn violence on one hand and then condone it in the other.”

In his statement that came two days after Iran’s attack on Israel, Bowman also accused the Jewish state of “collective punishment” against Palestinians and of creating “a dangerous powder keg that threatens to become a regional war.”

“Netanyahu is willing to endanger the lives of millions just to draw the U.S. deeper into a conflict whose flame he fans,” he further charged. “Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are starving to death in Gaza right now, including tens of thousands of children. Millions across the region fear being drawn into a bloody conflict orchestrated by madmen.”

On Monday, Lee was one of only 11 representatives to vote against the “Iran-China Energy Sanctions Act,” which calls for placing sanctions on all Chinese financial institutions engaging in transactions with sanctioned Iranian financial institutions relating to the oil trade.

Lee also was one of only 11 members of Congress to vote against a bill to strip tax-exempt status from any group providing “material support or resources” to Hamas or other designated terrorist groups. PJC

Chronicle staff contributed to this report.

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