Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., shot back at fellow Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., on Monday after she attacked him personally for his views on the Israel-Hamas conflict.
“Inside Politics” host Dana Bash spoke to Torres about how his support for Israel puts him at odds with some of his fellow lawmakers in the Congressional Progressive Caucus, such as Omar, who suggested last week that Torres was comfortable with dead Palestinians.
“How many more killings is enough for you?” Omar asked on Friday in a clip Bash played. “Is it 1000 more, 2000 more, 3000? How many more Palestinians would make you happy if they died? Would you be fine if all the people of Gaza were gone, would that make you happy? Would that be the thing that makes you proud? And maybe that’s the question you should ask Ritchie, how many more Palestinian lives is he comfortable with?”
When asked for his response, Torres began by replying, “I obviously resent those comments.”
He then went on to speak about the conflict in Israel, noting, “Every casualty is a tragedy, every war is a humanitarian crisis, but we have to keep in mind the causes of the war.”
“Israel did not start the war, the war was imposed upon Israel by the barbaric terrorism of Hamas which butchered 1400 Israelis, including babies,” he said, referring to the terrorist attack on Oct. 7 in southern Israel.
He then slammed Omar directly, arguing her policy harms Palestinians and Israelis alike.
“You know, my colleague, Representative Omar, has voted against Iron Dome, which is a missile defense system that protects Israeli civilians from relentless rocket fire,” he said. “Were it not for Iron Dome interceptions there would be far more dead Israelis. Far more, by orders of magnitude. So the policy position that she has taken would have led to more dead Israelis and more dead Palestinians.”
The war between Israel and Hamas since the latter’s terror attack has exposed some fissures on the left, with President Biden and other prominent Democrats expressing support for Israel and condemning Hamas, contrasted with furious remarks by “Squad” members like Omar, Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. Tlaib’s initial comment that Israel’s “apartheid” government was to blame for the “cycle of violence” was sharply criticized across the spectrum.
College campuses have also been the site of pro-Palestininan protests that have at some points openly celebrated the massacre of Israelis.
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