Connect with us

RSS

‘Hamas will be washed away’: Top congressional leaders pledge support for Israel

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The top four congressional leaders told Jewish officials from around the country they were committed to backing Israel’s war with Hamas until the terrorist organization is wiped out.

The comments came Tuesday at a rally of 350 Jewish leaders from around the country organized by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Jewish Federations of North America. It drew the Senate majority and minority leader and the U.S. House of Representatives majority and minority leader. There is no Speaker in the House currently.

The top-level turnout was a testament the degree to which the pro-Israel community has galvanized the political class since Hamas invaded Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,400 people, most of them civilians, and how the support for Israel has not abated even as it mounts a massive counterattack by air and has announced plans for a ground invasion.

Each speaker expressed unstinting support for Israel’s war aim, to destroy Hamas. President Joe Biden, who is flying to Israel on Wednesday, has also said that Hamas must be eliminated.

New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a Democrat and the minority leader in the House, cited the week’s Torah portion to justify the removal of Hamas from the earth.

“Noah was the only righteous man in the world consumed by violence, corruption and evil, this land filled with evil — it was described in Hebrew as Eretz Hamas,” he said, repeating “Hamas” for effect.

“The Torah portion ends with a flood that eradicates this evil and an ark that saves Noah from it,” Jeffries said. “These verses remind us of the role that Israel must now play in eradicating evil.”

Like other Democrats speaking, he distinguished between Hamas and the 2 million Palestinian civilians in Gaza. “International law is the law with respect to Palestinian civilians who have been callously put in harm’s way by terrorists,” he said. “However, this is a moment for accountability and Hamas will be washed away.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Jewish New York Democrat who is the majority leader, said he would push through assistance for Israel in the Senate and find a way to get the House to approve it, although that body can barely function while its Republican majority tussles over who should be speaker.

“I will lead the effort of the United States Senate to provide Israel with the support needed to fully defend itself from this monstrous attack,” Schumer said.

Schumer also described meetings he had on a two-day bipartisan visit to Israel this week, when the delegation at one point had to rush to a safe room because of a rocket warning. “We sat down with Israeli leaders. They asked us, they had a list of what they needed — so many things like JDAMs and Iron Dome.” JDAMs convert bombs into guided missiles, and the Iron Dome is Israel’s missile defense system.

“We will not just talk about waiting for the House, we will move aid through the Senate as quickly as possible, and I do believe that we’ll get a strong bipartisan vote in the Senate,” he said. “It will force the House in whatever way they decide,” Schumer said to laughter.

Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, who as majority leader is the most senior Republican while the House awaits the next speaker, said a pro-Israel resolution, with the backing of 423 of the 434 House members, was ready to move as soon as a speaker is in place.

The Biden Administration wants to attach emergency assistance for Israel to a request for assistance to Ukraine, which an increasing number of Republicans oppose — including Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, who is vying for the speakership. Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, is among the Republicans who favor assistance to Ukraine and to U.S. allies in the region of China and suggested that he would back coupling the requests.

“This is what I’ll be fighting for in the coming week as the Senate considers the resources we must put into our defense and the additional assistance we need for Israel and other democracies in Europe and the Pacific,” McConnell said.

Schumer also said he would push for greater assistance for security for Jewish institutions. The grant program for vulnerable nonprofits currently stands at $360 million. Jewish groups want it to go up to $500 million.

Jeffries, who is the first Black major party leader in Congress, said the Jewish community could count on significant support. “You have friends in the African American community, all throughout the country too numerous to mention,” he said.

Alejandro Mayorkas, the Homeland Security secretary, outlined the outreach his department has made in recent days to Jewish communities fearful of a spike in antisemitism because of the war.

“The grief will not subside soon, the hurt will pass from generation to generation,” said Mayorkas, who is Jewish. “So will our resolve, our faith, the practice of it and the values that we have that bind us together. This Department of Homeland Security is here for you. We are here with you.”

A young woman who only used her first name, Noa, described surviving the massive Hamas attack on an outdoor concert, lying under bodies, hearing her friends shot and discovering afterwards that her best friend had been killed.

Fifty of the Jewish leaders were set to travel Tuesday evening to Israel in a solidarity visit. Every seat had a blue ribbon with a pin, a symbol of the demand for the return of some 200 hostages Hamas took during its raid.

Shortly after the rally, which took place at the historic Sixth and I synagogue in downtown Washington, ended, Hamas officials said Israel hit a hospital, killing hundreds. Israel blamed Palestinian Islamic Jihad, saying one of the terror group’s rockets fell short.


The post ‘Hamas will be washed away’: Top congressional leaders pledge support for Israel appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Continue Reading

RSS

Israeli Official: ‘Important Operation’ in Yemen Sends Strong Message to Shiite Axis

Drones are seen at a site at an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on April 20, 2023. Photo: Iranian Army/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS

i24 NewsA senior Israeli security official spoke to i24NEWS on Saturday on condition of the retaliatory strike carried out by the Israel Air Force against the Houthi jihadists in Yemen.

“This is an important operation which signals that there’s room for further escalation, and sends a very strong message to the entire Shiite axis.”

“We understood there is a high probability of counter attacks, but if we do not respond, the meaning is even worse. Israel has updated the US prior to the operation.”

The strike on Hodeida came after long-range Iranian-made drone hit a building in central Tel Aviv, killing one man and wounded several others.

The post Israeli Official: ‘Important Operation’ in Yemen Sends Strong Message to Shiite Axis first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

Continue Reading

RSS

IDF Confirms Striking ‘Terrorist Houthi Regime’ in Yemen’s Hodeida

Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi addresses followers via a video link at the al-Shaab Mosque, formerly al-Saleh Mosque, in Sanaa, Yemen, Feb. 6, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

i24 NewsThe Israeli military on Saturday confirmed striking a port in Yemen controlled by the Houthi jihadists, a day after the Iranian proxy group perpetrated a deadly drone attack on Tel Aviv.

“A short while ago, IDF fighter jets struck military targets of the Houthi terrorist regime in the area of the Al Hudaydah Port in Yemen in response to the hundreds of attacks carried out against the State of Israel in recent months.”

After Houthi drone attack on Tel Aviv, reports and footage out of Yemen of air strikes hitting Hodeida

— Video used in accordance with clause 27A of Israeli copyright law pic.twitter.com/d2uE16ZzQ1

— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) July 20, 2024

Yoav Gallant, the defense minister, issued a statement saying “The fire that is currently burning in Hodeidah, is seen across the Middle East and the significance is clear. The Houthis attacked us over 200 times. The first time that they harmed an Israeli citizen, we struck them. And we will do this in any place where it may be required.”

“The blood of Israeli citizens has a price,” Gallant added. “This has been made clear in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Yemen, and in other places – if they will dare to attack us, the result will be identical.”

Gallant: ‘The fire currently burning in Hodeida is seen across the region and the significance is clear… The blood of Israeli citizens has a price, as has been made clear in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Yemen and in other places – if they dare attack us, the result will be identical.’ pic.twitter.com/DmHjwfHtPV

— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) July 20, 2024

The post IDF Confirms Striking ‘Terrorist Houthi Regime’ in Yemen’s Hodeida first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

Continue Reading

RSS

One Part of Cyprus Mourns, the Other Rejoices 50 Years After Split

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan leaves after attending a military parade to mark the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus in response to a short-lived Greek-inspired coup, in the Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus, in the divided city of Nicosia, Cyprus July 20, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou

Greek Cypriots mourned and Turkish Cypriots rejoiced on Saturday, the 50th anniversary of Turkey’s invasion of part of the island after a brief Greek inspired coup, with the chances of reconciliation as elusive as ever.

The ethnically split island is a persistent source of tension between Greece and Turkey, which are both partners in NATO but are at odds over numerous issues.

Their differences were laid bare on Saturday, with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attending a celebratory military parade in north Nicosia to mark the day in 1974 when Turkish forces launched an offensive that they call a “peace operation.”

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was due later on Saturday to attend an event in the south of the Nicosia to commemorate what Greeks commonly refer to as the “barbaric Turkish invasion.” Air raid sirens sounded across the area at dawn.

Mitsotakis posted an image of a blood-stained map of Cyprus on his LinkedIn page with the words “Half a century since the national tragedy of Cyprus.”

There was jubilation in the north.

“The Cyprus Peace Operation saved Turkish Cypriots from cruelty and brought them to freedom,” Erdogan told crowds who gathered to watch the parade despite stifling midday heat, criticizing the south for having a “spoiled mentality” and seeing itself as the sole ruler of Cyprus.

Peace talks are stalled at two seemingly irreconcilable concepts – Greek Cypriots want reunification as a federation. Turkish Cypriots want a two-state settlement.

Erdogan left open a window to dialogue although he said a federal solution, advocated by Greek Cypriots and backed by most in the international community, was “not possible.”

“We are ready for negotiations, to meet, and to establish long-term peace and resolution in Cyprus,” he said.

Cyprus gained independence from Britain in 1960, but a shared administration between Greek and Turkish Cypriots quickly fell apart in violence that saw Turkish Cypriots withdraw into enclaves and led to the dispatch of a U.N. peacekeeping force.

The crisis left Greek Cypriots running the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus, a member of the European Union since 2004 with the potential to derail Turkey’s own decades-long aspirations of joining the bloc.

It also complicates any attempts to unlock energy potential in the eastern Mediterranean because of overlapping claims. The region has seen major discoveries of hydrocarbons in recent years.

REMEMBERING THE DEAD

Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides, whose office represents the Greek Cypriot community in the reunification dialogue, said the anniversary was a somber occasion for reflection and for remembering the dead.

“Our mission is liberation, reunification and solving the Cyprus problem,” he said. “If we really want to send a message on this tragic anniversary … it is to do anything possible to reunite Cyprus.”

Turkey, he said, continued to be responsible for violating human rights and international law over Cyprus.

Across the south, church services were held to remember the more than 3,000 people who died in the Turkish invasion.

“It was a betrayal of Cyprus and so many kids were lost. It wasn’t just my son, it was many,” said Loukas Alexandrou, 90, as he tended the grave of his son at a military cemetery.

In Turkey, state television focused on violence against Turkish Cypriots prior to the invasion, particularly on bloodshed in 1963-64 and in 1967.

Turkey’s invasion took more than a third of the island and expelled more than 160,000 Greek Cypriots to the south.

Reunification talks collapsed in 2017 and have been at a stalemate since. Northern Cyprus is a breakaway state recognized only by Turkey, and its Turkish Cypriot leadership wants international recognition.

The post One Part of Cyprus Mourns, the Other Rejoices 50 Years After Split first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2017 - 2023 Jewish Post & News