Major progressive groups aligned with Democrats are siding squarely with the Palestinians over Israel in the current conflict, denouncing Israeli actions in harsh terms and prodding President Biden to force the U.S. ally to stop its campaign against Hamas.
On Friday, 140 progressive groups, including Justice Democrats, Sunrise Movement, MoveOn and the Working Families Party, released a joint statement condemning Israel’s bombing of Gaza.
“We are horrified by Israel’s use of disproportionate and deadly force against Palestinians in Gaza which have already resulted in the killings of dozens of Palestinians, including children,” they said in the statement.
Israeli leaders say they are targeting Hamas terrorists in response to missiles launched by the group into Israel.
MoveOn, a group that advocates for progressivism across the board, has changed its Twitter bio to focus on Israel and Gaza.
“Urge President Biden to help de-escalate the crisis in Palestine and Israel by calling for a ceasefire & an end to forced evictions,” the group wrote in its bio. “Sign the petition.”
“Israeli forces injured hundreds of Palestinians, including medics treating injuries nearby, and the Israeli government has used airstrikes, rockets, and rubberized steel bullets to inflict violence against any resistance from the Palestinians,” the group writes in its petition.
Black Lives Matter declared “solidarity with Palestinians” this week.
“Black Lives Matter stands in solidarity with Palestinians,” the group tweeted. “We are a movement committed to ending settler colonialism in all forms and will continue to advocate for Palestinian liberation. ( always have. And always will be ). #freepalestine.”
The announcement prompted a “thank you” tweet from the controversial Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or BDS, which has for years called for an economic embargo of Israel.
The liberal MoveOn has stood with BDS.
The Democratic Socialists of America issued a statement of support for Palestinians last week, condemning the “ongoing ethnic cleansing” it suggests Israel is engaged in.
The Progressive Democrats of America released a statement this week calling on Biden to pressure Israel to comply with Hamas’ terms for a ceasefire and to halt weapons sales to the Israel Defense Forces. The group compared the actions of Israeli nationalists to White supremacists.
“Just as we cannot abide by white supremacists storming our Capitol on January 6th, we cannot support Israeli ethno-nationalists treating Palestinians as second class citizens in their homeland,” it wrote. The statement directed readers to a link to write a letter to Biden.
Israel has been responding to rocket attacks from Hamas with measures of its own, including airstrikes targeting key Hamas military complexes. The state is facing criticism for what is reportedly more than 200 Palestinians killed, as well as strikes such as the one on an evacuated media building – although the Israel Defense Forces said that it housed Hamas, with media outlets being used as cover.
Progressive lawmakers, such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., have also called out their party’s leader, Biden, for not taking a tougher stance against Israel. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D- Mich., appeared to have a heated conversation with the president on the matter after demanding on Twitter he “get out of the way of the U.N. Security Council” in demanding a ceasefire.
Biden recently approved a $735 million arms sale to Israel. He has repeatedly stressed Israel’s right to defend itself and reiterated that Hamas is a terrorist organization. But he has also pressured Israel to accept a cease-fire.