Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) blasted the Associated Press Monday for its response to an Israeli airstrike over the weekend that took out a constructing housing the wire service’s Gaza City bureau as effectively as Hamas army intelligence services.
“Why is the Associated Press sharing a building with Hamas?” Cotton requested on the Senate flooring throughout remarks in regards to the preventing that has raged since May 10.
“Surely these ‘intrepid reporters’ knew who their neighbors were,” Cotton continued earlier than asking: “Did they knowingly allow themselves to be used as human shields by a US-designated terrorist organization? Did AP pull its punches and decline to report for years on Hamas’ misdeeds? I submit that the AP has some uncomfortable questions to answer.”
Cotton went on to criticize the AP and different shops for what he known as their “high dudgeon” in regards to the airstrike, which he known as “wholly appropriate.”
“Leave it to whiny reporters to make themselves the story and the victim when terrorists are shooting missiles at innocent civilians,” he concluded.
AP President Gary Pruitt has known as for an impartial investigation into the Saturday airstrike, which was preceded by a cellphone name from the Israeli army that gave the constructing’s occupants one hour to get out.
“As we have said, we have no indication of a Hamas presence in the building, nor were we warned of any such possible presence before the airstrike,” Pruitt stated in a press release. “This is something we check as best we can. We do not know what the Israeli evidence [of the Hamas presence] shows, and we want to know.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated Saturday that the tower was utilized by Hamas army intelligence and “was not an innocent building.” Meanwhile, a 2014 article in The Atlantic by former AP reporter and editor Matti Friedman detailing examples of media manipulation and intimidation by Hamas — as effectively as media acquiescence to the phobia group’s narrative — was resurrected and handed round social media over the weekend by supporters of Israel.
Republicans like Cotton have stood four-square behind Israel through the newest spherical of preventing. Last week, 44 Senate Republicans urged President Biden to finish negotiations with Iran and deny the Islamic Republic sanctions aid.
“Iran … is a longtime financial and material supporter of Hamas,” the letter read partially. “The United States engaging in active negotiations with Iran and potentially providing billions of dollars in sanctions relief will no doubt contribute to Iran’s support of Hamas and other terrorist organizations who attack Americans and our allies.”
Congressional Democrats, however, are divided over the battle. Last week, far-left members of the House Democratic convention paraded to and from the chamber flooring to denounce Israel in a sequence of speeches. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), the primary Palestinian-American girl elected to Congress, stated the Jewish state had an “apartheid government”, whereas Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) denounced Netanyahu as a “far-right ethno-nationalist.”
On Monday, 29 Senate Democrats issued a brief statement calling for “an immediate ceasefire” to “prevent any further loss of civilian life and to prevent further escalation of conflict.” One Democrat who didn’t signal on, nonetheless, was Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, (D-N.Y.).
Instead, Schumer endorsed a joint statement issued Sunday by Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.), which explicitly acknowledged that “Israel has the right to defend itself from Hamas’ rocket attacks, in a manner proportionate with the threat its citizens are facing.”
“As a result of Hamas’ rocket attacks and Israel’s response, both sides must recognize that too many lives have been lost and must not escalate the conflict further,” the Murphy-Young assertion continued. “We are encouraged by reports that the parties are exploring a ceasefire. We hope that this ceasefire can be reached quickly and that additional steps can be taken to preserve a two-state future.”
“I agree with the statement put out by Sens. Murphy and Young last night in its entirety,” Schumer, a longtime supporter of Israel, informed reporters on the Capitol Monday. “I want to see a ceasefire reached quickly and mourn the loss of life.”