NYC Democrats divided as Biden pauses military aid to Israel

'Squad' members celebrated the decision, while others remained silent or offered mixed responses.

NYC Democrats divided as Biden pauses military aid to Israel
AP Photo/Nathan Howard, File
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New York City Democrats have shown a mixed response to President Biden's announcement that he is pausing some military aid to Israel in an effort to deter an offensive against the Hamas-held city of Rafah. While members of the left-wing "Squad" of House members openly celebrated the decision, many others have remained silent on the issue, the New York Post reported.

Bronx and Westchester Rep. Jamaal Bowman, a vocal supporter of anti-Israel protesters at Columbia University and other locations, tweeted, "Protesting is working. Keep fighting for a #CeasefireNow." Similarly, Bronx and Queens Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez praised Biden's decision, stating, "Biden has not 'lost his mind.' He is upholding the word of the US."

Brooklyn Rep. Nydia Velazquez also expressed support for the move, citing the potential humanitarian crisis and the endangerment of over 1 million Palestinians seeking refuge in Rafah.

However, not all NYC Democrats were in agreement. South Bronx Rep. Ritchie Torres dissented, arguing that America's commitment to Israel should remain "iron-clad" and that withholding aid undermines the country's credibility as an ally. Nassau County and Queens Rep. Tom Suozzi issued an equivocating statement, urging the Biden Administration to resolve any differences with Israel immediately.

Notably, several influential House members, including House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Gregory Meeks, have not publicly commented on the matter. Representatives Dan Goldman and Jerry Nadler also withheld immediate comment.

One Democratic source suggested that many members of Congress were awaiting formal intelligence briefings before taking a position, while some pro-Israel Democratic insiders expressed frustration at the lack of pushback against Biden's stance.

In contrast, New York City's sole Republican member of Congress, Staten Island Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, denounced Biden's decision, stating that Congress had authorized aid to Israel and that the president should not dictate the conditions under which it is sent. Long Island Republican Reps. Anthony D'Esposito, Andrew Garbarino, and Nick LaLota, as well as Hudson Valley Rep. Mike Lawler, also criticized Biden's move.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand have not yet publicly commented on the matter.

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