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2 Jewish House Democrats call for ‘humanitarian pauses’ in Gaza

‘Israel’s war is against Hamas, not the Palestinian people,’ said Reps. Jerry Nadler and Dan Goldman

Two Jewish House members, Jerry Nadler and Dan Goldman, are urging Israel to take “humanitarian pauses” in its military campaign against Hamas in the Gaza Strip to allow the delivery of essential supplies and give the Palestinian civilians time to relocate to safe areas.

Their call echoes that of Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is also Jewish. He asked Israel Wednesday to consider humanitarian pauses to “take all possible precautions to avoid harm to civilians.”

“Israel’s war is against Hamas, not the Palestinian people,” Nadler and Goldman, both New Yorkers, said in a joint statement Thursday. “We urge Israel, in coordination with the United States, Egypt, and the international community, to continue to take all reasonable steps to avoid harm to noncombatants and to ensure that essential supplies, such as food, water, and medicine, are available to civilians in Gaza.”

Nadler is the dean of the congressional Jewish Caucus and Goldman is a freshman representing one of the largest Jewish districts in the nation.

Reps. Jerry Nadler and Dan Goldman, Democrats from New York, on Aug. 1. Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Fountain House

Their statement comes as the humanitarian crisis in Gaza worsens ahead of Israel’s expected ground invasion to root out Hamas, its storehouses of weapons and network of underground tunnels. A recent poll showed that 50% of New Yorkers and 58% of Democrats, fearing high casualties, are opposed to a large-scale ground operation in Gaza.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza published a 212-page document Thursday that it said contains the names of 6,747 Palestinians who have been killed in the past two weeks as a result of Israeli airstrikes. President Joe Biden and the Israeli military have cautioned that Hamas, the terrorist group that rules the Gaza enclave, may be inflating casualty figures.

The two Democratic congressmen reiterated their strong support of Israel’s right to defend itself in response to the Oct. 7 attack on Israel’s southern border, in which Hamas terrorists killed more than 1,400 people, including at least 33 Americans. On Friday, Nadler and Goldman circulated a letter signed by 113 members of the Democratic conference, including all Jewish members and several outspoken critics of Israel, declaring their support for Biden’s steadfast backing of Israel amid growing criticism on the left.

Nonetheless, Nadler and Goldman advised Israel to learn from American incursions in Iraq and Afghanistan. “We urge Israel to also take into account that experience as it weighs its strategic and military objectives,” they said, “and to consider the reality that Hamas is willing to sacrifice innocent lives for its antisemitic objectives.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the first name of Secretary of State Antony Blinken. It is Antony, not Anthony.

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