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‘Aghast’: Jews and non-Jews react to Hamas attack on Israel

Condemnation of Hamas’ attack on Israel was widespread and forceful

Forceful condemnation of Hamas’ surprise Saturday attack on Israel has arrived from governments and Jewish groups. Here are responses from organizations and individuals, some of which have been edited for length.

President Joe Biden

“This morning, I spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu about the horrific and ongoing attacks in Israel. The United States unequivocally condemns this appalling assault against Israel by Hamas terrorists from Gaza, and I made clear to Prime Minister Netanyahu that we stand ready to offer all appropriate means of support to the Government and people of Israel. Terrorism is never justified. Israel has a right to defend itself and its people. The United States warns against any other party hostile to Israel seeking advantage in this situation. My Administration’s support for Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering.

The Empire State Building is lit in blue and white in solidarity with Israel on October 07, 2023 in New York City.
The Empire State Building is lit in blue and white in solidarity with Israel on October 07, 2023 in New York City. Photo by Getty Images

Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt

Former President Donald Trump

Former President Donald J. Trump joined the chorus of condemnation, saying: “These Hamas attacks are a disgrace and Israel has every right to defend itself with overwhelming force.” He also tried to exploit the attacks to score political points, suggesting without evidence that they were somehow connected to the Biden Administration’s policy in the Middle East.

Elon Musk

Israeli national flags are seen on giant screens on a street in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on October 8, 2023.
Israeli national flags are seen on giant screens on a street in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on October 8, 2023. Photo by SERGEI CHUZAVKOV/AFP via Getty Images

Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo

The Empire State Building is lit in blue and white in solidarity with Israel on October 07, 2023 in New York City.
The Empire State Building is lit in blue and white in solidarity with Israel on October 07, 2023 in New York City. Photo by Getty Images

AIPAC

“The nightmare unfolding across Israel is unprecedented. This ignominious attack on Israel must be met with world condemnation and support for the Jewish state as it defends itself. No country would tolerate its citizens being under constant assault from terror groups. As Israel prepares to undertake a sustained military campaign to protect its citizens from further attacks, America must stand by our ally throughout this operation as it exercises its sovereign rights to self-defense.”

J Street

“This is a day of profound anguish and horror. Israel is in a state of war and national emergency. J Street stands in solidarity with the Israeli people in this hour of terrible danger, fear and worry. We stand with the Israeli armed forces working furiously to repel this assault, protect Israelis and defeat the terrorist onslaught. Our thoughts and our hearts are with all of the victims and their loved ones, and in particular with the many communities facing bombardments of rocket fire, infiltrator attacks and the kidnapping of family members.

Hamas’ murderous actions must be met with unequivocal condemnation from the entire international community. We hope for their swift and decisive defeat, and urge the US government to do everything possible to assist the State of Israel in confronting this threat, defending its citizens, and preventing a slide into even further conflagration and suffering for Israelis and Palestinians.”

ADL

Supporters of Israel face people rallying in support of Palestinians in New York's Times Square on October 8, 2023.
Supporters of Israel faced people rallying in support of Palestinians in New York’s Times Square on Sunday. Photo by BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP for Getty Images

Rep. Ilhan Omar

Narendra Modi

Gov. Ron DeSantis

Sen. Ben Cardin

I condemn the brazen and ongoing terrorist attack that has killed innocent Israeli citizens across southern Israel today. I mourn those lost and my heart goes out to their families. May their memory be for a blessing. Just as the United States stood by Israel after it was attacked exactly 50 years ago on Yom Kippur, today we stand by Israel in this time of crisis. As Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I am committed to ensuring that Israel has what it needs to defend itself and its citizens, today and every day.

Sen. Bernie Sanders

Presidential candidate Nikki Haley

Hamas has declared war on Israel on the Jewish holiday of Shemini Atzeret and the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. Make no mistake: Hamas is a bloodthirsty terrorist organization backed by Iran and determined to kill as many innocent lives as possible. The reports out of Israel are horrific with a stunning number of dead and wounded and should be universally condemned. Israel has every right to defend its citizens from terror. We must always stand with Israel and against this Iranian regime.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

“Israel is at war, not by choice, and has every right to defend itself and its people against this barbarous onslaught. The United States stands in solidarity with Israel not only during this tragic day but every day. This outrageous, heinous attack is devastating, and my heart and my resolve is with all Israelis today and going forward. I will work with my colleagues in Congress and the Biden Administration to ensure Israel has the resources needed to repel these cowardly terrorists and protect its people. Am Yisrael Chai!”

The American Jewish Congress

The American Jewish Congress calls upon the international community to unite in condemning this abominable act and to hold those responsible accountable. We urge all nations to stand firm against terrorism and to work together in ensuring that such extremist ideologies and acts are eradicated. The international community must recognize the constant threat under which the people of Israel live and rally in support of Israel’s pursuit of peace and security.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Americans for Peace Now

Americans for Peace Now is horrified and outraged by Hamas’ attack on Israel, which includes rockets fired at civilian population centers, a ground invasion into Israeli border communities and the taking of Israeli civilian hostages. We unequivocally condemn these horrific acts of terror. The targeting and kidnapping of civilians is an inexcusable, outrageous war crime.

Ameinu

Ameinu stands in solidarity with the people of Israel following today’s horrific attack on Israeli civilians by Hamas. We grieve the loss of life and the lives that will be forever changed by today’s unprecedented attack. Ameinu prays for the safety of all of those taken hostage by Hamas and calls for their immediate release. Our hearts are with our friends and family in Israel today and every day.

Ronald Lauder

As President of the World Jewish Congress, representing over one hundred Jewish communities globally, I vehemently denounce the heinous terrorist onslaught against the State of Israel. Now, more than ever, it is imperative for us to stand as one – unified and resolute – to bolster the success of the IDF and the State of Israel during this conflict unjustly thrust upon us on Simchat Torah. Let it be known, unequivocally, that the entire Jewish diaspora stands in unwavering support of Israel and its valiant security forces during these challenging times. In unity lies our indomitable strength.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Former Vice President Mike Pence

Former Rep. Mondaire Jones

“I am horrified by the unprovoked, heinous attacks against Israel by Hamas—a terrorist organization. I stand in strong support of our ally Israel and the Israeli people as they fight to defend themselves and protect their sovereignty.”

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