Johnson denounces ‘anti-Israel rhetoric’ on six-month anniversary of Hamas attack

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) honored on Sunday the six-month anniversary of Hamas’s deadly terrorist attack on Israel and blasted what he described as an “appalling” lack of support from some Democrats for the country as it continues its war in Gaza.

“Since the massacre, it’s been appalling to watch anti-Israel rhetoric and support for an unconditional cease-fire grow among Democrats in Washington, even as Hamas holds 130 Israelis and Americans hostage in Gaza,” Johnson said in a statement.

Hamas terrorists killed 1,200 civilians and took about 240 hostages in an attack in Israel on Oct. 7. Militants in Gaza are still holding 130 of the hostages in captivity, according to the Israeli military.

Since the attack, Israel has been carrying out an aggressive counteroffensive in Gaza, which has resulted in a growing number of deaths and injuries, as well as the destruction of homes and buildings.

Dozens of Democrats in Congress have called for a ceasefire in the region, citing deteriorating humanitarian conditions. Israel carried out an airstrike last week that killed seven innocent aid workers, drawing further international attention to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The Israeli military has maintained that the attack was accidental.

Johnson reiterated House Republicans’ support for Israel, which comes as the Biden administration faces pressure from prominent members of his own party to curtail its weapons transfers to the Israeli military because of the continued civilian deaths in Gaza.

“Unlike our Democrat colleagues, House Republicans remain clear-eyed about who the enemy in this fight is, and we will not stop working and praying until each of the hostages is returned home,” Johnson said.

In a letter to President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday, 30 Democrats, including former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), reiterated calls for a ceasefire and a pause on U.S. weapons transfers.

“In light of the recent strike against aid workers and the ever-worsening humanitarian crisis, we believe it is unjustifiable to approve these weapons transfers,” they wrote.

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The speaker said that on the Hamas attack anniversary, “of all days, Washington must be united in our support for our great ally, Israel, as they fight for their sovereignty and right to exist.”

“It’s time to stop lecturing Israel on how it should best defend itself and begin equipping our friend with the resources necessary to eliminate the threat of Hamas, once and for all,” Johnson said.

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