April 20, 2024

Statement from Takano, Castro, Velázquez, Doggett, Jayapal, Khanna, Ocasio-Cortez, Balint, Casar, McGovern, Barbara Lee, Blumenauer, Chu, Johnson, Carson, Watson Coleman, Jesús “Chuy” García, Jonathan Jackson, and Tokuda on the Israel Security Supplemental

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, nearly 20 members of Congress—Reps. Mark Takano (CA-39), Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Nydia Velázquez (NY-07), Lloyd Doggett (TX-37), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Becca Balint (VT-AL), Greg Casar (TX-35), Jim McGovern (MA-02), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Judy Chu (CA-28), Hank Johnson (GA-04), André Carson (IN-07), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Jesús "Chuy" García (IL-04), Jonathan Jackson (IL-01), and Jill Tokuda (HI-02)—released the following statement after voting against H.R. 8034, the Israel Security Supplemental Appropriations Act:

“This is a moment of great consequence – the world is watching. Today is, in many ways, Congress’ first official vote where we can weigh in on the direction of this war. If Congress votes to continue to supply offensive military aid, we make ourselves complicit in this tragedy.

“Our votes against H.R. 8034 are votes against supplying more offensive weapons that could result in more killings of civilians in Rafah and elsewhere. We believe strongly in Israel’s right to self-defense and have joined colleagues previously in affirming our shared commitment.

“All of us support strengthening the Iron Dome and other defense systems and we are committed to a sovereign, safe, and secure future for Israel. To protect that future, we believe the United States must help achieve a ceasefire that allows hostages to be freed, humanitarian aid to be delivered, and peace talks to begin.

“Benjamin Netanyahu appears willing to sacrifice the hostages while inflicting extraordinary suffering on the people of Gaza. He is willing to expand this conflict to preserve his power at the expense of Israel’s safety. In recent weeks, reports have indicated that Netanyahu is moving closer to a full-scale invasion of the southern Gaza town of Rafah, where more than a million Palestinians have taken shelter. When faced with the question of whether to provide offensive aid to further this conflict, we believe there is a moral imperative to find another path.

“Most Americans do not want our government to write a blank check to further Prime Minister Netanyahu’s war in Gaza. The United States needs to help Israel find a path to win the peace.”