McConnell Rejects Growing Calls for Cease-Fire Between Israel and Hamas

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “McConnell Rejects Growing Calls for Cease-Fire Between Israel and Hamas” – below is their description.

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected growing calls from Democrats and others for an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers as fighting entered a second week, with more than 200 people dead.

    In remarks on the Senate floor Monday, McConnell dismissed what he called the “false narrative that this conflict is a tragic dispute between two legitimate combatants where both sides share blame that is roughly equal.”

    “I completely reject this obscene moral equivalence.” McConnell said, insisting that stance “downplays the responsibility terrorists have for initiating the conflict in the first place.”

    The Senate Republican leader called Hamas “a terrorist rump state in Gaza that uses its civilian population as human shields and exploits their suffering for political gain.”

    McConnell said talks by the international community with the Palestinian Authority would do little good, but said, “to really make a difference, they can impose real costs on those who fund the terror weapons of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. We know where the return address is. It’s over in Tehran.”

    And in a shot at Democrats, McConnell said, “The United States needs to stand foursquare behind our ally, and President Biden must remain strong against the growing voices within his own party that create false equivalence between terrorist aggressors and a responsible state defending itself.”

    As missile and rocket exchanges between Israel and Hamas surged to their worst levels since 2014 and the international outcry grew, the Biden has declined so far to criticize Israel’s part in the fighting, send a top-level envoy to the region or press Israel publicly to wind down its latest military operation in the thickly populated Gaza Strip, as some past U.S. administrations have done.

    The U.S. administration’s publicly tempered response comes despite calls from Security Council partners, a growing number of Democrats and others for President Joe Biden’ and other international leaders to wade more deeply into diplomacy to end the worst Israel-Palestinian violence in years and revive long-collapsed mediation for genuine peace there.

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