The widening divide within the Democratic Party over the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict has seen a House Democrat split from the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Per The Intercept, Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL), who is of Jewish heritage, left the leftist caucus due to deep-rooted disagreements over the situation in Gaza.
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Frankel has been a vocal advocate for Israel since the series of terrorist attacks by Hamas on Israeli soil that resulted in the tragic loss of over 1,000 lives and the taking of hundreds of hostages on Oct. 7.
However, her steadfast pro-Israel stance puts her at odds with members of the leftist “Squad,” who have been critical of Israel’s actions.
Frankel was among the 22 House Democrats who joined a Republican majority in censuring Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) earlier this month due to controversial remarks made by Tlaib, including the posting of a video featuring protesters chanting the genocidal Palestinian rallying cry “from the river to the sea.”
This slogan has been widely deemed antisemitic by the Anti-Defamation League and criticized by many as a call for the dissolution of the Israeli state. Tlaib, however, insisted that it represents an “aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence,” rather than advocating for “death, destruction, or hate.”
In addition to her statements calling for the destruction of the state of Israel,
Tlaib, a member of the “Squad,” also faced widespread criticism for promoting what was described as “false narratives” about the Oct. 7 Hamas assault on Israel.
Speaking about her support for the move to censure Tlaib, Frankel stated, “The United States has a moral duty and national security urgency to aid Israel in defending herself. Make no mistake, Hamas terrorists and others in the region are out to destroy Israel and kill all Jews. We must send an unequivocal message to the world that we stand with Israel.”
In another instance of standing for her beliefs, Frankel diverged from the caucus earlier this month when she joined Republicans in supporting a $14.3 billion aid package for Israel. She was one of 12 Democrats and one of three Progressive Caucus members who voted for the aid package.
This move drew sharp criticism from fellow Democrats due to objections over the funding source for the legislation, which aimed to redirect the allocated funds from the Internal Revenue Service.
Frankel’s departure from the Congressional Progressive Caucus comes after her name was removed from the caucus’s online membership page in recent weeks, as recent records from the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine show.