Rep. Gregory Meeks expressed fear Tuesday that in addressing the ongoing Israel-Hamas War, “people have forgotten or are not talking any longer” about the Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israeli civilians.
“We’ve got to go after Hamas,” the Democrat from New York told “Morning Joe” hosts Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Jonathan Lemire. He noted that as concerns over Israel’s military response in Gaza this last month grow, Israelis understand “the difference between the Palestinians and Hamas, but people are not talking about Hamas enough and the tragedies that they have done and continue to do.”
Meeks’ assessment came after his return to Washington, D.C. from Israel, where as a ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, he helped lead a bipartisan congressional delegation to Israel where lawmakers met with Israel’s leaders and got a private screening of graphic footage from Hamas’ attack.
Meeks said that the trip was “very, very important” and was the first time members of the House could travel to Israel since the Oct. 7 attacks.
“It’s heartbreaking on all sides. What I felt was … people have forgotten or not talking any longer about the slaughter of the Israeli people and the evil of what Hamas is,” Meeks said Tuesday. “And Hamas is continuing to do certain things. They are utilizing individuals as shields, Palestinians as shields, putting them in danger. We’ve got to go after Hamas.”
Meeks went on to indicate that after his visit overseas, he felt the war wasn’t being talked about adequately in its full context, and added that he believed Israel’s military and the country’s people know the distinction between Hamas and Palestinians.
“I felt in talking to many of the Israeli people and leadership, they understand the difference between the Palestinians and Hamas, but people are not talking about Hamas enough and the tragedies that they have done and continue to do,” Meek said.
He continued: “It’s heartbreaking for the people of Israel who just want to exist. They have the right to exist, that people acknowledge that they have the right to exist, that want peace, and they can clearly see Hamas does not want that. And the people of Israel also have told me they want to make sure that we limit and eliminate the Palestinians who are innocent, to eliminate the dangers that they are in primarily caused by Hamas.
“Then you’ve got Palestinians who do not like Hamas, who just want to have hope and then, a chance of having opportunity,” he said elsewhere in the segment. “But they’re now caught up in this struggle. And so it’s a very heartbreaking and difficult situation. And I think that we’ve got to really talk about it.”
On Tuesday, more than 400 staff members from President Joe Biden’s administration signed an open letter urging for the end of the turmoil in the Israel-Hamas War.
“We represent a coalition of Biden-Harris Administration political appointees and civil servants, positioned across the domestic and foreign policy spheres, working in federal agencies, departments, independent agencies and the White House,” the letter read. “We call on President Biden to urgently demand a ceasefire; and to call for deescalation of the current conflict by securing the immediate release of the Israeli hostages and arbitrarily detained Palestinians; the restoration of water, fuel, electricity and other basic services; and the passage of adequate humanitarian aid to the Gaza strip.”
As of Friday, the Health Ministry stated over 11,000 Palestinian civilians had died in Gaza as a result of Israel’s airstrikes and ongoing ground operation. More than 1,400 Israelis died in as a result of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks.