Reps. Brad Schneider (D-IL) Hillary Scholten (D-MI), Ritchie Torres (D-NY), and Norma Torres (D-CA), led a statement with 66 other House Democrats rejecting the use of “from the river to the sea.” Joining the statement were: Bera, Ami; Boyle, Brendan; Brownley, Julia; Brown, Shontel; Budzinski, Nikki; Carbajal, Salud; Carter, Troy; Casten, Sean; Cherfilus-McCormick, Sheila; Cohen, Steve; Correa, J.; Costa, Jim; Courtney, Joe; Craig, Angie; Davis, Danny; Deluzio, Christopher; Doggett, Lloyd; Golden, Jared; Goldman, Daniel; Gonzalez, Vicente; Gottheimer, Josh; Hoyer, Steny; Huffman, Jared; Ivey, Glenn; Jackson, Jeff; Keating, William; Kilmer, Derek; Landsman, Greg; Lee, Susie; Levin, Mike; Manning, Kathy; Menendez, Robert; Meng, Grace; Moulton, Seth; Mrvan, Frank, Nadler, Jerrold; Nickel, Wiley; Norcross, Donald; Panetta, Jimmy; Pappas, Chris; Peters, Scott; Pettersen, Brittany; Plaskett, Stacey; Porter, Katie; Ruppersberger, C.; Ryan, Patrick; Salinas, Andrea; Schiff, Adam; Schneider, Bradley; Scholten, Hillary; Schrier, Kim; Scott, David; Sewell, Terri; Sherman, Brad; Sherrill, Mikie; Sorensen, Eric; Soto, Darren; Stanton, Greg; Stevens, Haley; Strickland, Marilyn; Sykes, Emilia; Thanedar, Shri; Titus, Dina; Torres, Norma; Torres, Ritchie; Trone, David; Vargas, Juan; Veasey, Marc; Wasserman Schultz, Debbie; Wilson, Frederica.
The text of the statement is below:
We reject the use of the phrase “from the river to the sea”— a phrase used by many, including Hamas, as a rallying cry for the destruction of the State of Israel and genocide of the Jewish people. We all feel deep anguish for the human suffering caused by the war in Gaza. Hamas started this war with a barbaric terrorist attack on October 7, 2023, and neither the Palestinian nor Israeli people can have peace as long as Hamas still rules over Gaza and threatens Israel.
This war is tragic and deeply painful for everyone, especially those who identify with the land and the people—Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike. Every civilian killed, every family torn apart, Palestinian and Israeli, is a tragedy. Every human being deserves dignity and respect, and each of us must do all we can to always see the humanity of the innocent people caught in the middle of this war.
We support Israel’s right and obligation to defend itself — to protect its citizens, secure its borders, and rescue its people held hostage in Gaza. Israel also has the obligation to, as best as possible, protect civilians, and in all its actions adhere to international humanitarian law (notwithstanding Hamas’ complete disregard for the same).
We also recognize the desperate needs of the civilians in Gaza, and fully support doing everything possible to expand safe zones, provide transit corridors, and deliver life-sustaining humanitarian aid. A humanitarian pause of limited space and time, the release of the more than 240 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, the cessation of rockets fired by Hamas at Israel from civilian neighborhoods in Gaza, and the release of all Palestinian civilians being detained by Hamas as human shields in Gaza would go far toward achieving these goals.
We are grateful for President Biden’s extraordinary leadership, for his steadfast support of our ally Israel, and for his unwavering commitment to pursuing a lasting solution to the conflict.
“The United States will always stand with Israel, our greatest ally in the Middle East. This is war, not an isolated terrorist attack. Israel must defend itself, and I will firmly back them as they take all steps necessary to eradicate these terrorists. We must work to make sure Israel has what it needs to destroy Hamas and any others involved in this attack while deterring other threats to its security. Let me be clear: this is a deliberate, unprovoked and evil attack by Iranian-backed terrorists who want nothing more than to destroy Israel, and America will not stand by idly. Israel has our full support and prayers.”
"I am horrified by the attacks against Israel by the hands of hateful terrorist groups like Hamas that have taken innocent lives. I am praying for all who are victims of this tragedy. America stands with Israel.
“Jones Walker is outraged by the tragic acts of violence committed last weekend and over the past several days in Israel. We condemn any and every form of anti-Semitism and denounce the cruel violence inflicted upon the innocent citizens of Israel. We will not waver in our longtime commitment to and partnership with the Jewish community in Israel, around the world, and here at home. We stand with Israel. Am Yisrael Chai.”
“On October 7, hundreds of Hamas terrorists launched the most heinous terrorist attack on civilians in Israel, during the Jewish festival of Simchat Torah when many families went to synagogues. The terrorists infiltrated Israel firing over 3,500 rockets - an act of war – resulting in 1600 people being killed including people of color, children and women, with 2,700 injuries in Israel and 2400 injured in Gaza, according to Israeli and Palestinian health officials. Additionally, Hamas is holding 120 people hostage, including Americans.
I agree with President Joe Biden that these terrorist attacks are unadulterated evil being unleashed on the world.
My heart pours out to Israel and the Jewish community here in America, who are experiencing the barbaric atrocities of Hamas terrorists and the fear and anxiety it produces, particularly because Jewish people are targets of hate.
My heart pours out to Palestinians, who are, again, erroneously blamed for the terrorist acts by the Hamas extremists, who also oppress Palestians in Gaza, doing more harm to the struggle for freedom and autonomy.
My Black and Indigenous ancestors were oppressed people. Today, my family and I experience fear and hatred for being Black in America. When confronted with hurt and fear, it is easy and natural to give into the blind rage of hate. We resist harboring hatred.
Never condone terrorism or acts of violence toward others. Instead love humanity, value and respect the culture of all people.
Let peaceful progress prevail.
On behalf of Dillard University, our National Center for Black-Jewish Relations, and my family, we ask that you stand together against terrorism, hate, antisemitism, racism, anti-arab sentiment and discrimination. Join us as we advocate for peace and progress.
Dr. Rochelle Ford, President
“ I am deeply disturbed by the horrific acts of violence that have been committed against innocent Israeli citizens. I recently traveled to Israel, visited the Gaza border, and met with the local Israeli people. There is no rationalization for this terrorism, the same way there is no justifying much of the violence that occurs here at home. I pray for lasting peace between Palestine and Israel. But I support every call to condemn this terroristic evil against innocent human lives.”
“It filled our hearts with sadness to see hundreds congregated at Gates of Prayer after the recent attack on Israel. It does, however, show our strength as a community. Saturday’s attack was planned on land, sea and air. It did not solely target military installations. Elders, children and concertgoers were terrorized ,with too many killed and still others held as captives. The means do not justify the ends. While discord may exist it is inhumane and never justified to maim the defenseless. As a Council, we represent the people of New Orleans and believe in their human dignity. What occurred on Saturday was dishonorable, undignified, and indefensible. We stand firmly united with Israel for peace and justice”
“ As we learn more about the atrocities committed by Hamas, we must all stand up and speak out in support of Israel and our Jewish brothers and sisters here at home. Hamas is a terrorist organization, and their despicable attacks on the people of Israel are evil. Louisiana stands solidly with Israel, and we are ready to help Louisiana's Jewish community in whatever way they need.”
“Dear Mr. French:
On behalf of the Roman Catholic community of the greater New Orleans area, I extend to you, our Jewish brothers and sisters, my most heartfelt condolences upon the loss of so many men, women, and children in Israel.
On October 7 the Feast of Simchat Torah, while rejoicing at the end of the Holy Days of the Jewish calendar, death and murder rained down upon those who were simply enjoying life and appreciating their faith tradition.
We join with all people of good will in condemning the heinous violence wrought by Hamas, and we pray for a swift end to this terrible conflict.
The Jewish community of New Orleans, one of the oldest in the country, has always been gracious to all visitors, including us, and our dialogue and interfaith friendship have never been stronger. Your synagogues have truly been “houses of prayer for all people”.
We stand with you in grief; we stand with you in prayer, for the land of Israel, a land sacred to us as well. May peace soon come in that ancient land which is holy to so many.
In prayer, I am
Most Reverend Gregory M. Aymond
Archbishop of New Orleans”
“Dear Tulane Community:
I write to you today about the horrific terrorist attacks by Hamas and their aftermath.
I have spoken with many in the Tulane community this week who are scared, angry and in pain. Please know that I share your agony, shock and distress at this unprecedented violence.
I unequivocally condemn the attacks by Hamas on Israel and all forms of terrorism and hate. I was deeply affected by these heinous acts, as were so many Tulanians. My thoughts remain with the Jewish community in the wake of these attacks. I grieve with them and all who were shocked, angered and appalled by these atrocities and unimaginable brutality.
We’re ready to support all Tulanians who have family, friends, or cultural and religious ties to Israel and Gaza. As the war rages on, we’re witnessing a tragic loss of innocent civilian lives, both Israeli and Palestinian.
Thankfully, our students studying in Israel this semester are all safe. We will continue to assist these students, as well as students from every area affected by this war. We have stepped up security to ensure the safety and well-being of our campus community. Please remember that you are not alone and we are here to help. We have resources available to any community member affected by these deeply distressing events.
In times like these, I’m reminded that what I love about Tulane is our caring and supportive culture. In the upcoming days and weeks, there will be many opportunities around our campus for us to gather as a community in support of one another. I urge you to take advantage of these, as well as the day-to-day moments that allow us to strengthen our bonds, express our compassion, and hope and pray for a more peaceful future.
Michael A. Fitts, President”