Progressive Democrat Caucus Loses Member Over Anti-Israel Stance

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Rep. Ritchie Torres, a Democrat from California, is the second Democrat in recent months to leave the Progressive Caucus

After the Hamas attack in Israel on Oct. 7, the divisions within the progressive wing of the Democrat Party continue to grow, forcing pro-Israel Democrats from key groups.

Axios reported Wednesday that Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) has left the House Congressional Progressive Caucus. He is the second Democrat in recent months to leave the caucus. Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) left the caucus in November of last year.

Torres’ support for Israel has caused him to be at odds with his Democratic colleagues and even the far-left “Squad”.

Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Torres clashed in December after Omar suggested that Torres would be comfortable with Palestinian deaths as a result of Israel’s response against Hamas.

In an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, he said: “Every death is a tragedy. Every war is a human crisis. But we must remember the causes of war.” He said that the Hamas terrorists who butchered 1,400 Israelis including infants forced the war on Israel.

“You know that my colleague, Rep. Omar has voted against Iron Dome which is a system of missile defense that protects Israeli citizens from endless rocket fire,” said CNN host Dana Bash. Iron Dome interceptions would have resulted in far more Israelis being killed – by orders of magnitude. The policy that she took would have resulted in more Israelis and Palestinians dead.

Rep. Ritchie Torres replied to Rep. Pramila Jajapal’s comments on the treatment of women by Hamas during an interview with CNN, which took place on October 7, 2007.

Torres replied to Rep. Pramila Jajapal, D. Washington, and other hard-left figures in December after she appeared unable to explain the hesitation of some progressives when it came to condemning Hamas sexual violence against Israeli women.

CNN’s Bash interviewed Torres and asked why progressives found it so hard to “unambiguously call out the barbaric violence against Israeli women”.

Torres stated, “Looking at the double standard that is often used against Israel in condemning Hamas’ barbarism and savagery,”

Rep. Rashida Tlaib addresses a crowd during a demonstration in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 18, 2023. The event called for a Gaza ceasefire.

“Public officials are morally obligated to speak clearly and without caveats. It was deeply disturbing to me, for instance, that U.N. Women – the so-called women’s rights arm within the United Nations – went 50 days before commenting on or condemning Hamas’s sexual atrocities against Israeli women. This is not about political issues for me. It’s about decency. It is not acceptable to downplay, deny or minimize the rapes and sexual violence committed against Israeli women in October by ‘both sides’ or to deny that they occurred. 7.”

Torres is also one of the 22 Democrats who voted to censure Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) for her anti-Israel comments.