State House News Service
With President Joe Biden urging Israel to make immediate progress toward an end to its violent fighting with Hamas, Gov. Charlie Baker made a statement of support for Israel on Wednesday as other political leaders in Massachusetts have spoken out against the ally’s treatment of Palestinians.
“I stand with Israel in defense of peace and security, and pray for a swift end to the bloodshed,” Baker tweeted just after 3 p.m. on Wednesday.
Baker rarely wades into international matters that are well beyond his control, but the ongoing violence between Israel and Hamas has prompted many elected leaders in Massachusetts to speak up. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has called Israel’s removal of Palestinian residents from a neighborhood in East Jerusalem “abhorrent and unacceptable” and this week joined 27 other senators in calling for an immediate ceasefire. Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey has faced backlash from progressive supporters who feel his comments on the conflict have been too “both sides” and not hard enough on the Israeli government.
Biden, according to the White House, spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the fourth time in the past week on Wednesday morning and told Netanyahu he “expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire.” The Massachusetts Republican Jewish Committee, led by MassGOP Vice-Chair Tom Mountain and Marty Lamb, this week blamed Biden for allowing “hundreds of terrorist missiles” to be fired into Israel by Hamas.
“It’s no coincidence that this is occurring now in the early months of the Joe Biden’s presidency. Unlike the unabashedly pro-Israel Trump, Biden has been at best lukewarm towards Israel,” Mountain and Lamb said in a statement Monday. Mountain was helping to organize a pro-Israel rally with Israel’s Consul General in Newton Centre on Wednesday to “demonstrate their support for Israel, which has been under constant attack by the Hamas terrorists.”