KEY POINTS

  • President Biden says Israel has a right to defend itself
  • Republican Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz show support to Israel
  • Democrats call for a peaceful resolution between Israel and Palestine

Even as President Joe Biden said he supported "Israel's legitimate right to defend itself and its people," calls got louder for the United States to choose a side in the ongoing Israel- Palestine conflict.

At least 67 people in Gaza and seven people in Israel have been killed in the exchange of rockets since Monday when clashes at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound escalated to deadly airstrikes, reported BBC News.

NYC mayor candidate Andrew Yang tweeted, “I’m standing with the people of Israel who are coming under bombardment attacks, and condemn the Hamas terrorists.”

Former Trump adviser Stephen Miller and Republican Senator Ted Cruz supported Yang’s statement .

Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said the U.S. and its partners should start to "work on ending the illegal settlement expansion and impending forced removal of Palestinian families from E. Jerusalem." She also proposed introducing the controversial two-state solution to curb future violence. 

The White House stated that Biden condemned the "rocket attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups, including against Jerusalem and Tel Aviv" during a call with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. However, nothing was said about Israel's role in the violence.

Republican leader Mitch McConell said in a speech to the senate, "The state of Israel has every right of self-defense. Its national security leaders have continued to display restraint."

Other Democrats have heavily criticized Biden's decision not to condemn the airstrikes carried out by Israel. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, retweeted AFP News Agency's post bearing Biden's controversial statement and wrote about the danger of blanket statements "w/ little context or acknowledgment [sic] of what precipitated this cycle of violence."

Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., joined Warren's call to bring forth a peaceful solution to the growing conflict.

"The United States must call for an immediate cease-fire and an end to provocative and illegal settlement activity," Sanders tweeted.

A huge column of smoke seen from Gaza city billows from an oil facility in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, on May 11, 2021, after rockets were fired by the Palestinian Hamas movement from the Gaza Strip towards Israel. A huge column of smoke seen from Gaza city billows from an oil facility in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, on May 11, 2021, after rockets were fired by the Palestinian Hamas movement from the Gaza Strip towards Israel. Photo: AFP / MOHAMMED ABED