Another member of the United States Senate has called for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas during the current conflict in Gaza, according to public statements.
The conflict, which began after Hamas conducted a series of terrorist attacks against Israel on Oct. 7, has prompted many left-wing groups and Democratic members of Congress to demand that the Biden administration persuade Israel to agree to a permanent ceasefire between the groups, who have advocated against Israel responding militarily to Hamas. Among those calling for a ceasefire are senior members of the Senate, now including Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon, according to an article he posted on Medium, an online publishing platform, on Monday.
“After grimly witnessing accelerating body counts, many Americans, including thousands of Oregonians, have raised their voices to say more must be done to stop the carnage. I agree. So today I am calling for a ceasefire,” Merkley wrote. “The ceasefire requires an immediate cessation of military hostilities by both sides.”
The only other senator who has called for a ceasefire is Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin. He and Merkley are the 5th and 30th senior members, respectively, of the 100-member chamber, with Durbin also being the second-highest ranking majority-party senator after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Durbin and Merkley join several Democratic members of the House of Representatives, who are among the most left-wing members of their caucus, in calling for a ceasefire. These include Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Cori Bush of Missouri, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman of New York and Jesús “Chuy” García of Illinois.
Israel has, so far, rejected calls for a permanent ceasefire between itself and Hamas, arguing that the terrorist attacks of Oct. 7 are comparable to those waged against the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, and that it must respond militarily. The Biden administration has, likewise, rebuffed demands for a ceasefire, arguing that it would enable Hamas — a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization by the United States — to rearm and regroup for future attacks on Israel, against which Hamas has declared a jihad.
Akin to Biden, most Democratic members of Congress oppose a ceasefire, including nearly all those of a high rank. These include Schumer, Senate President Pro Tempore Patty Murray, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as well as some left-wing members, such as independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who caucuses with Democrats.
Many left-wing groups have indicated that support for a ceasefire is undermining their confidence in Biden, which may entail a lack of support for him in 2024’s presidential election. Biden, the leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, currently trails former President Donald Trump, the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, in most major polls.
Schumer did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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