WASHINGTON (WKOW) — Sen. Ron Johnson found some common ground with President Joe Biden Thursday while backing Israel over Palestinians in escalating hostilities that have outraged progressives and humanitarian organizations.
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Johnson, Wisconsin’s Republican senator, joined 43 other members of his party and chamber in signing a letter that called for the president to back Israel in the conflict that has left many dead. The letter was addressed to Biden.
“Over the past couple days, Palestinian terrorists in Gaza, who are funded by Iran, have launched a series of rocket attacks into Israel,” Johnson and the other senators wrote. “They are targeting Israeli civilians and cities, including Israel’s capital Jerusalem.”
The trade of rockets and bombs have killed civilians on both sides of the conflict, including four children who died in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza.
The U.N. envoy to the region called the violence “the most serious escalation between Israel and Palestinian militants in years.”
Biden has also backed Israel in the exchange of violence.
“My expectation and hope is that this will be closing down sooner than later,” Biden said on Wednesday. “Israel has a right to defend itself when you have thousands of rockets flying into your territory.”
Progressives in Congress have denounced Israel for putting continued pressure on Palestinian communities.
“We can’t allow the forced displacement of Palestinians who have lived in Sheikh Jarrah for generations,” Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Black Earth) wrote in a post on Twitter.
Pocan led other members of Congress in sending a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken urging him to call on Israel to stop what the congressman called “human rights violations.”
The full letter Johnson and the other senators sent the president is below. App users can read the letter here.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.