Skip to content
Sign up to receive our free weekday morning edition, and you'll never miss a scoop.
The House cleared a bill to overhaul the regulation and structure of U.S. capital markets with substantial bipartisan support.

News: Pro-Israel House Dems call for temporary ceasefire

News: Reps. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) and Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) are leading 27 other pro-Israel House Democrats in a letter to President Joe Biden backing “a temporary pause in fighting” between Israel and Hamas in exchange for a hostage release.

The group of Democrats, which also includes longtime Israel supporter Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), represents the center-left wing of the caucus. This effort marks a sea change in the way Democrats are viewing Israel’s ongoing war in the Gaza Strip, which has resulted in tens of thousands of Palestinian casualties and enraged the Democratic base.

“A temporary pause in fighting will not only help release the hostages and give desperately needed relief to the millions of civilians displaced by this war, it can also open a path to permanently ending the conflict,” the House Democrats asserted.

A sign of the pro-Israel bonafides of this group: Roughly half of the 29 Democratic signatories voted for the Republican-led Israel-only aid package that failed last month. Notably, however, Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.), who also voted for that package, are not on the letter.

Schneider told us he was motivated to organize the effort after Biden expressed cautious optimism that a temporary ceasefire and hostage release deal was imminent.

“The war could end tomorrow if Hamas would release the hostages,” Schneider said. “We need to find a path to get to peace and that’s what this letter talks about.”

The Illinois Democrat also said he notified House Democratic leadership of his letter.

When Hamas carried out its brutal Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel, the group captured roughly 250 Israelis to hold as hostages in Gaza. While roughly 100 hostages were freed during a November ceasefire, another 100-plus remain in captivity. This has led to protests inside Israel.

And as Israel military forces have continued to expand their operations in Gaza, the Palestinian civilian death toll has skyrocketed. Deadly incidents like the one involving an aid delivery in Gaza — which resulted in more than 100 Palestinian deaths and several hundred wounded — have ratcheted up calls for a ceasefire.

Biden has come under intense pressure from his left flank to forcefully demand an end to fighting. Progressives have warned of electoral impacts to Biden’s reelection campaign due to voter anger over the president’s public support for Israel.

Schneider made clear that the letter’s goal differed from activists who called for a ceasefire in the early days of the Israel-Hamas war.

“It’s one thing to say, ‘Israel, hold your fire, keep Hamas intact,’” Schneider said. “No one is calling for that. Hamas cannot be left as a threat to Israel or to the Palestinians.”

The White House is deeply skeptical of a planned Israeli invasion of Rafah and wants more assurances from Israeli leaders that they will limit civilian casualties. Biden has consistently spoken out in support of humanitarian aid for Palestinians.

“We resolutely believe that peace is possible—that a Jewish democratic state of Israel can live within safety and security alongside a viable, democratic Palestinian state,” the Democrats wrote to Biden.

— Max Cohen

Presented by The Coalition to Project American Jobs

It’s taking the IRS years to process a small business tax credit. 1M+ small business owners who filed for the Employee Retention Credit are stuck in backlog or waiting on payment for their claims. Tell the IRS to lift the moratorium now.

Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. Political ads courtesy of AdImpact.