The Hamas invasion of Israel has united Granite State politicians across both sides of the aisle, with the Republican governor and congressional Democrats declaring their support for the Jewish state.
The only people left out in the political cold are New Hampshire progressives, whose opposition to Israel and support for Palestinian activism is suddenly out of favor among their one-time Democratic allies.
The news from Israel has only gotten worse since the October 7 attack. At least 30 Americans are among the more than 1,400 killed in the Hamas attack. Another 13 Americans are missing and possibly taken hostage.
On Friday, Chris Sununu was one of 19 Republican governors who signed a letter to President Joe Biden urging him “to provide unequivocal support to Israel as it defends itself and works to eliminate the Iran-backed terror group Hamas.”
“We write today to make clear that our states absolutely condemn these heinous acts of terrorism led by Iran-backed Hamas and proudly stand with Israel and the Jewish people,” Sununu and his fellow governors wrote on behalf of their citizens.
“Unfortunately, this type of international chaos and violence is a direct result of your administration’s appeasement-first foreign policy. Now is the moment to radically change course. We call on you to project American strength by, among other things, clearly and unequivocally condemning these attacks and supporting Israel’s unquestioned right to respond and defend itself,” they added.
Strong words, but not too different in tone from the statements of support from Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas, who is co-sponsoring a bipartisan resolution of support for Israel and condemnation of Hamas.
“This kind of hate-fueled brutality cannot go unanswered,” Pappas said. “I stand with the people of Israel and denounce these terrorist acts in the strongest possible terms. I remain committed to supporting Israel, our steadfast democratic ally, and its right to defend itself and ensure the safety of its people.”
“The state of Israel should have our thoughts and prayers, as well as our unwavering commitment to support them in this fight,” Pappas added.
Rep. Annie Kuster, who defended Democrats like Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) in the wake of anti-Israel rhetoric, has also signed off on the resolution “standing with Israel as it defends itself against the barbaric war launched by Hamas and other terrorists.”
Kuster praised the “bipartisan resolution condemning the unprovoked Hamas attack underscores the unwavering support of the United States for Israel and the Israeli people.”
Both of New Hampshire’s Democratic U.S. Senators have made similar statements.
While there may not be any pro-Palestine voices among Granite State Democrats, on Monday more than a dozen Democrats in Congress introduced a separate resolution urging “an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Israel and occupied Palestine.” Among the supporters were Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.)
A resolution like this would traditionally receive enthusiastic support from New Hampshire progressives. However, there are no posts or public statements from local progressive organizations like Rights and Democracy or Black Lives Matter on the current events in Israel and Gaza. A rally on behalf of the Palestinian cause in Manchester drew just 30 people.
And progressive state Rep. Maria Perez (D-Milford), known for chanting “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and calling Israel an “apartheid state” has also remained largely silent.
This may be related to the shift in attitudes among their fellow Democrats. In March, a Gallup poll found more U.S. Democrats sided with the Palestinians than the Israelis. But a new CNN poll found 67 percent of Democrats now express “a lot of sympathy for the Israeli people,” while just 49 percent feel the same toward the Palestinians.
And 69 percent of Democrats say Israel’s military response to the Hamas attack was justified.
In deep-blue Massachusetts, U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton had no patience for his fellow Democrats urging a ceasefire.
“Did we call for a ceasefire and de-escalation after Pearl Harbor? Instead of pushing Israel into a ceasefire with an organization that has proven it is hellbent on Israel’s destruction by barbarically slaughtering Israeli children, the U.S. should be focused on helping ensure Israel’s operation is a success,” Moulton told the Boston Herald.
(Neither Kuster nor Pappas would answer questions from NHJournal about their views on the ceasefire resolution.)
Pappas has stepped up his support for Israel, pressing the Biden administration to reverse its plans to allow the release of $6 billion to the Iranian regime that funds Hamas terrorists.
“Iran has long funded Hamas and other terror groups intent on wiping Israel off the map. In the wake of Hamas’s brutal massacre in Israel, America must use every tool available to degrade their terrorist capabilities and hold their sponsors accountable,” Pappas said last week.
“It’s essential that the Biden Administration moves to freeze the $6 billion in Iranian assets currently held by Qatar. While none of these funds have been transferred to Iran yet, freezing these funds and crafting further sanctions would help limit support for Hamas and their heinous campaign of terror.”
Despite media reports to the contrary, the $6 billion has not yet been “frozen.” It was transferred from South Korea to Qatar as originally agreed. According to former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy, Qatar is still completely free and able to make purchases of food and fuel on behalf of Iran with that money, freeing up Tehran’s existing funds for terror.
“It would therefore only be accurate for Biden to claim the money had been refrozen if Qatar had agreed to return it to a bank account the United States controlled, or if Qatar had made an enforceable agreement not to disburse any portion of the $6 billion absent prior American approval,” McCarthy reports. “There is no evidence that Qatar agreed to any such thing.”