Dean Phillips says vote by ‘Squad’ members against resolution condemning Hamas attack on Israel is ‘appalling’

Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips says he’s “disappointed” with the group of far-left House Democrats known as the “Squad” for their responses to the attack by Hamas earlier this month against Israel.

“It’s deeply disappointing,” Phillips – a moderate three-term Democrat from Minnesota who last week launched a primary challenge against President Biden – told reporters following a campaign event Tuesday in New Hampshire.

Six of the eight members of the “Squad” last week voted against a House resolution condemning the “barbaric” Oct. 7 assault by Hamas on Israel, which was the deadliest attack on the Jewish state in half a century.

More than 1,400 Israelis were killed during the sneak attack. Israel responded with relentless airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, which, according to authorities in the Hamas-controlled territory, have left more than 8,000 Palestinians dead.

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“I’m disappointed that progressives – who look out for the underdog, the diminished and the disenfranchised, those who are being persecuted – to not recognize what just happened on Oct. 7 in such graphic form is really disconcerting and appalling,” Phillips said at Saint Anselm College’s New Hampshire Institute of Politics, a must-stop for White House hopefuls in the state that traditionally holds the first presidential primary.

But Phillips added, “I don’t shame those who want to find peace and prosperity and protection for Palestinians. They’re not incompatible.”

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The resolution received overwhelming bipartisan support and passed by a vote of 412-10, with six members voting present.

The 10 members voting against the resolution included six members of the “Squad” – Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Summer Lee of Pennsylvania, and Cori Bush of Missouri. 

The attack by Hamas, and the vote on the resolution, have accentuated long-simmering divisions over Israel among House Democrats. While the vast majority of the House Democratic caucus is overwhelming pro-Israel, members of the “Squad” and some other progressives are more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause.

“I want to appear in front of the Muslim community around this country, the Palestinian community, the Jewish community,” Phillips said. “I want to subject myself to them, to hear, to understand. To show our common humanity and just like so many other challenging circumstances in America, rather than directing two peoples away from each other, why not unify to what we all actually want – which is peace.”

“I’m afraid my far-left colleagues are making that more difficult. I’m also concerned about my far-right colleagues making that more difficult by injecting politics into something that should be about people,” he argued. “I know we can do it. I really do. But we’ve got to get through this nonsense of division and start returning compassion to both sides and that is my imperative.”

Phillips is a distilling industry heir who also started a successful gelato brand and is one of the wealthiest members of Congress.

He launched his primary challenge against Biden on Thursday and formally declared his candidacy the following day in New Hampshire.

Fox News’ Brandon Gillespie contributed to this report

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