BOSTON — The Massachusetts Senate on Thursday joined a chorus of Bay State officials registering their support for Israel, and condemnation of Hamas, after an Oct. 7 surprise attack on the Israeli people.
Resolutions adopted in the Senate condemned the attack as a “brutal, barbaric assault” resulting in “immense suffering,” and supported the “inalienable right” of Israel’s citizens to “defend themselves against acts of terrorism.”
The resolutions, sponsored by Majority Leader Cynthia Stone Creem of Newton, also said that “the recent, sharp rise in antisemitism, expressed openly and violently, reinforces the need for our collective, continued efforts to stand against hatred and bigotry in the commonwealth and abroad.”
Congress and President Joseph Biden are set to receive official copies of the document, which calls on the
United States government “to continue to stand with the people of Israel in their time of need, support the victims of the recent terrorist attack against the state of Israel and work towards the safe return of those who are being held hostage.”
Thirty other senators signed onto the resolutions as of Thursday afternoon.
Speaking in the Senate on Thursday, Minority Leader Bruce Tarr called it “our moral obligation to condemn terrorism when it arises anywhere on this planet.” The Gloucester Republican added that “it is incumbent on us to support the victims of that terrorism in any way that we can.”
Sen. Nick Collins offered words of support for Israel and Jewish people around the globe.
“Not only because they are members of my extended family, but also my friends, colleagues, and it’s the right thing to do. It’s hard to believe that anyone could equivocate on that,” the South Boston Democrat said.
“Some have compared the terrorist attack on Israel to 9/11. We all know how painful that is in this city, this state, and this country. The good people of Israel and the Jewish community across our state and beyond need and deserve to hear us proclaim our support here in the Senate loudly, unequivocally, and this resolution does that strongly.”
The upper chamber held a moment of silence for victims of the attack, as Creem and Sen. Cindy Friedman both echoed the sentiment that “their memory be a blessing.”
Earlier this week, close to 150 members of Congress – including U.S. Reps. Lori Trahan, Jake Auchincloss, Ayanna Pressley, and James McGovern of Massachusetts – penned a letter calling on U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to “use all tools at your disposal to return all U.S. nationals in Israel home who wish to do so.”
“As you are aware, airlines have cancelled most flights out of Ben Gurion Airport, and some have suspended operations in the region. As the number of casualties continues to rise, our constituents who remain in Israel fear for their lives. We ask that you consider charter flights and military options for evacuation, simultaneously,” wrote the group led by Congresswomen Grace Meng and Nicole Malliotakis of New York.
In a separate statement, Pressley said that “constituents of mine are seeking a safe way back to the U.S. with no options in sight.” She added that she was “deeply concerned about and monitoring the uptick of antisemitic and Islamophobic hate crimes in the U.S.” and asked for community members to spurn hatred and protect houses of worship.