More than 100 members of Congress view footage of Hamas atrocities in Israel

Confronted by reality, “stunned silence,” “disbelief” and renewed support for Israel to do what it must “to obliterate Hamas” expressed by members of Congress after screened video of Oct. 7 terror attacks.

More than five weeks after the brutal slaughter of more than 1,400 men, women and children, a span during which public officials had weighed in and moved to act, in some cases even against our Middle Eastern ally, the Israeli government showed the U.S. House of Representatives the level of atrocities that had been committed.

Detailed by Jewish Insider Capital Hill reporter Marc Rod, more than 100 legislators representing both parties were said to be in attendance Tuesday as they were shown roughly 45 minutes of footage, some pulled from the body-worn cameras of jihadists, documenting graphic mutilation, rape and murder.

“Dozens of House members are currently watching footage from the Hamas attack on Israel. One member just came out in tears less than 5 minutes after going into the room,” the journalist posted to X Tuesday morning. “‘I’m feeling like I felt when I went to Birkenau,’ Rep. Darrell Issa told me, shaking his head in disbelief. ‘It’s just war crimes. Unbelievable.'”

A short while later, after watching both Republicans and Democrats come and go from the arranged viewing, Rod wrote, “The screening just wrapped up and the overall reaction from members is stunned silence. Many seem at a loss for words. Numerous members crying. Have been told by multiple people that it’s hard to believe things like this are happening in 2023.”

“I didn’t get a count but it looked from what I could see through the door like the caucus room was mostly full. So at least 100+. Speaker Johnson was there for a few minutes,” he noted with a specific mention of Democrats New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Texas Rep. Greg Casar. “Some of the folks who are supporting a ceasefire, like Reps. AOC and Casar, also attended.”

Represented below are a sampling of comments made by lawmakers to Rod:

“I feel the same way I felt watching what occurred on social media. Israel must do everything it needs do to obliterate Hamas. Period.” — Florida Rep. Byron Donalds (R)

“I’m absolutely gutted. And I think seeing the video footage of people celebrating the killing of Jews shows what we’re up against. And the fact that anybody would encourage or condone what Hamas did that day. It’s outrageous. It’s unbelievable seeing footage like that in the year 2023, in places we’ve all been.” — Michigan Rep. Haley Stevens (D)

“Never again.” — California Rep. Ted Lieu (D)

“How anyone could call for a ceasefire after watching that — they’re not understanding what is actually happening.” — New York Rep. Mike Lawler (R)

Previously, a screening of the 43-minute film “Bearing Witness” had by organized by Israeli actress Gal Gadot, prompting supporters and anti-Israel protesters to clash outside the event. Meanwhile, as a separate showing was reportedly planned for the Senate on Thursday, users on social media reacted to the congressional commentary thus far.

“Finally!!!!!! The world needs to see it though I understand and respect that there are families involved,” wrote one as another suggested, “That should be shown on the house floor with all members present and the Senate floor with all senators present and entered into the record for all the world to see. It is a massive mistake not doing this.”


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Kevin Haggerty


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