New York Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (R-22nd District) expressed her support for Israel in its current conflict with Palestine at a virtual town hall meeting Tuesday night.
Tenney, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, says that Palestinian militant group Hamas is at fault for the conflict. Israel's actiions in recent weeks have drawn scrutiny from some in the international community who say that Israeli airstrikes against Palestine have gone too far in killing innocent civilians and children. Tenney, however, says that Israel's right to exist hangs in the balance, and that it's America's duty to protect it.
"Let's just set it straight: Hamas is a terrorist organization," Tenney said. "It's been labeled a terrorist organization by the United States, Canada, the European Union and other countries who are key allies. Israel has the right to defend itself, and we must defend Israel. They're our greatest ally in the region. And it's just reprehensible that people even in our in our House and in our government are not standing up and defending our most important ally in the Middle East."
Tenney also addressed the current infighting in the House Republican caucus at the town hall, saying for the first time that she supported the removal of Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney as the party's conference chair, and supported fellow New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik for the same role. She said that Cheney engaged in a "personality conflict" with former presdient Trump, and that the Republican Party must be a party for everyone, regardlless of ideology.
"You don't have to be a Trump supporter," Tenney said. "I think that we have to have a big tent. We have to have everybody in the party, the 'never-Trumpers, the people that don't like Trump but like the policies, people that love Trump, whatever. I think we have to focus on policy and not personalities. And I think that, right now, that's where we're going to be focused. And I think Elise is going to take us in a new direction."