Democratic New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman wants the U.S. to accept Palestinian refugees displaced by the widely-expected Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip, according to the New York Post.
Bowman, who is under investigation for allegedly pulling the fire alarm in a House office building earlier this month ahead of a vote on the continuing resolution to avert a government shutdown, suggested that the U.S. is obligated to accept refugees escaping the violence, according to the Post. An estimated 1 million people have already been displaced in the Gaza Strip, before the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has even initiated their expected ground invasion of the Hamas stronghold, according to The Associated Press.
“Fifty percent of the population in Gaza are children,” Bowman said, according to the Post. “The international community as well as the United States should be prepared to welcome refugees from Palestine while being very careful to vet and not allow members of Hamas.”
Approximately 57% of people who live in the Gaza Strip maintain an opinion of Hamas that is at least somewhat positive, according to the Washington Institute.
Bowman is a member of the “Squad,” a group of left-wing House Democrats that generally offered widely-criticized statements after last Saturday’s vicious Hamas attacks which precipitated the IDF’s response. In the aftermath of the attacks, Bowman called for an end to the blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Several GOP senators have made clear that they will not support any attempts to resettle Palestinians in the U.S., according to the Post.
“The U.S. is the most generous nation in the world, but we are in no position to accept additional refugees, especially from a region with as high a risk of terrorism, given our nation’s inability to secure our own border or vet those who are already here,” Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said in response to calls to resettle Palestinians in the U.S, according to the Post.
Notably, Egypt, which also participates in the blockade of the Gaza Strip, has so far refused to accept any Palestinian refugees fleeing the war, according to The Washington Post. No other Arab country is willing to accept Palestinian refugees either, according to Reuters.
“Iran should take responsibility for any Palestinian refugees caused by its proxy… war with Israel. Iran is responsible for the death and destruction— it should be responsible for refugees as well,” Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas said, according to the Post.
Bowman’s office did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Nick Pope on October 14, 2023