Rep. Ritchie Torres slams and doubles down on Israel critics as fighting rages

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Rep. Ritchie Torres is slamming critics of Israel for “both siding” the conflict that erupted when Hamas launched an audacious sneak attack on the Jewish state.

Bolstering his place as one of the most outspoken congressional supporters of Israel, the Bronx lawmaker blasted a group of Harvard University students and Democratic Socialists of America activists for pointing to the Israeli occupation as a root cause of the brutal violence.

“Israel is the victim of a terrorist attack. Hamas is the perpetrator. It’s as simple as that,” Torres tweeted Monday. “There are no ‘both sides.'”

Torres’ district covers a swath of the Bronx’s Riverdale neighborhood, the northwest Bronx community that’s heavily Jewish.

Torres posted a statement issued by a coalition of pro-Palestinian student groups that said they “hold the Israeli regime responsible for all the unfolding violence.”

He lashed out at the Harvard student groups as “hateful” and expressed concern that they are destined to be leaders in society.

“Demonizing Israel—to the point of denying the humanity of Israeli victims and the inhumanity of their perpetrators—is moral confusion masquerading as moral clarity,” Torres said.

Torres has long been a staunch supporter of Israel, a position that sets him apart from fellow progressive Democrats. He has in turn won healthy contributions from pro-Israel donors and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

He denounced as “repulsive” statements by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), the only lawmaker of Palestinian descent, and Rep. Cori Bush (D-Missouri) that criticized Israel.

The Hamas attack on Israel, and the unfolding fierce retaliation by Israel, has put a sharp focus on Democrats’ split on unquestioned support the Jewish state.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez denounced the Hamas attack “in the strongest possible terms.” But she also called for “ceasefire and deescalation” as the Israeli response ramps up.

“This violence will not solve the ongoing oppression and occupation in the region,” the firebrand Queens/Bronx lawmaker said.