The latest round of fighting between Israel and Hamas was accompanied by an unprecedented wave of criticism toward Israel from within the Democratic Party, including from senators and members of Congress who are considered strong, lifelong supporters of Israel such as Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY).
On Monday, May 31, Haaretz held a special briefing with reporters and experts on Israel's current standing in Washington who discussed how the war in Gaza impacted the political discussion in the United States.
U.S. President Joe Biden gave Israel his full backing during the 11 days of fighting, but on Capitol Hill there were calls to halt arms sales to Israel and strong denunciations of its destruction of a high-rise building in Gaza containing the offices of leading international media companies. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) blamed "overt racists" in the Israeli government for igniting the violence.
Our correspondent in Washington, Ben Samuels, explained the latest attempts to redraw the lines on American policy toward Israel, while writer and analyst Allison Kaplan Sommer, who has covered Israeli and U.S. politics for more than two decades, put these developments in historical perspective. Dani Dayan, former Consul General of Israel in New York, also spoke about his experience working with the Democratic elected officials.