Delaware Valley residents reacted with shock and anger at the unprecedented attack by Hamas against Israel on Saturday.
Jewish and non-Jewish clergy are joining a Philly Stands with Israel rally the Jewish Federation is holding Monday (Oct. 9) at the Saligman Campus, 45 Haverford Road in Wynnewood.
The Jewish Federation is also mobilizing a Philly Stands with Israel Fund to provide immediate relief for the people and state of Israel.
The Federation released this statement: ”Hamas is reported to have fired over 2,500 rockets at cities throughout Israel, while Palestinian terrorists simultaneously infiltrated communities in the south by land, sea, and air. These attacks have reportedly killed at least 40 Israelis and wounded nearly 800 more. There are also reports that Hamas terrorists have captured numerous Israeli citizens and soldiers and may have been taken back to Gaza.
“We, the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, are deeply saddened and outraged by the surprise attack on the State of Israel by Hamas terrorists. Our hearts go out to the people of Israel who face an unprecedented assault on their safety and well-being.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu’s confirmation that Israel is at war, coupled with the ongoing violence in various population centers across southern Israel, is cause for grave concern. The breach of the Gaza barrier, the indiscriminate firing of rockets, and the tragic loss of lives are all distressing. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families during this challenging time.
“We unequivocally condemn these acts of violence and terror against the State of Israel. The deliberate targeting of innocent civilians and the use of human shields by Hamas is unacceptable and must be condemned by the international community, especially as Israel works to defend itself against these attacks.
“We stand in solidarity with the people of Israel and express our unwavering support for their right to defend themselves against these heinous attacks.”
Some politicians have also posted support on social media.
Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) tweeted on X, “I condemn the horrific acts of war in Israel by Hamas and their enablers. These attacks on innocent Israeli civilians are abhorrent and warrant world condemnation and outrage. Our family has shared many special moments in Israel, and our hearts break for those living this horror now. We stand in solidarity against terror and are praying for all people in Israel.”
Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) said on Saturday, “Hamas has launched a coordinated terrorist attack against Israel, starting with thousands of rockets fired upon innocent Israelis and continued violence throughout the day. The United States must stand with Israel and its right to self-defense. This is a tragic day. Hundreds are already dead, and countless Israelis and Palestinian civilians are at risk because of this needless slaughter.”
Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) said, “I forcefully condemn these cowardly, horrifying, unprovoked attacks on Israel by Hamas. Attacking innocent civilians is particularly despicable and reflects the craven behavior of this terrorist group. I unequivocally stand with the people of Israel now and always.”
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) posted, “Horrific scenes of unprovoked attacks by Hamas terrorists on innocent Israeli civilians, including children. The United States will continue to stand with our friend and ally and ensure that Israel has the resources to defend itself and defeat genocidal terrorists. I stand with Israel.”
Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery) posted, “Deeply concerned to hear of Hamas’ unprovoked, coordinated attack that killed at least 40 Israelis and wounded more than 700. This provocation will hurt Israelis and Palestinians alike — worsening an already tense conflict. I condemn the violence and pray for the entire region.”
Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Delaware/Philadelphia) posted, “I strongly condemn the egregious attack by Hamas on Israel and innocent Israeli civilians. My prayers are with the families of those lost and wounded. We stand united with our friend and ally in its time of need.”
And Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester/Berks) said, “I stand with the United States and President Biden in supporting our ally, Israel, who was attacked by land, air, and sea without provocation. Militant terrorist organizations, namely Hamas, started this war, and Israel has the right to defend its sovereignty. We mourn the innocent Israeli and Palestinian lives lost. I will continue to monitor this developing situation and work with others to encourage an enduring peace.”
And Dave McCormick, the Republican running for the U.S. Senate, said on X, “I condemn in the strongest terms today’s horrific act by Hamas terrorists against one of America’s greatest allies. Our nation must stand with Israel and its right to defend itself against these attacks and in order to protect its people.”
“I’m stunned the U.S. Embassy in Israel issued a statement calling on Israel not to retaliate. Israel has every right to defend itself. Justice must be brought to those who invaded the Jewish state. The Biden Administration’s weak response is deeply troubling. (The embassy statement was deleted.)
The Biden Administration insists ‘not a penny’ of the $6 billion they promised to Iran has yet to be received by Iran. Given the Hamas attack on Israel, I call on President Biden to block release of the money, and as Senator, I would immediately introduce legislation to put a hold on these funds. Don’t give Iran a penny.”