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Progressive Democrat caucus loses another member over anti-Israel positions

Divisions in the Democrat Party’s progressive wing are continuing to deepen in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks in Israel, forcing some pro-Israel Democrats out of key factions.  

Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y. has left the House Congressional Progressive Caucus, Axios first reported on Wednesday, making him the second Democrat to depart the caucus in recent months. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., left in November last year. 

Torres has been at odds with some of his Democratic colleagues, including far-left ‘Squad’ members about his support for Israel. 

In December, he and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., clashed after she suggested Torres was comfortable with Palestinian casualties as a result of Israel’s response to the Hamas attacks. 

‘Every casualty is a tragedy, every war is a humanitarian crisis, but we have to keep in mind the causes of the war,’ he told CNN host Dana Bash in an interview. ‘Israel did not start the war, the war was imposed upon Israel by the barbaric terrorism of Hamas, which butchered 1,400 Israelis, including babies,’ he said, referring to the terrorist attack on Oct. 7 in southern Israel.

‘You know, my colleague, Rep. Omar, has voted against Iron Dome, which is a missile defense system that protects Israeli civilians from relentless rocket fire,’ he told CNN host Dana Bash. ‘Were it not for Iron Dome interceptions, there would be far more dead Israelis – far more, by orders of magnitude. So the policy position that she has taken would have led to more dead Israelis and more dead Palestinians.’

In December, Torres responded to Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and other hard-left figures after she seemed unable to explain why there was a hesitation among some progressives to condemn Hamas’ sexual violence against Israeli women. 

CNN’s Bash asked Torres in an intervew why it was so difficult for progressives to ‘unequivocally call out the barbaric sexual violence against Israeli women.’

‘Look, there’s often been a double standard against Israel when it comes to condemning the sheer butchery and barbarism of Hamas,’ Torres said. 

‘Public officials have a moral obligation to speak with clarity rather than caveats. And I found it deeply troubling, for example, that the U.N. Women, the so-called women’s rights arm of the United Nations, went 50 days without commenting on or condemning the sexual atrocities that Hamas perpetrated against Israeli women. For me, this is not about politics. This is about decency. It is indecent to deny or downplay or ‘both sides’ the rape and sexual violence against Israeli women on Oct. 7.’

Torres was also one of 22 Democrats to vote to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., for her anti-Israel comments. 

Torres’ office did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. 

Fox News Digital’s Alexander Hall and Elizabeth Elkind contributed to this report. 

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS

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