Democrat infighting over Israel threatened to turn physical Friday, after Rep. André Carson (D-IN) repeatedly called Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) “cowardly” in an interview and said, “We can handle it like gentlemen or we can get into something else.”
Carson was responding to a post on X by Gottheimer where he slammed 15 Democrat colleagues who voted against or “present” on a House resolution expressing support for Israel as “despicable.”
Carson’s threat drew criticism from prominent Jewish progressives. Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, posted:
It’s inexcusable for any member of Congress to threaten a colleague, & especially egregious that @RepAndreCarson is threatening a Jewish member for speaking out at a moment when we’re seeing a massive spike in antisemitism. What’s the point? Does he think it’s productive to intimidate @RepJoshG?
It’s inexcusable for any member of Congress to threaten a colleague, & especially egregious that @RepAndreCarson is threatening a Jewish member for speaking out at a moment when we’re seeing a massive spike in antisemitism. What’s the point? Does he think it’s productive to… https://t.co/mZYNeCNHYN
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) October 29, 2023
Gottheimer later sought to tamp down the tensions, posting that he was thankful for colleagues who did support the bipartisan resolution and that “it’s more important than ever for us to talk to each other”:
Right now, many people are hurting, and it’s more important than ever for us to talk to each other. Moving forward, that is my commitment to all of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle.
— Rep Josh Gottheimer (@RepJoshG) October 28, 2023
Still, the incident highlighted divisions among Democrats in Congress — as well among the broader public — over Israel.
Thousands of progressives around the country have protested, on college campuses and in major cities, against Israel responding militarily to attacks by Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas that killed more than 1,400 in southern Israel in the deadliest attacks against Jews since the Holocaust.
There were even protesters in the U.S. Capitol — led by members of Congress such as Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), who is Muslim and Palestinian-American.
Tlaib, Carson, and seven other Democrats voted against the resolution in support of Israel, including Reps. Jamaal Bowman (NY), Cori Bush (MO), Al Green (TX), Summer Lee (PA), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Ilhan Omar (MN), and Delia Ramirez (IL), while six other Democrats voted “present,” including Reps. Gregorio Casar (TX), Julian Castro (TX), Jesus Garcia (IL), Pramila Jayapal (WA), Ayana Pressley (MA), and Nydia Velaquez (NY).
RELATED VIDEO — Dem Rep. Auchincloss: Disinformation Spreader Tlaib Doesn’t Speak for Us — She Falsely Conflates Hamas with Civilians:
Gottheimer is not the only one who had sharp words for Democrats voting against the resolution.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) told CNN she “vehemently” disagreed with Tlaib and her actions “throughout this process,” and that anyone voting against the resolution “doesn’t have a soul.”
The growing divide does not appear to be ending anytime soon. Israel over the weekend launched its offensive into Gaza, which is expected to last for months.