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Tiffany supportive of Israel despite calls for a ceasefire

Press advocates have called recent events in Gaza the deadliest conflict for journalists in over 30 years. Kyle's "Press" sweatshirt is in reference to “the journalists who have given their lives to make sure that we see what’s happening on the ground”, he says.

This is the fifth month of war between Israel and Hamas.

Hamas’s October 7th attack killed1,200 Israelisand Israel’s subsequent campaign has killed over 30,000 Palestinians.

WXPR spoke with Republican Congressman Tom Tiffany of Minocqua and his constituents for perspectives on continuing US support of Israel.

Since the war began, Republican Congressman Tom Tiffany of Minocqua signaled his strong support for Israel.

In the immediate aftermath of Hamas’ attack, Tiffany introduced a bill, called the “Guaranteeing Aggressors Zero Admission Act” or GAZA Act, to ban Palestinians from obtaining U.S. visas.

In November, he voted in favor of a Republican-led House bill that would provide $14 billion for Israel to supply more advanced weaponry and bolster the Iron Dome.

That bill still sits before the Senate.

“I believe Israel is within its rights to make sure that that toxic ideology is stamped out. Otherwise, it's going to come back again in the future in Israel,” he said.

In January, the International Court of Justice found that it was plausible that Israel has committed acts in violation with the Genocide Convention and ordered Israel to ensure “with immediate effect” that its forces not commit prohibited acts.

Tiffany says he firmly supports Israel and doesn’t support a ceasefire until “Hamas has been neutralized by Israel”.

“There are always humanitarian concerns in war, Israel has went above and beyond to try to protect those who are innocent,” he said.

On Saturday, WXPR spoke with a protester in Wausau.

He was protesting by himself at an intersection with a Palestinian flag that said “end the genocide”.

Kyle said he was “out in support of a global day of action protesting the ongoing genocide in Gaza.”

“This is all I know to do. I don't know, this isn't my natural habitat, by any means, being out here,” he said.

He supports a ceasefire and wants the U.S. to stop funding Israel militarily.

“We need to stop funding this, we're responsible. You know, we're not even just a shadow support. If we weren’t sending the weapons there, there'd be no weapons to, no bombs to drop on, on kids,” he said.

“We need to ceasefire, but we need to stop funding this. We did some, some aid drops, some air drops, but it's just, at the same time, they're trying to push through more weapons funding,” said Kyle.

He’s referencing recent US efforts to airdrop meals over the Gaza Strip, where food and aid have been blocked by Israeli officials and protest groups for months, leading to starvation deaths.

Kyle said he urges “people to educate themselves on the history of Palestine’s occupation” and urges lawmakers to “save what remains of their reputations after so much silence and call for an immediate ceasefire”.

In Michigan,more than 100,000 voters voted “uncommitted” in the Democratic primary to send President Biden the message that he must change course and negotiate a permanent ceasefire.

A seven-day ceasefirebetween Israel and Hamas brokered by the United States, Qatar, and Egypt fell apart in December after securing the release of some hostages and prisoners.

With Ramadan, the Islamic holy month, approaching, negotiators say they want to strike a ceasefire agreementas quickly as possible.

Hannah Davis-Reid is a WXPR Reporter.
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