Florida Democrat Rep. Lois Frankel last week quit the Congressional Progressive Caucus in protest over how the group has responded to the October 7 Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel and its overall anti-Israel positions in Congress, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Frankel’s departure from one of the largest caucuses in Congress was first reported by The Intercept and later confirmed by Axios.
The Progressive Caucus, which has around 100 members, has long steered clear of issues involving Israel as a way to maintain peace among its members. But after the October 7 attacks, all of that changed.
Frankel, who votes 96 percent of the time with the Progressive Caucus, has been pushing back against her progressive colleagues who sought to condemn Israel for attacking Gaza and their calls for a ceasefire.
Frankel, who is Jewish, was one of the six progressive Democrats who last month voted with Republicans to censure Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib for her antisemitic rhetoric since the October 7 attacks.
Frankel was also one of the three Progressive Caucus members who voted in favor of the $14 billion aid package to Israel that even many moderate Democrats opposed due to its corresponding cuts to funding for the IRS.
Members of the so-called Squad have led the calls in the Progressive Caucus to defund Israel, and have been instrumental in pushing the White House to seek a ceasefire in Israel’s war against Hamas.
The caucus’s anti-Israel stance has led to tensions within the group, both among its Jewish members, like Frankel, Tennesee Rep. Steve Cohen, and New York Rep. Dan Goldman, and non-Jewish members like New York Rep. Ritchie Torres. Torres, who also voted to censure Tlaib, has been a staunch defender of Israel and has accepted the endorsement of AIPAC, the Jewish group often demonized by Tlaib and fellow Squad members Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.