Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey (D) was booed during a solidarity rally for Israel after he called for de-escalation in the Middle East region.
While speaking at the Boston Common on Monday, Markey was met with jeers in the crowd as he called for a “de-escalation of violence.”
“Many of you have family in Israel now and many more have those who have lived through brutal wars to ensure the ongoing survival of the Jewish state—we grieve with you,” he said at the event.
His comments come just days after Hamas militants launched an aggressive and devastating attack on Israel on Saturday, gunning down hundreds of civilians and abducting soldiers and bystanders as hostages.
Israel responded by declaring war and firing back with airstrikes. The escalation of violence has killed at least 1,600 people, according to the Associated Press.
The Massachusetts Democrat appeared to find himself at odds with another member of his delegate during the rally who had an opposing view on the conflict.
Representative Jake Auchincloss, who spoke roughly 15 minutes after the senator, was cheered loudly by the same audience after he declared de-escalation “not possible.”
“De-escalation is not possible when they are taking hostages. Israel did not ask America to de-escalate on September 12, 2001. We stand with Israel,” Auchincloss said.
Watch the clip below:
A spokesperson for the congressman stated that the remarks had been prepared in advance and were not in direct response to Markey’s statements.
Markey and Auchincloss’ differing views are not new. Markey began calling for de-escalation as early as Saturday when the Hamas attacks first seized Israel and began a full-fledged war between both sides, while Auchincloss has called those calls “pre-mature” and urged the U.S. to support Israel amid the latest developments.
“This isn’t a both-sides issue; calls for de-escalation are premature,” Auchincloss said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, on Sunday. “The United States did not de-escalate after Pearl Harbor. Israel requires the military latitude to re-establish deterrence and to root out the nodes of terrorism in Gaza.”
He also told Boston 25 News in a televised appearance, “What [Israel] need[s] from U.S. policymakers is not both-sideism that says, ‘Oh we just need to end the cycle of violence and both sides need to lay down their arms.’
“No,” the congressman continued. “One side launched this attack. One side killed civilians. The other side is trying to restore peace and security and the U.S. needs to be clear that we’re on the side of Israel in this situation.”
On the other hand, a day before Israel officially declared war, Markey said in a Saturday statement, “I condemn this heinous attack on Israel, and am deeply saddened by the tragic loss of civilian life. We must do everything in our power to deescalate violence, engage diplomacy, and avert bloodshed. A war between Israel and Palestine would be catastrophic.”