Speaker Johnson Leads Bipartisan Candlelight Vigil for Israeli Victims and Hostages

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), and dozens of lawmakers assembled on the steps of the Capitol Tuesday for a bipartisan candlelight vigil marking the one month anniversary of Hamas terrorists attacking Israel.

“It was one month ago, on this date in the early hours of October 7 that Hamas terrorists waged the bloodiest assault on Israel and Jewish lives since the Holocaust,” said Johnson.


Johnson described meeting with the members of United Hatzalah, an organization that provides rapid emergency response in Israel, who described horrific crimes in Israel including the decapitation of innocent civilians.

“These are not regular enemies,” he said. “Hamas terrorists are barbaric savages, and their only goal is the total extermination of Israel and all Jewish people. And this assault continues, even as we stand here today.”

The new Speaker emphasized his opposition to a ceasefire and Israel’s right to defend itself.

“We must do all we can do to support Israel in their dire moment of need,” he said. “And while we pray for peace and humanity to prevail, that does not mean Israel must just accept these attacks. We reject calls for a ceasefire and boldly proclaim to the world that acts of terror will be met with Swift, decisive action.”

Jeffries joined in the bipartisan condemnation of Hamas and pledge to support Israel, saying the coalition gathered to “unequivocally condemn the acts of terror, honor the memory of those brutally murdered, and pray for the safe return of those held hostage.”

He continued, “America stands with Israel in its hour of great need.”

Rep. French Hill (R-AR), who along with Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI) introduced a resolution calling for Israel hostages held by Hamas to be immediately released, said, “Tonight we stand shoulder to shoulder, Democrats and Republicans, Americans all.”

He and Stevens called for their resolution, which cleared the House Foreign Affairs Committee earlier Tuesday unanimously, to be brought to the House floor as soon as possible.

Stevens used the vigil to talk about the hostages, saying, “There are hostages of 25 different nationalities. These hostages include women, children, elderly people, and babies.”

She continued, “These hostages must be returned safely to their homes now. There is no time to waste.”

After a moment of silence, Johnson led the bipartisan group of lawmakers in a prayer, asking for strength and encouragement for the hostages and their families and wisdom for American and Israeli lawmakers and officials.

He ended, “Lord, help us to be united as one as we do what is right and just.”

Follow Bradley Jaye on Twitter at @BradleyAJaye.


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