Anti-Israel groups funded by the progressive megadonor George Soros accused the Israeli government of "genocide" during protests inside the Capitol building on Wednesday.
Hundreds of protesters with Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow infiltrated the Capitol to call on the Israeli government to issue a ceasefire in response to Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel last week. "We refuse to standby as the Israeli government commits genocide against Palestinians in Gaza," said Jewish Voice for Peace, which calls itself the "largest progressive Jewish anti-Zionist organization in the world."
Soros funds both organizations through his philanthropy, the Open Society Foundations. Open Society has given $650,000 to Jewish Voice for Peace since 2017 to fund its "human rights" work in the Middle East. Open Society awarded a two-year grant to the group in 2021. Open Society gave $400,000 to IfNotNow in 2019 and 2021, according to its grant database.
The protest comes as anti-Israel, pro-Hamas groups call on lawmakers to pressure Israel to end retaliatory strikes against Hamas strongholds in Gaza. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim advocacy group linked to Hamas, issued letters to members of Congress this week urging them to support a ceasefire.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.), who spoke outside the Capitol on Wednesday, issued a thinly-veiled threat to President Joe Biden if he ignored calls to push for a ceasefire. "We will not forget," said Tlaib. The Squad member also pushed the debunked claim that an Israeli rocket destroyed a hospital in Gaza. President Biden said Wednesday the rocket was likely misfired by Islamic Jihad forces in the area.
According to Jewish Voice for Peace, Capitol Police arrested protesters, some of whom unfurled banners from a balcony inside the building. Protesters ripped down an "I Stand with Israel" sign outside the office of Rep. Randy Weber (R., Texas), though it is unclear whether they were affiliated with Jewish Voice for Peace or IfNotNow.
Jewish Voice for Peace blamed Israel for the Hamas attack, in which 1,200 Jews were slaughtered and dozens more taken hostage. The group said in a statement that "inevitably, oppressed people everywhere will seek—and gain—their freedom."
"We all deserve liberation, safety, and equality. The only way to get there is by uprooting the sources of the violence, beginning with our own government’s complicity."
Open Society Foundations did not respond to a request for comment.