Members of the U.S. Senate viewed a private showing of footage from the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israeli civilians. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) hosted the screening on Tuesday Rosen’s staff told the news outlet JNS.
Watch part of the video HERE
About 40 Democrats and Republicans attended the senators-only screening, which ran 47 minutes and was compiled by the Israeli government, the staffer said.
Rosen and Rubio delivered brief remarks before the screening. Rosen, who is Jewish, discussed the importance of bearing witness to Hamas’s barbarity and of providing more security aid to Israel to defeat the terror organization and secure the release of the other hostages.
Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Herzog spoke before the video was shown and attended the screening, per the Rosen staffer.
“On Oct. 7, Hamas launched the worst terrorist attack in Israel’s history—the single deadliest day for the Jews since the Holocaust. Given the effort by some individuals and organizations around the world to distort and deny what happened that day, it was important that, as policymakers, we bear witness to the full extent of the atrocities committed by Hamas,” Rosen said.
Sens. Bill Cassidy, Jacky Rosen, Thom Tillis, Chuck Schumer, Mitt Romney and Mark Kelly meet with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in Israel in October 2023. Credit: Office of Sen. Jacky Rosen.
“What we saw was not for the not for the faint-hearted. Hamas is pure evil and must be destroyed. Hamas has made it clear that they will stop at nothing to eliminate Israel and its people. As Israel’s longtime ally and friend, we must do everything we can to support its efforts to defend itself and destroy Hamas.”
“It was jarring and harrowing,” Schumer said. “It shook all of us up in the room. I had to go sit in my office for a half-hour alone after seeing it.”
“As Congress considers a security assistance package, I hope my colleagues keep in mind why Israel needs our unwavering support to defeat Hamas and secure the release of the remaining hostages,” she added.
Rubio said it’s very important to avoid sanitizing “this issue over time because we tend to see these horrifying incidents lose their impact.”
“The one thing that struck me was how proud and gleeful these people were with what they were doing to civilians, children, people sitting at home having breakfast and kids at a rave party,” the Florida senator said. “I thought that my colleagues would want to see it. That’s why I held the viewing, for them to get clear insight into what happened.”