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Democrats in Iowa have grown divided over the terrorist attack launched against Israel by Hamas in October. The University of Iowa Democrats posted a message on Wednesday that started by declaring they “shamelessly and fully support Palestine.” Here is the full statement offered by the Democrats at the University of Iowa:

That statement prompted a response from the Iowa Democrat Party, which called for the resignations of the student representatives who signed the letter.

The Iowa Democrat Party highlighted “problematic anti-semitic slogans” used in the statement by the University of Iowa Democrats — including “from the river to the sea Palestine will be free.”

“Let’s be very clear,” the Iowa Democrat Party statement said. “That is a call for Jewish genocide and we wholly condemn that offensive language.”

Not all Iowa Democrats were as upset, however. Ryan Melton, who is a congressional candidate in the Fourth District, said he doesn’t read the students’ statement to be anti-semitic and is in “no way” calling for an end to the Israeli state.

“The student statement calling out the Israeli government for the bombings and killings of thousands of innocent Palestinian children when the government does have other options, such as special ops minimizing civilian harm, or a ceasefire while reassessing how best to wipe out Hamas without the mass killing of innocents, when the government continues to lean on the bombing justification that they’ve asked Gazans to leave when they know full well that it’s not easy for Gazans to just leave the strip, is also not anti-Semitic, as there are many of the Jewish faith who are also condemning such bombings, and the Jewish faith holistically is certainly not bombing Palestinians, just as Hamas’ unjustifiable terror attacks are not representative of Palestinians et al.”

Melton said he wasn’t asked for his opinion prior to the Iowa Democrat Party’s statement being released and the statement does not represent his work in the party.

“We should also fight Islamophobia,” Melton added. “And I don’t read the IDP statement last night as sufficiently meeting that obligation.”

Christina Bohanna, a Democrat seeking the congressional seat in the First District, said she was glad to see the student group listened to feedback they received, removed the statement and apologized for any hurt or offense caused.

“I hope we can all agree that calls for Israel to be eliminated are wholly unacceptable and should never, under any circumstances, have a place in civilized discourse,” Bohannan said.


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