Colorado House controlled by Democrats denies entry to families of Hamas victims on chamber floor

The Colorado House speaker, out of concerns about the reaction from the Democratic-controlled chamber, turned away a delegation of Israeli visitors on Monday. Among the visitors were six family members of Hamas hostages and victims.

According to Republican state Rep. Ron Weinberg, the original plan was for the group to be recognized and honored on both the House and Senate floors. However, House Speaker Julie McCluskie reached out to him early Monday to inform him that the plans to receive the delegation on the House side had been canceled.

Israeli dignitaries and their family members received a warm welcome on the Senate floor during a joint ceremony. The event was attended by nearly half of the House members, including Ms. McCluskie. In addition, the group had the opportunity to meet with Gov. Jared Polis.

In her statement, Democratic representative McCluskie emphasized the importance of respecting the profound personal connections that members of the chamber have to this ongoing tragedy. However, she expressed her concern regarding the need for maintaining decorum throughout the discussions.

She expressed her concerns about the potential negative effects on bipartisan collaboration and the ability to work together for the benefit of the people of Colorado.

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During his address to the Senate, Mr. Weinberg passionately encouraged lawmakers to engage with the visitors and listen to their personal stories. He expressed his disappointment with the House Democratic leadership later on.

In a Facebook post, he expressed his outrage at the Democrats for not trusting their own members to refrain from embarrassing the family members of victims who have fallen into the hands of Hamas terrorists. He emphasized that this issue transcends political affiliations, as it is ultimately about taking a stand against evil, upholding moral values, and preserving human decency.

It is widely acknowledged that at least two House Democrats hold pro-Palestinian views.

In a recent incident, Democratic state Rep. Elisabeth Epps faced a formal reprimand after participating in a pro-Palestinian protest in the House gallery and engaging in disruptive behavior towards fellow House members during the November special session.

Democratic state Rep. Tim Hernandez faced criticism for his refusal to condemn Hamas during a questioning session at a Colorado Palestinian Coalition rally at the state capital on Oct. 7. This incident occurred just hours after a deadly Hamas attack on Israeli civilians.

In a later statement, he expressed remorse and issued an apology, firmly denouncing Hamas and vehemently condemning any form of violence directed at innocent civilians.

Eric Sondermann, a well-known political analyst in Colorado, expressed his disappointment with the events that took place at the Colorado Capitol, describing it as a “sad, ignoble day.”

“It is truly shameful to deny Israeli hostage families the recognition they deserve on the House floor,” he expressed his disappointment on X. He also acknowledged and applauded @jaredpolis and the State Senate for their dedicated efforts spent with these families. Furthermore, he addressed Speaker [Julie] McCluskie and expressed his disappointment by saying, “For shame.”

After a meeting with the families and Israel Consul General Israel Bachar, Democrat Polis emphasized the urgent need for Hamas to release the hostages and allow them to return home.

In a heartfelt statement, the speaker expressed his gratitude for the families who bravely shared their stories and the stories of their loved ones with the people of Colorado. The unimaginable pain they have endured is a testament to their strength and resilience.

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