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GOP lawmaker wears Israeli military uniform to Capitol Hill

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Rep. (R-Fla.) arrived Friday on Capitol Hill wearing his military uniform from his service in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in a display of unity with the country following the Palestinian militant group Hamas’s surprise attack last weekend.

“As the only member to serve with both the United States Army and the Israel Defense Forces, I will always stand with Israel,” Mast wrote in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, alongside several photos of him wearing the uniform Friday.

Mast similarly invoked his IDF service in a post on X immediately following the attack on Hamas, writing at the time, “As the only Member of Congress who has worn the uniform of both the U.S. Army and the Israeli Defense Forces, I know that those on the ground are willing to give their last breath for their country and for their friends, family, and neighbors. My prayers are with them.”

Friday marked the seventh day in the war between Hamas and Israel. Hamas launched a massive surprise attack against Israel on Saturday, killing more than 1,300 people and taking an estimated 150 people hostage. Israel has since responded with a barrage of airstrikes in Gaza, which have killed what Palestinian authorities estimate to be more than 1,500 people.

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In Mast’s post Friday, he compared his IDF uniform to the Palestinian flag Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) is displaying outside her office.

“Tlaib’s got her flag. I got my uniform,” Mast wrote. “’Global Day of Rage’ my ass.”

Tlaib, who is of Palestinian heritage, has come under fire for her call to end U.S. aid to Israel in a statement immediately following the Hamas attack Saturday, in which she denounced the violence but said Israel had instigated the circumstances of the conflict. Others have criticized her for flying the Palestinian flag, prompting even some pro-Israel colleagues to come to her defense.

“She’s Palestinian. It doesn’t mean she’s a terrorist. It doesn’t mean that she condones this,” Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said this past week. “I fly a Danish flag at my house.”

Mast’s comments also come as the House remains paralyzed without a Speaker. House Republicans are working Friday to find a path forward after House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) dropped out of the race Thursday night. He was unable to get enough support from his conference for a floor vote, despite securing the party’s nomination in a 113-99 vote Tuesday.

Some lawmakers have been critical of the House GOP struggle to elect a Speaker, arguing for the need to pass a resolution of bipartisan support for Israel, as well as additional aid for both Israel and Ukraine.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.

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