Congressman Ritchie Torres (D-NY) spoke to Arutz Sheva - Israel National News from the Western Wall today (Tuesday), during his visit to Israel as part of a delegation organized by the UJA-Federation of New York.

"It is the first time I've been in Israel since October 7th, and I have found a country that is transformed," he said, "I'm here with a simple but essential message: that Israel is not alone. I stand with Israel, most of America stands with Israel, and most of the United States Congress stands with Israel. And the US-Israel relationship is alive and well."

The Congressman described how witnessing the scenes of the massacre firsthand was different from seeing images and videos from an ocean away. "I went to the kibbutz, Nir Oz, and what I saw was so sobering. I mean, one-fourth of the population had either been murdered or kidnapped. One-third of the homes were burned down. I met members of the hostage families who are connected to half of the hostages that were held captive by Hamas."

Torres recounted one story in particular that moved him. "I heard the story of the oldest hostage, who lived through not one, but two massacres of Jews, not only October 7th, but the Farhud in Iraq. And so the stories were so sobering."

He said that he "can sense in Israel that the country remains in a state of deep trauma and shock and grief. And yet, despite the overwhelming shock of October 7th, I'm amazed by the remarkable resilience of the Israeli people."

"I spoke to one of the survivors of the Nova music festival, and he had a tag that read: "We will dance again." And those words, 'we will dance again,' beautifully captures the resilience encoded in the Israeli DNA," he said.

Rep. Torres admitted that there are currently tensions between the Israeli government and the American government as well as a disturbing anti-Israel element in the left-flank of his Democratic party.

"The United States approved the transfer of weapons to Israel," he noted. "What we're witnessing is not a change in American policy, but a clash of personalities between the Biden Administration and the Netanyahu Administration. I would tell people to ignore the background noise and recognize that the US-Israel relationship remains fundamentally intact, and US policy toward Israel remains fundamentally unchanged."

"I have concerns that the far-left could be to the Democratic Party in American politics what Jeremy Corbyn became to the Labour Party in British politics," he admitted. "The burden falls on pro-Israel Democrats like myself to actively resist the Jeremy Corbynization of progressive politics. And I'm hopeful that we will win."

Addressing the wave of antisemitic incidents in the US in the wake of October 7th, Torres said, "There's nothing new about antisemitism, which is an ancient hatred. What is new, what is unprecedented, is the algorithmic amplification of antisemitism on platforms like TikTok."

"In the House, we passed legislation that would force the sale of Tiktok, which to me would be a real breakthrough against antisemitism. We need the legislation to pass at the United States Senate.

"Am Yisrael Chai," Congressman Torres concluded.