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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


No Wisconsin member of the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives has declared support for Hamas since the terrorist group attacked Israel Oct. 7, 2023.

Republican U.S. Rep. Derrick Van Orden, who represents western Wisconsin, claimed Oct. 30 without evidence that at least one Wisconsin member of Congress openly “and actively” supports Hamas. In a Newsmax interview he named Madison area Rep. Mark Pocan.

His office did not reply to Wisconsin Watch’s request for information to back his claim.

Among Wisconsin’s two senators and eight House members, three are Democrats:

Sen. Tammy Baldwin called the attacks appalling and said she stands with the Israeli people.

Rep. Gwen Moore of Milwaukee condemned the attacks.

Pocan condemned the attacks. He has also emphasized that not everyone in the Gaza Strip, the focus of Israel’s counterattacks, is part of Hamas and called for aid to Gaza civilians.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.

Sources Derrick Van Orden tweet

New York Times: Here’s a timeline of Saturday’s attacks and Israel’s retaliation.

U.S. Department of State: Foreign Terrorist Organizations

Sen. Tammy Baldwin: The Hamas terrorist attacks on the Israeli people are appalling.

Rep. Gwen Moore: I strongly condemn the violent acts of terrorism committed against the people of Israel by Hamas.

Rep. Mark Pocan: I condemn the heinous attacks by Hamas on Israel.

Wisconsin Watch: Are most of the 2 million people in Gaza not members of Hamas?

Wisconsin Watch: Did U.S. have Israel ambassador at start of Israel-Hamas War?

YouTube: Derrick Van Orden interview

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Tom Kertscher joined as a Wisconsin Watch fact checker in January 2023 and contributes to our collaboration with the The Gigafact Project to fight misinformation online. Kertscher is a former longtime newspaper reporter, including at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who has worked as a self-employed journalist since 2019. His gigs include contributing writer for Milwaukee Magazine and sports freelancer for The Associated Press.