Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said no amount of Palestinian deaths will make him change his mind on Israel air-striking the Gaza Strip.
President Joe Biden reportedly urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in private to keep civilian casualties low during the war. The president further announced the plan to send $100 million in humanitarian aid to Gaza and the West Bank while ensuring that Israel continues to defend itself against Hamas.
Graham said there should be no limit on Israel’s attacks as Hamas must be destroyed during a Tuesday interview on CNN.
“Hamas wants to kill all the Jews. It’s not about the Palestinians,” Graham said. “They’re not trying to help the Palestinian people, they’re trying to destroy Israel. So when we were attacked by Japan, we declared war on Germany, and how did we end the war? We dropped a bomb on several cities in Japan, breaking the role of the Japanese people. If you’d ask the average American what’s the appropriate response after Pearl Harbor, they would say the only response is victory.”
CNN’s Abby Phillips asked whether it is “acceptable” to drop bombs on territory with civilians and refugees. (RELATED: ‘Shamelessly Repeated’: Dem Congressman Slams Rashida Tlaib Over Spreading ‘Hamas Disinformation’)
“Well, in 2023, who would imagine that someone who survived the Holocaust in World War II would be killed by an Islamic terrorist in Israel and later in life,” the senator said. “In 2023, could anybody imagine a group of people would come to Israel and slaughter families, rape children in front of the parents, burn babies alive? They put a baby in the oven, can you imagine that? I can’t imagine that.”
“Here’s what I imagine. The destruction of Hamas is non-negotiable, I hate the loss of innocent lives. The day after Hamas is destroyed, I hope we have a better life for the Palestinian people, but I’m not blaming Israel. I’m blaming Hamas. I’m not blaming Israel. I know they’re trying to limit civilian casualties and I know Hamas is trying to increase civilian casualties,” Graham continued.
Graham said there is no threshold for when he would urge Israel to hold off on attacking Gaza while trying to limit civilian casualties. He compared the concerns to the U.S.’s involvement in World War II, in which he said there was “no limit” to the U.S.’s efforts to defeat Germany and Japan.
“Is there any limit to what Israel should do to the people who are trying to slaughter the Jews? The answer is no, there is no limit,” he continued.
Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel killed at least 1,400 Israelis and 31 Americans. The terrorists burned people alive, raped women and children and beheaded infants during its infiltration, and attempted to blame Israel for a hospital bombing seemingly caused by a misfire by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.