U.S. presidential candidates are showing their unwavering support for Israel after the recent surprise attack by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas. Among them, President Joe Biden, a Democrat seeking re-election, emphasized that his administration’s backing for Israel is steadfast and unyielding. He firmly asserted that Israel has the right to defend itself against any threats. Secretary of State Antony Blinken pointed out that Iran, despite the U.S.-Iran prisoner swap in September, has not been able to access the unfrozen funds due to various constraints.
Former President Donald Trump, a leading Republican contender, highlighted his own record of supporting Israel and held President Biden responsible for the assault. This unfortunate incident has been recognized as the most significant breach in Israel’s defenses since the Arab wars of 1973. Likewise, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, currently trailing behind Trump in national polls for the Republican nomination, criticized President Biden for his handling of the attack. DeSantis also questioned the delay in transferring funds to Iran, suggesting that other available resources could potentially be utilized.
Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and a prominent Republican figure, conveyed her support to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by urging him to take decisive action against Hamas. Haley’s strong words emphasized that Hamas must face severe consequences for their recent actions. In addition to condemning Hamas, she also criticized the Iran nuclear deal. Turning to Vivek Ramaswamy, a Republican contender and biotech entrepreneur, he expressed strong criticism of the “barbaric and medieval” tactics employed by Hamas. It is worth noting that Ramaswamy’s previous position on gradually phasing out aid to Israel after 2028 has drawn criticism from some pro-Israel supporters.
Mike Pence, former Vice President and a longshot Republican presidential candidate, used the recent attack to call out his Republican rivals, including Donald Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Ron DeSantis. He argued that their approaches towards Ukraine indicated weakness on the part of the United States in the international arena. Pence’s intent was to highlight the importance of maintaining America’s leadership role globally. Meanwhile, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott joined other Republican contenders in voicing concern over President Biden’s perceived weakness, implying that it would encourage antagonistic behavior from nefarious actors. Finally, Robert F. Kennedy Jr, known for his environmental activism and anti-vaccine stance, strongly condemned the recent attacks, emphasizing the necessity of providing Israel with the means to defend itself.
The responses from the presidential contenders shed light on their unwavering support for Israel and their criticism of President Biden’s handling of the recent attack. While Democrats like President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed resolute backing for Israel’s right to defend itself, Republicans like former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis placed blame on President Biden for the assault. Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, Mike Pence, Tim Scott, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr also joined the discourse, offering their support to Israel and condemning the attacks. These statements from the presidential hopefuls demonstrate their firm commitment to preserving the United States’ influential role on the global stage while aiming to ensure Israel’s security and well-being in the face of external threats.