During the Republican Party primary debate on Wednesday, the five candidates who attended the event, the third so far this campaign season, provided a detailed explanation of where they stand concerning the nation of Israel and the conflict they are currently involved in with terrorists from Hamas, including what kind of support, if any, the United States should provide its ally in the Middle East.
According to a report from the Daily Wire, the moderators of the debate — from NBC News — asked these questions in light of the horrific terrorist attacks that rocked Israel a month ago, which saw Hamas kill 1,400 civilians, injure thousands of others, and kidnap hundreds.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the only candidate in the field who is even remotely close to former President Donald Trump in the polls, was the first to be asked questions on this topic.
“I would be telling [Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu], finish the job once and for all with these butchers, Hamas,” he responded to the moderators. “They’re terrorists, they’re massacring innocent people, they would wipe every Jew off the globe if they could — he cannot live with that threat right by his country — that Hamas should release every hostage and they should unconditionally surrender.”
Honestly, this is a pretty good answer. It’s strong and shows that DeSantis will not put up with the deeds of wicked people, particularly terrorists, who have only death and destruction as their primary mission. Encouraging our allies to take that same approach is the right call.
“I’m sick of hearing the media, I’m sick of hearing other people blame Israel just for defending itself,” he added. “We will stand with Israel in word and in deed, in public and in private. And I can tell you, as governor, I actually did something about it. Biden’s neglect has been atrocious. We had Floridians that were over there after the attack. He left them stranded. They couldn’t get flights out. So I scrambled resources in Florida. I sent planes over to Israel, and I brought back over 700 people to safety. There could have been more hostages had we not acted.”
I sent planes over to Israel and I brought back over 700 people to safety…There’s a difference between words and deeds. We acted and we saved lives. pic.twitter.com/Bw0t9wIdlw
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) November 9, 2023
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Nikki Haley, former governor of South Carolina was up next, as she is the second ranked candidate at the debate behind DeSantis.
“The first thing I said to him when it happened was I said, ‘finish them, finish them,’” she explained. “And the reason is, I worked on this every day when I was at the United Nations. And we have to remember that they have to one, eliminate Hamas, two, support Israel with whatever they need whenever they need it, and three, make sure we bring our hostages home.”
“We need to be very clear-eyed to know there would be no Hamas without Iran, there would be no Hezbollah without Iran, there would not be the Houthis without Iran,” the former United Nations ambassador continued. “And there wouldn’t be the Iranian militias in Syria and Iraq that are trying to hit our military men and women if it hadn’t been for Iran — and who is funding Iran right now? China is buying oil from Iran; Russia is getting drones and missiles from Iran; and there is an unholy alliance. We need to be clear-eyed, the last thing we need to do is to tell Israel what to do; the only thing we should be doing is supporting them in eliminating Hamas. It is not that Israel needs America. America needs Israel. They are the tip of the spear when it comes to this Islamic terrorism. And we need to make sure that we have their backs in that process.”
"The last thing we need to do is to tell Israel what to do. The only thing we should be doing is supporting them in eliminating Hamas" Nikki Haley says. "It is not that Israel needs America. America needs Israel." pic.twitter.com/Jj1S54ZiDI
— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 9, 2023
Next up was pharmaceutical executive Vivek Ramaswamy who revealed that, unlike many of the other candidates, he would not provide Israel with any financial support as a means of avoiding previous “mistakes” of spending tax dollars on foreign wars.
“The founding vision of Israel was based on the idea that they don’t want to depend on anybody else’s sympathy or direction in defending themselves,” Ramaswamy stated. “So what I would tell Bibi is that Israel has the right and the responsibility to defend itself. I would tell him to smoke those terrorists on his southern border. … That’s his responsibility.”
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott stated that Bibi needs to get on the ball and finish the job, wiping Hamas out of existence, stating that the U.S. would support him in those efforts.
Tim Scott: "As president of the United States, my foreign policy is simple: You cannot negotiate with evil, you have to destroy it." pic.twitter.com/m4d1Gogx4w
— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 9, 2023
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he would ensure Israel had whatever support it needed to protect itself and its sovereignty as a nation.