US Presidential Candidates Express Support for Israel Amid Hamas Attack
President Joe Biden: Reaffirming Support for Israel
President Joe Biden, a Democrat seeking re-election in the November 2024 general election, has reiterated his administration’s unwavering support for Israel. He emphasized that the country has the right to defend itself against the surprise attack launched by Palestinian Islamist group, Hamas.
Biden’s administration dismissed Republican criticism regarding a deal with Iran, which involved the release of five detained U.S. citizens in exchange for $6 billion in Iranian funds for humanitarian purposes. White House National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson clarified that the funds were unrelated to the recent attacks and cautioned against spreading misinformation.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken further emphasized that Iran has not yet utilized any of the unfrozen funds from the U.S.-Iran prisoner swap in September.
Former President Donald Trump: Accusations and Support
Former U.S. President Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner, has emphasized his own record of supporting Israel and blamed President Biden for the attack, which is considered the most significant breach in Israel’s defenses since 1973.
Trump stated at a campaign event that “Joe Biden betrayed Israel” and incorrectly claimed that American taxpayer dollars funded the attacks. However, the $6 billion in question were Iranian funds frozen in South Korean banks, designated for humanitarian purposes, and yet to be utilized by Iran.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis: Strong Stance Against Hamas
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican presidential nominee contender, has also criticized President Biden’s handling of the attack. DeSantis called for decisive action, stating that Israel, with full U.S. support, should neutralize Hamas and dismantle its infrastructure.
DeSantis additionally urged a freeze on funds allocated by Biden to Iran, despite the fact that the funds had not been transferred yet. He argued that redirecting the $6 billion could prevent further support for terrorism.
Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley: Encouraging Israeli Action
Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, a Republican foreign policy advocate, urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take strong action against Hamas. She expressed solidarity with Israel and condemned the recent attacks, emphasizing that those responsible should face severe consequences. Haley also criticized the Iran deal.
Biotech Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy: Condemning Hamas Attacks
Vivek Ramaswamy, a Republican candidate and biotech entrepreneur, has faced criticism in the past for suggesting a phase-out of aid to Israel after 2028. However, he condemned the recent “barbaric and medieval Hamas attacks” and expressed solidarity with Israel.
Former Vice President Mike Pence: Criticism of Rivals’ Ukraine Positions
Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, a Republican presidential candidate, criticized some of his Republican rivals, including Donald Trump and Vivek Ramaswamy, for their positions on Ukraine. Pence argued that their stance signaled weakness on the international stage and emphasized the importance of supporting Ukraine against Russia.
Senator Tim Scott: Criticizing Biden’s Handling of the Situation
South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, a Republican presidential contender, joined other Republican candidates in criticizing President Biden’s response to the attack. He claimed that America’s perceived weakness could be exploited by malicious actors.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr: Strong Support for Israel’s Defense
Robert F. Kennedy Jr, an environmental lawyer and independent candidate for the White House, condemned the “barbaric attacks” and called for immediate support for Israel’s defense.
He urged the provision of necessary resources to protect Israel, emphasizing the urgency of the situation.