Trump defends Israel's right to use 'overwhelming force' in response to Hamas attacks

October 8, 2023

In the wake of the brutal wave of Hamas attacks on Israeli military and civilian targets this weekend, former President Donald Trump has weighed in with a strong message of support for the Jewish state and an endorsement of its absolute right to defend itself, as the Times of Israel reports.

In the immediate aftermath of the onslaught that has left hundreds dead and thousands wounded, Trump issued a statement that left no doubt where he stands on the matter.

Trump labeled the militants' attacks as a “disgrace” and opined that Israel “has every right to defend itself with overwhelming force.”

Turning to what he feels are some of the underlying causes of what occurred, Trump added, “Sadly, American taxpayer dollars helped fund these attacks, which many reports are saying came from the Biden administration.”

Presumably, Trump was referencing the fact that, as Newsweek points out, the Biden administration reinstated aid to the Palestinians back in 2021 to the tune of $235 million.

At the time, critics of the move – Trump among them – suggested that the end result could be a strengthening of Hamas' offensive capabilities.

In addition, Republicans over the weekend have pointed to the administration's recent decision to unfreeze $6 billion in Iranian assets in exchange for the release of five American citizens as something likely to facilitate Tehran's financial sponsorship of this precise sort of terrorism.

Looking back to the work his own administration did with regard to achieving peace in the beleaguered region, Trump said, “We brought so much peace to the Middle East through the Abraham Accords, only to see [President Joe] Biden whittle it away at a far more rapid pace than anyone thought possible.”

“Here we go again,” the former president lamented.

Trump's rivals for the Republican presidential nomination largely echoed his sentiments on Saturday, showing their support for Israel in the strongest possible terms, as The Hill reported.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took to X to declare, “The dastardly terrorist attacks perpetrated against innocent Israeli civilians by Iran-backed terror group Hamas deserve a swift and lethal response.”

“Israel not only has the right to defend itself against these attacks, it has a duty to respond with overwhelming force. I stand with Israel. America must stand with Israel,” DeSantis said.

Tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy opined on X, “Shooting civilians and kidnapping children are war crimes. Israel's right to exist & defend itself should never be doubted and Iran-backed Hamas & Hezbollah cannot be allowed to prevail. I stand with Israel and the U.S. should too.”

Former Vice President Mike Pence remarked, “Every American should condemn the unprovoked and massive attack on Israel by terrorists in Hamas,” while also seizing the opportunity to slam “voices of appeasement like Donald Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy and Ron DeSantis,” which he believes are “signaling retreat on the world stage” and paving the way for scenes such as those seen in Israel on Saturday.

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