Ron DeSantis, a Republican presidential candidate, dismissed international calls for Israel to provide clean running water and utilities to the 2.3 million civilians in the territory, claiming that Palestinian refugees who leave the Gaza Strip “are all antisemitic” and should not be taken in by the United States.
The public stance held by American politicians, including some of his fellow Republicans, who distinguish between the goals of the Palestinian people and those of Hamas, was dramatically diverted by DeSantis’ remarks. Since 2007, the extremist group has controlled Gaza, and this weekend it attacked Israel.
DeSantis has backed such strategies while also supporting hard-line policies as a candidate for the White House. He asserted that Hamas would be convinced to release the detainees it had captured during its infiltration if water or other amenities were not provided.
“You have Americans and Israelis being held hostage, but I don’t believe they have to be providing water and these other amenities while the hostages are being kept. Before talks can begin, Hamas should release those hostages, DeSantis said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
The Florida governor is embracing hard-right rhetoric as he seeks to gain ground on former President Donald Trump, the party’s front-runner for the presidency in 2024, as evidenced by DeSantis’ remarks.
At a campaign event in Iowa on Saturday, DeSantis made the initial suggestion that the United States shouldn’t admit Gazan migrants because they “are all antisemitic.”
DeSantis defended his comments during the TV interview, saying that since many Palestinians oppose Hamas’ governance of Gaza, none should be welcomed as refugees in the United States.
“None of those should be taken on by the United States. Let’s simply be clear that they chose Hamas because of the culture. Most likely, not everyone does not belong to Hamas. But the people of Gaza did choose Hamas, he claimed.
He spoke about what he called “a toxic culture” in Gaza. “I think if we were to import large numbers of those into the United States, I think it would increase antisemitism in this country, and I think it would increase anti-Americanism in this country,” added DeSantis.
Since the Israel-Hamas war began, DeSantis has been anxious to demonstrate that he has been paying attention to the situation.
He issued an executive order last week authorizing the Florida Division of Emergency Management to charter flights for Floridians stranded in Israel throughout the conflict and to provide supplies there.