Nikki Haley says half of Gaza residents want freedom from Hamas ‘terrorist government’

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley said Sunday that about half of Gaza residents during her tenure as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations despised Hamas and wanted freedom from its “terrorist government.”

Haley, 51, recalled her time as a UN ambassador from 2017 to 2018 when she was asked on CNN about former President Donald Trump’s controversial comments about the war in Israel, and about her other main Republican rival in 2024, the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, who defended himself strongly. against the United States accepting refugees from the Gaza Strip.

“Half of them at the time I was there did not want to be under Hamas rule. They didn’t want to have terrorists supervising them,” Haley told “State of the Union” host Jake Tapper on Sunday. “The other half supported Hamas and wanted to be part of that.”

“There are many, many of these people who want to free themselves from this terrorist regime,” he continued. “They want to be free of all that. And the United States has always been understanding of the fact that civilians can be separated from terrorists.”

DeSantis, 45, said Saturday of Gaza refugees: “Not all of them are Hamas, but they are all anti-Semitic.” He argued that it should be up to neighboring Arab nations to absorb Palestinians fleeing the conflict.

Nikki Haley contrasted former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over their comments about Israel. Getty Images Ron DeSantis strongly opposed accepting Palestinian refugees into the United States. Getty Images

Haley did not respond directly to his comments, stopping short of explicitly criticizing DeSantis’ comments, but emphasizing that about half of Gazans did not want to be subjected to Hamas rule.

See also  Optical illusion: try to locate the monkey hidden in the zoo

DeSantis defended his comments later Sunday.

“They teach children to hate Jews. The textbooks do not mention Israel, not even on the map. They prepare very young children to commit terrorist attacks. So I think it’s a toxic culture.” he told CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

“And I think if we imported a large number of them into the United States, I think it would increase anti-Semitism in this country and I think it would increase anti-Americanism in this country.”

Meanwhile, Haley reiterated her criticism of Trump, 77, calling the Iran-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which the United States designates a terrorist organization, “very smart” during a campaign speech in Florida last Wednesday.

Trump reflected at the time that the “press doesn’t like it when” he points out intelligence from American enemies like Chinese leader Xi Jinping, while criticizing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for being unprepared for Hamas’ surprise attack.

Donald Trump suggested that Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel would not have happened on his watch.Getty Images

“[Netanyahu] He has been very hurt by what happened here. He was not prepared. He was not prepared and Israel was not prepared,” Trump said of Netanyahu, whom he previously angered for congratulating President Biden on his 2020 election victory.

Haley suggested Trump’s comments were emblematic of why he is running for president.

“That’s why I keep saying it’s time for a new generational leader,” Haley said.

“[Trump] “I congratulated the Chinese Communist Party not long ago… Don’t go congratulating any of them,” he said. “That makes America look weak. “That doesn’t make America look strong.”

See also  How did Sihem Belouahmia Autopsies die? Parents mourning the death of their daughter

“We have to look forward. Difficult days lie ahead for everyone involved. “This is not the time to sit back and criticize a leader,” he added.

The Trump campaign has since defended his comments, arguing that he “was clearly pointing out how incompetent Biden and his administration were in telegraphing to terrorists an area that is susceptible to attack” and that “smart does not equal good.”

Mike Pence lashed out at his former boss for calling Hezbollah “very smart.”

A cacophony of 2024 Republican hopefuls have lashed out at Trump for his comments about Hezbollah.

“Hezbollah is not very smart. “Hezbollah is evil,” former Vice President Mike Pence told Fox News, calling Trump’s comments “reckless.”

“Let’s make it clear that he is a fool. He’s a fool. Only a fool wouldn’t make those kinds of comments,” former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told CNN last week. “As the Republican Party, we cannot nominate a fool like this to be our candidate again and bring him closer to the presidency.”

Chris Christie called Donald Trump a fool for his comments about the war in Israel.Getty Images

“It is absurd that anyone, much less anyone running for president, would now choose to attack our friend and ally, Israel, much less praise Hezbollah terrorists as ‘very smart,’” DeSantis posted on X in response.

Terrorists have killed at least 1,200 Israelis and 22 Americans and are holding more hostages, so it is absurd that anyone, much less anyone running for president, would now decide to attack our friend and ally, Israel, much less praise Hezbollah terrorists as “very elegant.”

See also  Who is Nikki McCray's husband, Thomas Penson?


—Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) October 12, 2023

The DeSantis campaign issued perhaps the strongest rebuke of Trump to date.

“No matter what rhetorical gymnastics his campaign team tries to pull off to try to cover him up once again, no one can change the fact that Donald Trump showed his true colors last night,” said communications director Andrew Romeo.

“It’s disturbing and disqualifying.”

The Biden administration also attacked Trump.

“We do not understand why an American would ever praise an Iranian-backed terrorist organization as ‘smart,'” White House spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement.

“This is a time for all of us to stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel against ‘pure evil.’ “That’s what the president is doing as commander in chief.”

In a statement Sunday, Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said Haley “should stop accepting Democratic talking points.”

Trump “brought peace to the Middle East with the Abraham Accords, moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and started no new wars under his leadership,” Cheung told The Post.

Trump is the undisputed leader in the 2024 presidential field with 58.3% support, followed by DeSantis at 12.9% and Haley at 7.6%, according to the latest aggregate from RealClearPolitics.

Categories: Trending

Leave a Comment