Senator Lindsey Graham slams Palestinians as ‘extremists’ in social media post | Gaza News

US Senator Lindsey Graham has sparked outrage after responding to protests outside his home in Seneca, South Carolina with anti-Palestinian rhetoric on social media.

“Palestinians in Gaza are the most radicalized people on earth, taught from birth to hate Jews. This problem is going to take years to solve,” Graham said. post On the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

“‘From the river to the sea’ makes me think of the ‘Final Solution.’ Hamas terrorists are the SS on steroids,” he added, comparing them to the Nazi paramilitary organization, the SS.

As part of the post, Graham shared a video of a small line of protesters, about 20 people in total, holding a large Palestinian flag in the road in front of his home and chanting, “Lindsey Graham, our fight is not over yet. The intifada has just begun.”

Thursday’s comments came as the United States marked the Fourth of July holiday, when the country celebrates the Declaration of Independence, and Graham, in his post, condemned the protests as disruptive.

“While I respect the right to peacefully protest, I apologize to our neighbors and their families for the disruption caused by this pro-Palestinian group on the Fourth of July,” he wrote.

“Events like these make me more determined than ever to support Israel and to work towards moving beyond Palestinian radicalism and towards a better, more stable world.”

The remarks were the latest in a series of anti-Palestinian comments by the Republican senator, who has previously suggested Israel would be justified in using nuclear weapons in the Gaza Strip, where it has waged deadly military operations since October.

“Look, when it comes to fighting an enemy that is trying to kill you and your family, I say this: Why did we drop two bombs, nuclear bombs, on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? To end a war that we cannot afford to lose,” he told NBC’s Meet the Press in May. “Apparently you don’t understand what Israel is facing.”

The televised comments sparked a protest outside Graham’s home on Thursday.

A group called the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) organised the demonstration to counter Graham’s “hardline stance” against Israel, and in a statement published in local media, the group warned that Graham’s “bellicose rhetoric is making the humanitarian crisis in Gaza worse.”

“I’m Palestinian and I have friends and family in Palestine,” PSL member Rose Hasneh told the local ABC News affiliate, “I’m joining this campaign to support their liberation struggle and because all U.S. support for the Israeli apartheid regime must end.”

Attacks by the Palestinian group Hamas have killed 1,139 people, bringing the death toll of more than 38,000 Palestinians in Gaza since Israel began the war on October 7.

The military offensive and siege have raised fears of a massacre in the Palestinian territories, with the United Nations and rights groups warning of a high risk of famine.

Similarly, a majority of Americans disapprove of Israel’s actions in Gaza: Gallup polling showed in March that 55 percent oppose a military attack, while approval had fallen to 36 percent.

But the United States continues to send weapons and aid to Israel, despite protests, especially from Arab, Islamic and progressive groups in the country. The United States gives Israel $3.8 billion in military aid each year and has poured billions more into additional funds and supplies during the war.

Graham is part of a bipartisan majority in Congress that supports strong U.S. support for Israel.

Both Democrats and Republicans have resisted calls to attach conditions to aid in order to promote humanitarian safeguards.

Democratic President Joe Biden’s administration has also maintained its “steadfast” support for Israel during the war, despite criticism of the war’s humanitarian toll.

For example, Biden announced in early May that he would halt one shipment of large bombs to Israel over concerns that they would be used in Israeli attacks on the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

But the United States continues to ship other arms to Israel, and U.S. and Israeli media reported last month that it is expected to soon release shipments that had been suspended amid criticism of Biden’s decision.

Graham is not the only US member of Congress to face criticism for his anti-Palestinian rhetoric.

In February, Republican Rep. Andy Ogles was filmed walking down a Capitol hallway and telling anti-war protesters, “I think we should kill them all.”

“Hamas and the Palestinians have been attacking Israel for 20 years and now it’s time for them to pay the price,” he added.

Biden himself drew ire in October when he questioned the rapidly increasing number of Palestinian deaths.

“I don’t think the Palestinians are telling the truth about how many people have been killed,” Biden said at a news conference.

Advocates say such rhetoric fuels anti-Palestinian, Islamophobic and anti-Arab hatred. In April, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said it had received 8,061 reports of anti-Muslim hate in 2023, half of which came after the start of the war in Gaza.

There have also been high-profile attacks against Palestinian-Americans since the war began.

In October, a 6-year-old Palestinian-American boy named Wadier Al-Fayoum was stabbed to death by a neighbor who yelled, “You Muslims should die!” Al-Fayoum’s mother was also injured in the attack.

Also in June, a Euless, Texas, woman was charged with attempted murder after she tried to drown a 3-year-old Palestinian-American girl in her apartment pool.

Still, critics accuse Washington of downplaying the hatred Palestinian, Arab and Muslim groups have faced since the war began.

They also accuse politicians of misrepresenting the aims of pro-Palestinian protests as anti-Semitic – many of which instead call for a ceasefire in Gaza and divestment from companies linked to Israeli human rights abuses.

For example, last week the House of Representatives passed a bill that would prohibit the State Department from accessing the Gaza Ministry of Health’s statistics on Palestinian deaths.

However, the statistics are widely regarded as reliable by international organizations and independent observers.

“Mr. Speaker, six children are killed every hour in Gaza. But Palestinians are not just numbers. Behind these numbers are flesh and blood people – mothers, fathers, sons and daughters whose lives have been taken, whose families have been torn apart. We should not try to sweep that under the rug,” Palestinian-American Representative Rashida Tlaib said on the House floor.

“Anti-Palestinian racism is so rampant in this chamber that my colleagues refuse to even acknowledge that Palestinians exist – when they are alive, and now when they are dead.”

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