Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told the Associated Press on Monday that President Joe Biden has been too soft on Hamas, which has resulted in further violence during an 11-day war that turned parts of the Gaza Strip into rubble.
“The longer Joe Biden shows weakness to Hamas or Hezbollah or Iran, the more you’re going to see terrorist attacks escalating,” Cruz said, referring to Biden’s policies, including a call to Israel to wind down the war.
Cruz is one of four prominent Republicans in Israel. He made the comments to the AP after a day of touring Israel’s Iron Dome rocket defense system and viewing damage in the Israeli city of Ashkelon.
Before leaving for his trip to Israel, Cruz criticized Democrats for not being more supportive of Israel and not condemning Hamas’s, a U.S. designated terrorist organization, actions.
“Israel is a sovereign nation defending itself—Hamas in the last two weeks has reigned over 4,000 rockets down on Israel,” Cruz told Fox News Host Judge Jeanine Pirro. “Hamas wants Palestinian civilians killed because they know Democrats in Washington, and the media globally, will act as useful idiots and attack Israel and that’s what we’re saying in Congress right now.”
Cruz had strong words for Democrats for allowing progressives in their party to accuse Israel of terrorism.
“What’s different is that now prominent members of Congress are vocal. Representative [Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.)] accused Israel of carrying out acts of terrorism—that is a vicious lie. And to be honest, the squad is acting more like the press secretaries for Hamas terrorists than they are like United States congressmen,” added Cruz, referring to a group of far left Congress members including Omar, Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.).
Cruz accused the Squad of being anti-semitic after the progressive lawmakers condemned Israel for defending itself from attacks and for their efforts to introduce legislation to ban weapon sales to Israel.
During a May 20 press briefing where Biden announced the Israel-Hamas cease-fire, he said he fully supports Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas attacks.
“I assured [Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] of my full support to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome system to ensure defenses and security in the future,” said Biden.
“The United States is committed to working with the United Nations and we remain committed to working with the United Nations and other international stakeholders to provide rapid humanitarian assistance, and the Marshall international support the people of Gaza, and the Gaza reconstruction efforts,” he added.
During the 11-day fighting, at least 253 people were killed in Gaza and more than 1,900 were wounded, Palestinian health authorities said.
The Israeli military put the death toll in Israel at 13, with hundreds treated for injuries after rocket salvoes caused panic and sent people as far away as Tel Aviv rushing into shelters.
Besides Cruz, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is also visiting Israel to show his support, saying the Middle Eastern nation is “one of the most reliable allies” America has.
“But my main message has been more for Israel, the more people try to destroy Israel, the more Hamas tries to destroy Israel, the more Iran tries to destroy Israel, the more aid that the United States will provide Israel to defend itself,” said Graham.
“They provide us with actionable intelligence to protect our country against radical Islamic threats, they’re a democracy, and shared values, shared enemies,” added Graham.
The Associated Press contributed to this report