Ex-GOP lawmaker castigates colleagues for drawing distinction between plights of Israel and Ukraine

‘My experience in Congress has told me that many Republicans today are allies of Israel out of simply a political pledge, not out of actual knowledge’

Mike Bedigan
Los Angeles
Wednesday 11 October 2023 23:58 BST
Ex-GOP lawmaker criticises colleagues comparing Israel and Ukraine conflicts

A former Republican Congressman has blasted members of his own party for “aligning with Israel”, while simultaneously calling for cuts to aid being sent to Ukraine.

David Jolly accused some of his former colleagues of knee-jerk support for Israel and the Middle East, following “simply a political pledge” with no actual knowledge of the region.

He told MSNBC that some Republicans were “too ignorant” to see the similarities between protecting the citizens of both Ukraine and Israel.

It comes as Israel’s military said 1,200 Israelis have died since terror group Hamas first launched its attack on Saturday – with more than 2,700 injured in the violence.

Speaking to The ReidOut, Mr Jolly said that the position of the Biden administration was the “right one” and that Israel had been a “victim of terror”.

“As a baseline, we know, and there’s agreement in the US, that Israel was a victim of terror at the hands of Hamas, not just the Israelis but the loss of life in America and any additional that may be being held hostage.

“So the position of the US and Joe Biden is a right one: To call this evil and say we will stand with Israel."

Mr Jolly said that in his experience many Republicans were “allies of Israel out of simply a political pledge, not out of actual knowledge” and were “motivated by owning the libs [liberals]”.

"They couldn’t tell you the difference or distinguish between Gaza and the West Bank. They couldn’t tell you about the complexities of the Middle East,” he said.

“They just know in Republican politics you prove your worth, not by knowledge about the Middle East, but about the intensity of your pledge to be an ally of Israel, and it’s the right position even if it’s for perhaps ignorant or the wrong reasons."

Biden backs Israel in TV address after terror attacks

He added: "The similarities between the US aligning with the people of Israel and protecting Ukraine from the encroachment and the evil of Vladimir Putin are right in front of Republicans’ faces, but they’re simply too ignorant to see it.

"They’re motivated by owning the libs and therefore – no aid to Ukraine, but yes aid to Israel."

As well as the high number of Israeli casualties, the number of Palestinians killed in the conflict has risen from 1,055 to 1,100, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

The ministry added that a total of 5,339 people have been injured.

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