Sen. Graham Compares Israel-Hamas War to WWII, Urges US Weapons Support

Sen. Lindsey Graham compares Israel's war against Hamas to the US atomic bombing of Japan in WWII, sparking controversy. The Biden administration warns Israel that it will stop supplying weapons if it invades Rafah, a city in southern Gaza.

author-image
Muthana Al-Najjar
New Update
Sen. Graham Compares Israel-Hamas War to WWII, Urges US Weapons Support

Sen. Graham Compares Israel-Hamas War to WWII, Urges US Weapons Support

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) sparked controversy this week by comparing Israel's ongoing war against Hamas to the US atomic bombing of Japan in World War II. Graham advocated for Israel to receive the necessary weapons from the US to end the conflict, despite the Biden administration's concerns over civilian casualties in Gaza.

Why this matters: The US stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict has significant implications for the Middle East peace process and the future of US-Israel relations. A misstep in US policy could exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and have far-reaching consequences for regional stability.

President Biden warned Israel that if it proceeds with its planned invasion of Rafah, a city in southern Gaza where hundreds of thousands have taken refuge, the US will stop supplying offensive weapons like bombs and artillery shells. The ultimatum has outraged Republican lawmakers, who accuse Biden of abandoning a key ally.

At a press conference on Thursday, Graham slammed Biden's threat, arguing it could ruin potential stability in the Middle East. "Number one, I trust Israel more than I trust Austin," the senator says, referring to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. Graham, who has been involved in years-long efforts for Saudi Arabia and Israel to negotiate, warned that if the US does not change course, it will have "destroyed the last best chance to deliver lasting stability in the Mideast for generations."

The Biden administration also delivered a report to Congress this week, determining that Israel had likely violated international humanitarian law in its war in Gaza. Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen criticized the report as "woefully inadequate," arguing that if Israel's conduct is deemed compliant with international standards, it would "set a very low bar for the rules of war."

The war has splintered Congress along partisan lines, with Republicans accusing Biden of abandoning Israel and Democrats expressing growing concern over civilian casualties. Israel has called on more residents to evacuate parts of Rafah as it prepares to escalate its military assault on Hamas militants hiding in the densely populated city.

The fierce debate underscores the high stakes for both the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the future of US-Israel relations. As the fighting rages on with no end in sight, pressure is mounting on the Biden administration to clarify its position and wield its influence to prevent further bloodshed. Sen. Graham's controversial WWII comparison reflects the depth of divisions in Washington over how far the US should go in supporting its longtime Middle East ally.

Key Takeaways

  • Sen. Lindsey Graham compares Israel's war on Hamas to US atomic bombing of Japan in WWII.
  • Biden administration threatens to stop supplying weapons to Israel over civilian casualties.
  • Republicans accuse Biden of abandoning Israel, while Democrats express concern over civilian casualties.
  • US report finds Israel likely violated international humanitarian law in Gaza war.
  • US stance on conflict has significant implications for Middle East peace and US-Israel relations.