In Jerusalem, Lindsey Graham calls claims Israel starving Gaza ‘BS,’ says Hamas to blame

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Senator Lindsey Graham, R-SC, speaks in Jerusalem, March 27, 2024 (Lazar Berman/The Times of Israel)
Senator Lindsey Graham, R-SC, speaks in Jerusalem, March 27, 2024 (Lazar Berman/The Times of Israel)

Speaking to reporters in Jerusalem, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina says that accusations that Israel is using starvation as a tool of war in Gaza are “bullshit.”

“You’re talking about an accusation that is just a blood libel,” continues Graham.

“Never in the history of warfare have I seen such an effort by one of the protagonists in a war to lessen the effect on the population of the other side,” argued Graham, who met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and war cabinet minister Benny Gantz, and spoke with IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi by phone, today.

“The Israeli military and government, in my view, are doing incredible efforts in a time of war to make sure that innocent Palestinians can have the basics of life,” he says. “I know it is miserable in Gaza. I’m sure it is. But the food is flowing. Health care is flowing the best it can.”

“The Israeli people through their military and elected officials have chosen to help the Palestinian people,” he says, responding directly to US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who told his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant that protecting Palestinians was a “moral imperative.”

“Was there a moral imperative in World War II by the United States to lessen casualties in Germany and Japan?” Graham asks. “If you had told the American people after Pearl Harbor, you need to come up with a plan to feed civilian populations and lessen casualties at the expense of military victory, you would have been run out of town.”

The senator, in Israel on his fourth trip since October 7, says he was briefed on the Israeli plan to evacuate civilians sheltering around Rafah, and that it is “very impressive.”

Graham also places the blame for suffering in Gaza on the Hamas regime.

“They are cowards,” he says of Hamas. “They hide in tunnels. They hide behind children, women, the elderly, and the Palestinian people pay a heavy price.”

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