CRESTON, Iowa — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis mentioned Saturday that the U.S. shouldn’t settle for refugees from Gaza as tons of of hundreds of Palestinians flee from the north to the south, following Israeli authorities warnings to evacuate earlier than an anticipated floor invasion.
“I don’t know what Biden’s going to do, however we can not settle for folks from Gaza into this nation as refugees,” DeSantis informed an viewers of caucusgoers at an occasion right here sponsored by the tremendous PAC By no means Again Down.
Onstage earlier than the gang of about 50 folks on this rural city southwest of Des Moines, DeSantis mentioned different Arab states ought to take in the refugees. However delving deeper into his reasoning, he provided up a sweeping characterization of the fleeing Palestinians.
“Should you take a look at how they behave, not all of them are Hamas, however they’re all antisemitic. None of them imagine in Israel’s proper to exist,” he baselessly claimed.
A few of DeSantis’ fellow Republican presidential candidates wouldn’t go fairly so far as he did Saturday.
Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, answering questions following remarks on the New Hampshire Republican Celebration’s Management Summit in Nashua, stopped in need of saying the U.S. shouldn’t settle for refugees however emphasised regional accountability in supporting them.
“We’ve continued to work with Egypt to supply protected passage for Americans, and we must always proceed to work with our people that we will with the intention to make it possible for there’s a passage,” Scott mentioned. He didn’t reply to a follow-up query about the place particularly fleeing Palestinians ought to settle.
Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson echoed the sentiment, saying that the humanitarian disaster in Gaza “just isn’t a United States refugee subject” and that nations like Egypt and Saudi Arabia ought to “step up” their accountability to simply accept Gazans.
Hutchinson, nonetheless, cautioned towards DeSantis’ characterization of the Palestinian folks as antisemitic, telling reporters in New Hampshire that “it’s a hazard any time that you just categorize a gaggle of individuals as being merely antisemitic.”
Regardless of the criticism, DeSantis wholeheartedly defended his remarks when he was requested to reply to Hutchinson’s feedback simply hours later outdoors a restaurant in Bedford, Iowa.
“I’ll problem anybody to say that in a few of these nations that virulent antisemitism just isn’t the norm,” DeSantis shot again, including that “if you happen to’re not keen to acknowledge that, then you definitely’ve obtained your head within the sand.”
Iowa state Rep. Invoice Gustoff mentioned in an interview, “I’m at all times reticent to characterize anyone of any group to be ‘all’ this fashion or that approach.” Gustoff, a Republican who has endorsed DeSantis’ presidential bid, mentioned he had not heard DeSantis’ feedback, however he mentioned: “I feel the sentiment amongst Palestinians could be antisemitic. That doesn’t imply all Palestinians are antisemitic.”
Dennis Eggenburg, 57, a supporter of former President Donald Trump in Muscatine, Iowa, mentioned “possibly” refugees might are available in however they must be “well-vetted.” He added that he thinks the U.S. already has sufficient immigrants coming throughout the southern border and that he sees a distinction between Palestinians and Ukrainians.
“Palestinian refugees I simply wouldn’t belief,” he mentioned. “I wouldn’t belief who they’re, in the event that they’re terrorists. Ukraine, I don’t suppose you’re going to get that form of drawback.”
DeSantis continued to handle the resettlement subject at occasions later Saturday in Glenwood and Council Bluffs, reiterating to voters that he wouldn’t settle for Palestinian refugees as president, however he made no additional point out of his earlier characterization of Gazans as prejudiced.
His account on the social media platform X still features a post displaying video of his feedback.
Not less than 1,300 folks have been killed in Israel within the terrorist assault, and hundreds extra have been injured because the battle between Israel and Hamas continues. In Gaza, over 1,900 folks have been killed and greater than 7,600 have been injured. Based on the State Division, the toll of American deaths has risen to 29.
Proper now, the Rafah border crossing, which sits subsequent to the Sinai Peninsula in northeast Egypt, could be the one exit out of Gaza. But it surely stays closed.
Israel has develop into a prime subject within the Republican presidential race, splintering the celebration over the problem. Trump has confronted criticism from all sides for praising Hezbollah and criticizing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whereas some Republicans have praised President Joe Biden for his response to the warfare.
On Thursday, DeSantis signed an govt order authorizing Florida to constitution flights to get Floridians caught in Israel again to the U.S.
“We’re going to be sending our personal planes, and we’re going to be bringing folks proper again to Florida,” DeSantis mentioned Thursday in Littleton, New Hampshire. “You already know, you possibly can’t simply sit round ready for issues to occur; you bought to make issues occur.”
The Biden administration has additionally introduced that it’s chartering flights to get Individuals out of Israel.