As Conflict Rises in Israel, Donald Trump Offers a Relatively Noninterventionist Reaction among Republican Presidential Candidates

by | Oct 7, 2023

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In response to a Saturday attack by Hamas in Israel, Republican Party presidential candidates rushed out statements setting forth their related views. Among these statements, the statement of Donald Trump stood out as relatively noninterventionist.

While placing blame on Hamas, Trump refrained from promising support for the government of Israel in the conflict. This set him apart from the other prominent Republican candidates who made comments pledging support for Israel.

Here is Trump’s Saturday statement on the matter:

These Hamas attacks are a disgrace and Israel has every right to defend itself with overwhelming force. Sadly, American taxpayer dollars helped fund these attacks, which many reports are saying came from the Biden Administration. We brought so much peace to the Middle East through the Abraham Accords, only to see Biden whittle it away at a far more rapid pace than anyone thought possible. Here we go again. 

So far so good. Trump is not endorsing in his statement the United States government supporting the Israel government in this conflict. But, there certainly is much pressure on him to make such an endorsement soon.

Other Republican presidential candidates, in contrast, jumped immediately at the opportunity to declare their support for aiding Israel in this new rising conflict. Tara Suter reported Saturday at The Hill on other prominent Republican candidates’ early statements on the matter. Every one of them took a step beyond Trump, pledging their support to the Israel government in the rising conflict.

Below are excerpts from those candidates’ statements presented in Suter’s article.

Doug Burgum: “Iran and its terror sponsors in Gaza are showing the world their true face: pure evil. Israel is at war with brutal terrorists and the United States must provide maximum support to our democratic ally.”

Chris Christie: “We must do whatever it takes to support the State of Israel in its time of grave danger, and we must end the scourge of Iran-backed terrorism.”

Ron DeSantis: “Israel not only has the right to defend itself against these attacks, it has a duty to respond with overwhelming force. I stand with Israel. America must stand with Israel.”

Nikki Haley: “Israel has every right to defend its citizens from terror. We must always stand with Israel and against this Iranian regime.”

Mike Pence: “Our prayers are with the families and soldiers of our most cherished ally. @netanyahu [Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu)] says Israel is ‘at war’ America Stands With Israel[.]”

Vivek Ramaswamy: “Israel’s right to exist & defend itself should never be doubted and Iran-backed Hamas & Hezbollah cannot be allowed to prevail. I stand with Israel and the U.S. should too.”

Tim Scott: “Israel has a right to defend itself and the United States must stand in support of its steadfast ally.”

Can Trump continue to resist the pressure being put on him to declare that he does, and the US government should, “stand with Israel” in regard to this rising conflict? We’ll see. Taking a solitary course concerning this matter would be consistent with Trump’s apparent effort to run as the peace candidate among the contenders in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Author

  • Adam Dick

    Adam worked from 2003 through 2013 as a legislative aide for Rep. Ron Paul. Previously, he was a member of the Wisconsin State Board of Elections, a co-manager of Ed Thompson's 2002 Wisconsin governor campaign, and a lawyer in New York and Connecticut.