Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., claimed on Tuesday that no number of Palestinian deaths would make him waver on his support of the Israeli military's ongoing airstrikes on Gaza, which came as a response to deadly attacks carried about by Hamas on October 7. During an interview with CNN, host Abby Phillip asked the GOP lawmaker, “Is there a threshold for you, and do you think there should be one for the United States government, in which the US would say, ‘Let’s hold off for a second in terms of civilian casualties?’” Graham replied that he didn't: "If somebody asked us after World War Two, ‘Is there a limit what would you do to make sure that Japan and Germany don’t conquer the world? Is there any limit what Israel should do to the people who are trying to slaughter the Jews?’ The answer is no. There is no limit." He continued: "But here’s what you need to do. Be smart. Let’s try to limit civilian casualties the best we can. Let’s put humanitarian aid in areas that protect the innocent. I’m all for that. But this idea that Israel has to apologize for attacking Hamas, who’s embedded with their own population, needs to stop. The goal is to destroy Hamas. Hamas is creating these casualties – not Israel."
Graham faced widespread criticism from the left over his comments. "This is like what you hear in Russian media about Ukraine," tweeted Matt Duss, executive vice president of the Center for International Policy and a former adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Former White House aide and co-founder of the National Black Justice Coalition Keith Boykin tweeted: "I guess now we can stop pretending that 'all lives matter.'" But activist Yonah Liebermann, the co-founder of IfNotNow, a Jewish anti-war group, also called out Democrats and those on the left who have similarly backed Israel's escalation in Gaza without any qualifications or preconditions. Graham's stance is "essentially, the policy of" the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Democratic Majority for Israel, "and most of the Democratic Party," he wrote. Israel launched its military occupation after Hamas killed more than 1,400 people and abducted hundreds of others. The Gaza Health Ministry stated that the death toll among Palestinians has exceeded 8,000, many of them women and children.
I asked @LindseyGrahamSC if there's a limit to the number of civilian casualties that the US would accept in Gaza?— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) November 1, 2023
GRAHAM: If somebody asked us after World War II, is there a limit what you would do to make sure that Japan and Germany don't conquer the world? Is there any limit… pic.twitter.com/YmrFYlgftq