Nikki Haley criticised for calls on Israel to ‘finish’ Hamas

Ms Haley wants the US to cut all funding to Palestinian entities, regardless of their affiliation with Hamas

Graig Graziosi
Monday 09 October 2023 14:47 EDT

Related video: NBC News anchor schools Nikki Haley over false claims on Hamas and Iran deal

Former UN Ambassador and GOP presidential primary candidate Nikki Haley has been beating the war drums in the wake of a weekend attack in Israel, and has called for the US ally to "finish" Hamas.

Ms Haley said the incident was "not just an attack on Israel — this was an attack on America," in a post on X/Twitter.

"Finish them, @Netanyahu," she wrote. "They should have hell to pay for what they have just done."

Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel over the weekend, killing hundreds of Israelis as well as dozens of others visiting from abroad for a music festival.

Ms Haley has joined a chorus of Republicans attempting to place partial blame for the attack on Joe Biden, claiming a $6bn payment to Iran Mr Biden's administration made as part of a prisoner swap funded the attack.

There is no evidence that the claim is true, and both Secretary of State Antony Blinken, as well as Israeli authorities, have rejected the link.

Israel has responded to the attack by launching a siege of the West Bank. Entire apartment buildings in the Palestinian-controlled region have been leveled as a result of the Israeli response.

Hamas has taken Israeli hostages and has threatened to kill a hostage each time Israel attacks a civilian target without first warning the inhabitants.

“We have decided to put an end to this and as of now, we declare that any targeting of our people in their homes without prior warning will be regrettably faced with the execution of one the hostages of civilians we are holding,” Abu Obeida, the spokesman of the Qassam Brigade, said in a statement on Monday.

Ms Haley has insisted that Americans should be taking the Hamas attack personally.

"This should be personal for every woman and man in America. Why? Because when they did this, when they did this surprise attack, when they took these hostages, when they murdered these families, they were celebrating," she said during a Fox News interview. "And what were they celebrating? They were saying 'death to Israel, death to America.'"

The former ambassador said it was "not just an attack on Israel, this is an attack on America, because they hate us just as much."

The US has been a strategic ally with Israel for its entire modern existence. Israel has been an occupying force in the eyes of Palestinians for more than five decades.

She insisted that Israel "finish them" before seemingly hawking for war with Iran.

"Finish them, finish them. Hamas did this, you know Iran is behind it, finish them," she said.

She later insisted that "Israel needs our help in this battle of good vs evil" and listed her ideas for assisting the nation.

Those ideas included arming Israel, bolstering its already robust intelligence apparatus, threatening surrounding governments with repercussions if they involve themselves in the conflict, ending all US funding to Palestinian entities or UN backed entities that "side with Hamas" and freeze Iranian access to the $6bn payment intended for humanitarian aid given by the Biden administration.

Ms Haley's call was met with condemnation by both left-wing and right-wing commentators.

Chen Weihua, the chief columnist for China Daily's European Union Bureau, asked if the former ambassador was calling for Israel to wipe out the Palestinian people.

"Criminal Haley. Is Low IQ Haley calling to murder all the Palestinian people?" he asked on X/Twitter.

“The woman once represented the US at the UN is calling for the Final Solution to the Palestinian Question. This is the true face of the US state,” Carl Zha, a political commentator, said on X/Twitter.

Another user wrote her rhetoric had "big Iraq 2002 vibes."

Many of her detractors were libertarians and MAGA Republicans who prefer a more isolationist American foreign policy.

Cassandra MacDonald, who works as the editor in chief of right-wing commentator Tim Pool's podcast, said Ms Haley would "be more dangerous to the world than Henry Kissinger if she is allowed anywhere near power."

"An attack on Israel is not, in fact, an attack on America. It is not even an attack on North America," she wrote on X/Twitter.

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