Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, has stated that he believes Republican candidates should pledge not to accept refugees from Gaza.
Thousands are leaving their homes due to an evacuation warning issued by Israel in anticipation of a potential ground assault. DeSantis believed that Arab states should welcome refugees from Gaza attempting to enter Egypt rather than bringing them to the United States.
DeSantis’ portrayal of Gaza residents lacks backing from public polling. A July poll conducted by the Washington Institute found that 50% of citizens in Gaza agree that Hamas should cease advocating for the destruction of Israel and instead support a 2-state solution that uses the 1967 borders. Republican presidential contender Nikki Haley responded to DeSantis’ remarks by emphasizing the United States’ historical recognition of the need to differentiate between civilians and terrorists. Haley believes that Americans should continue to uphold this principle in the wake of the Hamas attacks.
In light of Hamas’s recent attack on Israel, DeSantis and other Republican presidential candidates have steadfastly supported Israel. DeSantis and others advocate for strict immigration policies and enhanced border security in the US, citing the attack as evidence. On Thursday, DeSantis addressed a voter at a Littleton, New Hampshire market, who expressed concerns about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in Gaza. The voters disapproved of Hamas’ actions and the killing of innocent civilians. They criticized Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, describing him as a radical, right-wing individual.
DeSantis has also directed resources as governor of Florida to arrange for the return of Floridians from Israel. He told reporters on Friday that he expects the first evacuation flight to arrive in Florida on Sunday. During a campaign stop in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Saturday night, he mentioned that evacuation flights have departed from Israeli airspace and are currently underway.
The Governor said he believes Gazan refugees being accepted into the U.S. is a bad idea because they are anti-semites.