Ted Cruz on Monday accused President Joe Biden of going too easy on Israel’s enemies and ’emboldening’ Hamas during the 11-day conflict last month.
‘The longer Joe Biden shows weakness to Hamas or Hezbollah or Iran, the more you’re going to see terrorist attacks escalating,’ the Texas senator told the Associated Press in an interview Monday.
‘Appeasing terrorists doesn’t produce peace,’ Cruz said of Biden.
The comments came after Cruz spent Memorial Day Weekend touring Israel’s Iron Dome rocket-defense system and surveying damage from rocket-fire in Israeli coastal town of Ashkelon, which is less than 10 miles from the border with Gaza.
Cruz posted images of a bombed-out home following Israel’s 11-day war with Hamas.
He also released a video Tuesday morning to Twitter showing him amid the rubble of a destroyed home in Israel.
‘This is all of the damage that came from one Hamas rocket, one terrorist who murdered a woman here is Ashkelon,’ Cruz said as the camera panned to show the destruction.
The Texas lawmaker, who refused in his interview with the AP to rule out a 2024 presidential run, argues that the US. doesn’t owe Palestinians any humanitarian aid considering the risk the money could flow to Hamas.
Senator Bill Hagerty, who joined Cruz for the Israel trip, told the AP in a more diplomatic tone: ‘Any monies that go to the Gaza Strip that are quote, intended for infrastructure, can be easily diverted by Hamas.’
Senator Ted Cruz released a video Tuesday morning from a home in Ashkelon, Israel that was destroyed by a rocket from Hamas in Gaza
The video panned the scene to show the rocket’s destruction, which also killed an elderly woman’s caretaker
The video showed the crumbling walls of the home, from which the neighbor’s unharmed home could be seen outside
Cruz said Monday that President Joe Biden ’emboldened’ Hamas during the 11-day conflict with Israel by going to easy on the Jewish nation’s enemies
‘Heartbreaking,’ Cruz wrote, in a comment he attached to a picture of the bombed out vestiges of a home where he said the caregiver to an elderly woman was killed by a Hamas rocket attack.
‘Countless times, I’ve seen a Mezuzah hanging on a door frame. This is the first time I’ve seen one on a home bombed by terrorists. A Hamas rocket killed the caretaker of the elderly lady who lived here in Ashkelon, in southern Israel. This is all that remains,’ Cruz wrote.
‘Here’s her walker,’ Cruz continued in a subsequent post, which showed a walker and a fan atop a pile of rubble.
The conflict broke out on May 10 when Hamas launched a barrage of rockets at Jerusalem – and the unrest continued for 11 days before a ceasefire was reached.
Before the ceasefire, however, Hamas had fired 4,000 rockets at Israeli cities and Israel struck around 1,000 targets in Gaza. More than 250 people were killed, mostly Palestinians in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas.
Cruz and Tennessee Senator Bill Hagerty spoke with the Associated Press for an interview during a trip to Israel on Monday, May 31 2021
Other than Cruz and Hagerty, two other U.S. Republican politicians visited Israel over the federal holiday weekend – Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and former Trump CIA Director and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Graham met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday and vowed more protection from Hamas. Talks come as the Israeli PM is facing an ousting after 12 years in office from a left-wing coalition.
Netanyahu’s rivals are seeking to finalize a unity coalition between secular centrist opposition chief Yair Lapid, ultranationalist Naftali Bennett, and other left-wing parties for a ‘change’ government of ideologically disparate rivals.
Netanyahu told Graham ‘there is no person who has done more for Israel than you’ and thanked him for being an ‘excellent friend and devoted ally’ as the South Carolina senator said he would help protect Israel from Hamas rocket attacks.
Beore posting the video on Tuesday, Cruz posted images on Monday from his trip to Israeli settlements following the 11-day war between Israel and Hamas showing destruction in Ashkelon, Israel
He said the caregiver to an ‘elderly lady’ was killed in the attack
He said a Hamas rocket took out the home
Israel Columnist Caroline Glick (center) posted this photo after a dinner in Israel with Cruz (right) and Hagerty (left)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz also met Graham in Jerusalem and thanked him for the ‘great support for Israel and for maintaining its security and qualitative advantage over its enemies and in the Middle East in general,’ the Jerusalem Post reported.
Cruz traveled with Tennessee Republican Hagerty, whose spokesman told DailyMail.com the senator planned to meet with embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli cabinet members during the visit.
A Cruz spokesperson said Cruz would be meeting with leaders but would not share details, citing security reasons.
In a post on his official Senate account, Cruz retweeted an image by Israeli conservative columnist Caroline Glick thanking Cruz and Hagerty for a ‘terrific dinner with 2 true friends of Israel and the Jewish people in Jerusalem tonight.’
That post also tagged the right-wing Kohelet forum, an influential group in the Israeli Knesset. Cruz sent out the images of the settlement wreckage from his separate personal account.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham also visited Israel over Memorial Day weekend and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowing more protection from Hamas offensives
Graham and Netanyahu held talks as the Israeli PM faced an ousting after 12 years in office from a left-wing coalition
The visit comes during a tumultuous time in Israeli politics. Longtime Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was on the brink of losing power, as right-wing Naftali Benett engaged in talks with centrist Yair Lapid over a new ‘change’ alliance seeking to form a new government, following a series of inconclusive elections.
Israel and Hamas reached a cease fire May 21 after an 11-day war that featured a barrage of Hamas attacks fired from Gaza, and an Israeli bombing campaign.
Cruz also tweeted out a video appeal for President Biden to immediately replace the missiles to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome defenses.
Hagerty tweeted that he visited the country with Cruz ‘to visit Israel and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our allies after they endured the worst terrorist attacks in recent years because I want to see firsthand what more the U.S. can do to strengthen our vital alliance with Israel … at a time when terrorists like Hamas & terror-sponsoring regimes in Iran & Syria are making the Middle East more dangerous.’
‘I also want to discuss with Israeli leadership what the U.S. can do to maintain the momentum for peace that the landmark Abraham Accords started,’ Hagerty wrote – although he did not specifically mention a meeting with Netanyahu.
Cruz is calling on Biden’s administration to immediately replenish Israel’s Iron Dome missile system
Neighbors gather to watch the cleanup of a crater full of water and sewage after the home of Ramez al-Masri was destroyed by an air-strike prior to a cease-fire reached after an 11-day war between Gaza’s Hamas rulers and Israel, Sunday, May 23, 2021, in Beit Hanoun, the northern Gaza Strip
Palestinian volunteers continue to clean up the debris with brooms and cleaning supplies after last Israeli attacks following the Gaza Municipality’s slogan ‘We will reconstruct’ in the Gaza Strip, where great destruction occurred due to 11-day intense bombardment of Israel in Gaza City, Gaza on May 26, 2021
Cruz is a potential presidential candidate who like other top Republicans has embraced the Israeli government and joined with Netanyahu in blasting the Iran nuclear deal.
When AP asked whether he would rule out running for president, Cruz deflected, saying the 2016 Republican primary campaign was ‘the most fun I’ve ever had in my life.’
The war between Israel and Hamas forced a public split among Democrats, as Biden held repeated conversations with Netanyahu in private, while some Democratic House members said the U.S. should push an immediate cease fire.