Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Rejects Idea of Palestinian Refugees in US – During a campaign rally in the US Midwest on Saturday, Ron DeSantis, the Republican presidential candidate and governor of Florida, stated his opposition to admitting Palestinian refugees from Gaza to the United States. “We cannot accept people from Gaza into this country as refugees,” he said. “If you look how they behave, not all of them are Hamas but they are all antisemitic, none of them believe in Israel’s right to exist.”
DeSantis, who currently garners approximately 12% of support among Republican voters in the race for the party’s nomination for the upcoming presidential election, a significant difference from Donald Trump’s commanding 58%, addressed a campaign rally in Creston, Iowa. Last week, the Florida governor described a pro-Palestine demonstration in Tampa and a “Victory to Palestine” event in Fort Lauderdale as “abhorrent.”
In his comments Saturday, DeSantis called on neighboring Arab nations to “open their borders and absorb” Palestinian refugees. By equating Palestinian rights with backing for Hamas, DeSantis criticized Harvard students for their advocacy of Palestinian and humanitarian issues, alluding to reports of infants tragically losing their lives during the recent cross-border Hamas assault in Israel just one week ago.
“We’ve got some serious problems in this country, and we’ve allowed a lot of them to fester. My view is simple: if you don’t like this country, if you hate America, you should not come to this country. We’ve got to start being smart about this,” he said. DeSantis made these remarks at a time when some Republicans are attempting to emphasize an anti-immigration stance, with claims by certain Maga extremists suggesting that the Biden administration’s policy at the US-Mexico border might permit individuals sympathetic to radical Islamist ideologies to enter the United States.
In a separate incident, George Santos, the New York congressman facing fraud charges, stated that he faced criticism from anti-war activists at the US Capitol on Friday as they protested Israel’s response to Gaza. Capitol Police said they had arrested Shabd Khalsa, 36, and “charged him with simple assault after an officer witnessed him have physical contact with a congressional staffer in the Longworth Building.”
Khalsa, who said he was Jewish American, said he had stepped back when Santos told him he was in his personal space. Khalsa told Newsday he was trying to ask what lawmakers were doing to stop attacks on “civilians by the Israeli army in Gaza.” “My ancestors, entire branches of my family were killed in the Holocaust,” he told the outlet. “I’m here to say, you cannot weaponize Jewish pain to continue the mass murder of civilians in Gaza.”