Prominent Indian Americans, including two Republican presidential hopefuls Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy, have expressed solidarity with Israel after it faced unprecedented attacks from the Hamas militant group, resulting in hundreds of casualties.
Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a barrage of rocket attacks in southern Israel on Saturday (7), killing over 600 people, including soldiers, and wounding more than 1,900.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in response launched multiple airstrikes targeting Hamas’ key infrastructure. About 1,000 people have been confirmed dead in Israel and Gaza in the biggest escalation in decades between the two sides.
“Hamas and the backers who support them, the Iranian regime, were chanting ‘Death to Israel, death to America.’ That’s what we have to remember. We are united with Israel because Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis and the Iranian backers hate us,” Republican presidential candidate Haley told NBC News on Sunday.
“We have to remember that what happened to Israel could happen here in America. And I hope that we all unite and stand with Israel because they really need us right now,” she said.
In a post on Twitter, Haley told Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “finish them (Hamas)”.
Hamas is a Palestinian Islamist militant group which has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007. The Gaza Strip is home to about 2.3 million people. It is a 41km-long and 10km-wide territory surrounded by Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea.
Haley said she had introduced a resolution denouncing Hamas when she was the US ambassador to the UN.
“America was the only member of the Security Council to vote for it. This is what Israel is up against a world that denies the evil in front of them. We did not bow to world pressure then—we won’t now,” she said.
Other Indian American Republican candidate Ramaswamy said the key lesson for America to learn from the attack on Israel was that it cannot be complacent about defending its own borders.
“If it can happen there, it can happen here. Our own border is near-completely porous right now. The Southern Border is a disaster and I visited the Northern Border yesterday which is wide open for invasion. Hamas picked a moment when Israel is deeply divided over domestic politics, as we are now here at home,” he said.
“Our own foreign policy establishment has focused on distant foreign priorities while leaving us badly vulnerable on border defence, cyber and super-EMP defence, nuclear missile defence, and space-based defences. We can’t lose sight of that and should use the attacks on Israel as a wake-up call here at home,” Ramaswamy said on Sunday.
Mukesh Aghi, president and CEO of US India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF) posted on social media platform Twitter on Sunday: “I stand with Israel” with the flag of India in the backdrop.
Bharat Barai, Indian Indian-American community leader, said Hamas and Hezbollah are the most barbaric terrorist organisations in the world.
“Israel has every right to destroy this brutal terrorist outfit for attacking Israel, murdering, abducting, raping and torturing innocent Israeli citizens. The entire civilised world must condemn Hamas and other similar barbarians,” he said.
The terrorist attacks by Hamas on the people of Israel are absolutely “horrific”, said community leader Ajay Jain Bhutoria.
“I stand with Israel in its unwavering right to defend itself. My prayers are with the dead, reported hostages, and hundreds injured and all affected by these horrific attacks. I strongly condemn the terrorist attacks against Israel,” he said.
“These acts of violence are completely unacceptable. We stand with Israel and fully support its right to defend itself. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this. Civilian innocent life must be protected on both sides including in Palestine,” Bhutoria said.
Indian American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi said the US “unequivocally” stands with the people of Israel against this “gruesome” terror attack and strongly supports its right to defend itself.
Sunday’s war crimes carried out by Hamas against Israeli women and children were inhuman and appalling, said Indian American Congressman Ro Khanna.
“My heart breaks for the victims, and I stand in solidarity with the people of Israel at this dark moment,” he said.
Strongly condemning the terrorist attack by Hamas, Indian American Congressman Dr Ami Bera said that it is more important than ever that the US stands with Israel and its right to defend its sovereignty.
“America stands firmly with Israel,” said Indian American Congressman Shri Thanedar, adding that Congress must rally behind Israel until this threat is addressed and security is restored.