Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) accused President Biden Monday of showing “weakness” toward Israel’s enemies hours after tweeting “heartbreaking” images of damage from a deadly rocket attack.
“The longer Joe Biden shows weakness to Hamas or Hezbollah or Iran, the more you’re going to see terrorist attacks escalating,” Cruz told the Associated Press after spending Monday touring Israel’s Iron Dome defense system and and viewing damage in the port city of Ashkelon, just eight miles from the border with the Gaza Strip.
“Appeasing terrorists doesn’t produce peace,” added Cruz, whose remarks broke with the once-customary practice of refraining from discussing domestic politics while overseas, particularly about the sitting president.
Earlier, Cruz tweeted out a series of pictures showing the destroyed home of an elderly Ashkelon resident.
“Heartbreaking. Countless times, I’ve seen a Mezuzah hanging on a door frame,” Cruz captioned the first image he posted. “This is the first time I’ve seen one on a home bombed by terrorists.”
The senator noted that the rocket strike killed the woman’s caretaker. A subsequent tweet from Cruz showed the woman’s walker standing amid the rubble of the house. A third tweet showed more images of the damage.
Cruz, along with fellow Senate Foreign Relations Committee Republicans Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, arrived in Israel Sunday to survey the damage from the 11-day conflict, which ended with a ceasefire May 21.
Hamas had fired over 4,000 rockets toward Israeli cities during the fighting, while Israeli warplanes struck some 1,000 targets in Gaza. Nearly 300 people were killed in the fighting, the vast majority of them Palestinians in Gaza. Israeli officials blame Hamas for the high toll since the militant group launches attacks from civilian areas. Israel’s military also contends that many of the victims Hamas claims to be civilians are actually militants themselves.
Hagerty, who joined Cruz in the interview, also criticized the Biden administration for pledging approximately $360 million in aid to the Palestinians, including money to help repair war damage in Gaza.
“Any monies that go to the Gaza Strip that are quote-intended for infrastructure can be easily diverted by Hamas,” Hagerty said.
Meanwhile, Graham met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Nenanyahu, who faces a battle for his political life this week as one-time allies attempt to forge a coalition to remove him from office.
“There is no person who has done more for Israel than him,” Netanyahu said of Graham in a tweet. “I would like to thank him for everything he has done over the years on Israel’s defense and security issues, as well as on the Iranian issue. Lindsey is a devoted friend and an excellent ally. Welcome to Israel!”
In an accompanying image, a smiling Graham held up a sign reading, “More for Israel”.
With Post wires