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Right-wing media encourage invasion of Rafah, Biden impeachment

After the Israeli military seized a key border crossing for humanitarian aid into Gaza, Biden’s statement urging restraint from Israel was met with backlash from right-wing media figures

This week, President Joe Biden said his administration would stop the shipment of offensive weapons to Israel if it went ahead with plans to launch a ground invasion of the Palestinian city of Rafah, due to concerns about civilian casualties. 

In response, right-wing media have endorsed further military action in Rafah and downplayed the potential human cost, arguing that Israel has “no choice” but to continue with its operation and saying that withdrawing from Rafah “would be like a surgeon leaving part of a tumor after operating.” Some right-wing figures have also attacked Biden over his threat to suspend shipments, and called for his impeachment.

  • Biden announced the U.S. may withhold delivery of weapons to Israel if it proceeds with Rafah invasion, which would exacerbate Gaza’s humanitarian crisis

    • On Tuesday, Israeli forces “seized control of Gaza’s vital Rafah border crossing … in what the White House described as a limited operation.” The region now holds “at least 1.3 million people,” including many internal refugees from elsewhere in the Gaza Strip. According to NPR, “Israeli airstrikes had already been pounding Rafah for weeks, killing hundreds since late March — most of them women and children, according to hospital records.” [The Associated Press, 5/7/24; NPR, 5/8/24]
    • The United Nations has warned that further Israeli operations in Rafah will worsen the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, while the World Health Organization said that health care facilities and other aid operations in southern Gaza are on the brink of running out of fuel. According to the UN, “humanitarian operation across the enclave has been crippled” since Israel seized the border crossing, and the northern half of Gaza is in “full-blown famine.” [The Associated Press, 5/8/24; Reuters, 5/10/24; United Nations, 5/6/24, 5/10/24]
    • After Biden warned that he would stop offensive weapons shipments to Israel if the military went through with a planned ground invasion of Rafah, House Republicans threatened impeachment articles against him. This is the seventh impeachment resolution from the House Republicans. The resolution from Rep. Cory Mills (R-FL) “accuses Biden of committing quid pro quo,” mirroring the accusations leveled against former President Donald Trump during his first impeachment. [The Washington Post, 5/8/24; The Hill, 5/10/24; MSNBC, 5/10/24]
  • Right-wing figures encourage further military action in Rafah, dismiss humanitarian concerns

    • Referring to Rafah, Newsmax host Rob Finnerty said Israel would “turn that town into rubble — rightfully so.” Finnerty went on to claim that withdrawing from Rafah “would be like a surgeon leaving part of a tumor after operating … on somebody.” [Newsmax, Wake Up America, 5/10/24
    • Trump sycophant Rudy Giuliani said, “It's about time we wipe them out. You gave them 50 warnings to get civilians out of there.” Giuliani further justified the invasion, saying, “You got to presume a Palestinian is a terrorist, sorry.” [77WABC, Rudy Giuliani, 5/6/24]
    • Newsmax host Greg Kelly said that Israel was “doing what it must do in Rafah,” and dismissed concerns over civilian casualties because “collateral damage has been and always will be a part of war.” [Newsmax, Greg Kelly Reports, 5/9/24
    • The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro called on Israel to “just ignore the United States and go in” to Rafah, arguing that “if they do not, the government ought to fall in Israel.” [The Daily Wire, The Ben Shapiro Show, 5/9/24]
    • Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade said, “The IDF has to go into Rafah. They have no choice.” Kilmeade justified the attack by claiming that “no one ever condemned” the American war in Afghanistan “even though sometimes we did kill civilians.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/7/24]
    • Trump ally Steve Bannon suggested that it was “vitally important” for Israel to “call the bluff of the illegitimate Biden regime and just get on with taking out these terrorists.” [Real America’s Voice, War Room, 5/6/24
    • Conservative podcaster Joe Walsh: “Prayers for Israel. Go into Rafah now. You should have gone in months ago.” [Twitter/X, 5/6/24]
    • Fox contributor Jason Chaffetz accused Biden of being “pro-Hamas,” saying, “If you're serious about rooting out terrorists, then you’re going to have to go get them where they are. They happen to be in Rafah.” [Fox News, The Story with Martha MacCallum, 5/9/24]
  • Some figures attacked Biden and called for his impeachment over warnings that he would not support the Rafah invasion with offensive weapons

    • Newsmax host Rob Schmitt: “Democrats literally impeached Donald Trump over threatening to withhold aid to Ukraine of all places, and now Joe Biden is doing the exact same thing to Israel.” [Newsmax, Rob Schmitt Tonight, 5/9/24]
    • During a segment about “Biden’s betrayal of Israel,” Mark Levin said, “Who the hell do you think you are to tell the Israelis that they cannot defeat Hamas, which has said, proven again and again, that they want to wipe out the Jewish population in Israel?” Levin accused Biden of violating the “Impoundment Act and the Constitution” for threatening to withhold military shipments to Israel. “You say you provide weapons to Israel,” Levin said. “You haven’t provided a damn thing to Israel. Congress provides weapons to Israel.” [Fox News, Hannity, 5/9/24]
    • The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro called Biden’s threat of withholding weapons shipments a “violation of law” while claiming that “Donald Trump was impeached over this by Democrats.” Shapiro continued, “Joe Biden is doing it openly for political purposes, and he's going to get away with it? This is pathetic stuff.” [YouTube, The Ben Shapiro Show, 5/9/24]
    • Shapiro also penned an op-ed for The Daily Wire titled “Biden sides with Satan.” In the piece, Shapiro suggested that Biden’s threat to withhold weapons from Israel if it invaded “populated areas” of Rafah would create “a full-scale incentive structure for terrorists to hide among civilians because now they are safe from any sort of retaliation.” [The Daily Wire, 5/8/24]
    • On Eric Bolling the Balance, former Trump adviser Stephen Miller said, “I surely hope that Congress pursues impeachment articles” to investigate Biden for “suspending congressionally enacted aid.” Bolling called Biden's warning to Israel “the most stunning foreign policy, I guess, moves this moronic presidency has made,” to which Miller responded, “Most stunning, and dumbest.” [Newsmax, Eric Bolling the Balance, 5/9/24]
    • Fox News contributor Ari Fleischer said that if Biden had been president during World War II, “You get the sense he would tell the troops after we landed at D-Day, ‘Stop at the Belgian border. Don’t cross the Rhine. Don’t go into Germany to get Hitler.’” [Fox News, Outnumbered, 5/10/24
    • One America News Network guest Jim Nelles claimed that “crazy old Joe and his Hamas-loving advisers have decided to withhold a shipment of arms to Israel in a failed effort to force Israel to cancel its planned military efforts in Rafah.” “Sounds like a quid pro quo to me,” he added. [OAN, Tipping Point With Kara McKinney, 5/9/24]