The former US president has vowed to defend West Jerusalem and impose ideological screening on all immigrants
Former US President Donald Trump has condemned Hamas as “monsters,” framing the Palestinian militant group’s war with Israel as a conflict between “good and evil” and vowing to rid America of immigrants and foreign students who sympathize with jihadists.
Speaking on Saturday at the Republican Jewish Coalition summit in Las Vegas, Trump vowed to stop the “mass importation of anti-Semitism” into the US if he’s re-elected as president in 2024. He blamed Hamas for all of the deaths that have occurred on both sides – numbering over 1,400 in Israel and 8,000 in Gaza – since the group’s October 7 attacks on Israeli villages triggered the region’s latest war.
“Every single life that is lost in this conflict is on the shoulders of Hamas, Hamas alone, and I think you have to really add in the word Iran…,” Trump said. “There can be no sympathy, no excuses, and no escape for these monsters. We will do what has to be done.”
The Hamas attacks, in which hundreds of Israeli civilians were killed or kidnapped, proved that the group’s conflict with West Jerusalem isn’t a battle between “equal sides,” Trump said. He added, “This is a fight between civilization and savagery, between decency and depravity, and between good and evil. There is no comparison between a group that worships death and a group that cherishes life and cherishes our nation.”
Trump is polling as the leading Republican candidate to face his successor, President Joe Biden, in the 2024 election. He argued that in the wake of the Hamas attacks, Biden has “turned a blind eye to the greatest outbreak of anti-Semitism in American history.”
The ex-president lamented the “pro-jihadist” protests occurring in major US cities and on college campuses amid the Israel-Hamas war. He blamed Biden’s administration for letting in “colossal amounts of jihadists” as refugees or foreign students. “They’re letting them in at levels that nobody’s ever seen before,” he said. “We cannot allow that to happen, and we don’t want to be like Europe, with jihadists on every corner.”
Trump promised to reimpose the travel ban that he instituted shortly after taking office as president in 2017, which restricted entry to the US by travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries. He also claimed that he would deport foreign nationals who protested in support of Hamas and would ensure that jihadist sympathizers won’t be allowed to enter the US.
“I’ll be implementing strong ideological screenings for all immigrants coming in,” Trump told the audience. “If you hate America, if you want to abolish Israel, if you sympathize with jihadists, then we don’t want you in our country, and you’re not going to be getting into our country.”
Pro-Hamas foreign students who joined the protests also will be targeted with cancellation of their study visas, Trump said. “Come 2025, we will find you, and we will deport you.” He also vowed to threaten colleges and universities with the loss of federal funding and academic accreditation if they don’t “purge” their campuses of “anti-Semitism and pro-terrorism.”
Trump argued that the attacks on Israel wouldn’t have happened if he had been president, just as he previously claimed that he would have prevented the Russia-Ukraine conflict. “For four years, you didn’t have any of these problems,” he said. “Think of it, you wouldn’t have Ukraine, you wouldn’t have Israel being attacked, you wouldn’t have inflation, you wouldn’t have anything.”