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MAGA divisions deepen as war against Israel intensifies

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The war between Israel and Hamas has divided MAGA supporters, dividing conservatives over how the United States should respond to the escalating conflict that has claimed more than 4,000 Israeli and Palestinian lives over the past nine years. last days.

Republicans have long been more united in their support for Israel than Democrats, but growing sympathy for the Palestinians is also emerging among those on the right.

While many conservatives strongly support the Israeli government, several MAGA supporters have spoken out against U.S. support for Israel since fighting began on October 7, when Hamas carried out the deadliest Palestinian militant attack in history against Israel.

Israel then launched heavy airstrikes on Gaza and warned it was preparing for a ground invasion as the humanitarian crisis deepens in the Palestinian territory. Nearly 2,800 people have been killed in Gaza, according to the Associated Press. More than 1,400 Israelis were killed, the AP reported.

Responding to a post on to individuals who did not want to get vaccinated against COVID-19: writing: “This sounds a lot like people who won’t get vaccinated should be banned from society. »

“Do you all see the machine at work? Just to be clear, when he says he supports ‘Gaza…’ he means something other than total support for Israel,” said Smith, who has previously made denialist statements, referring to User X @NolteNC. “Wanting land or neutrality is not allowed.”

In another article, Smith highlighted the number of US bombs deployed during the Obama administration, saying that not all casualties involved combatants and that these facts represented a trend in US policy.

“You really care about the deaths of civilians? Then you have no choice but to arm yourselves (sic) and protect them both,” he said. “This means you do not support American support for the Israeli conflict and you support the United States demanding peace talks.”

Rumble personality Ryan Matta posted a similar article about civilians who have been killed in conflicts involving the United States, asking “When has the United States ever been involved in a war where we were not not the terrorists?

“It is extremely dangerous to tie the well-being of the United States to the modern State of Israel,” wrote podcaster Elijah Schaffer, adding: “It is the same mentality that justified America’s war on terrorism. last 20 years.”

The tone of these comments stands in stark contrast to that of other MAGA figures like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, and conspiracy theorist Laura Loomer. They said they would stand with Israel in this war and harshly criticized Democrats who did not outright condemn Hamas or express sympathy for the lives lost in Gaza.

On Monday, Loomer accused people she knew of “openly supporting and making excuses for Islamist terrorists” for their response to the conflict and called those like Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar “jihadists” for highlighting the deaths in Gaza as opposed to those in Israel.

“Where are the ‘Jewish Lives Matter’ banners outside trendy cafes like we saw after George Floyd? The Israeli flags on social media like we saw after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine? What happened to the performative and virtuous left?” Former Fox News host Steve Hilton wrote on X on Sunday. “Strangely quiet about this…”

Although historical polls show that the greatest change in net sympathy for Israel is among Democrats, Gallup’s annual survey, released in March, found that 78 percent of Republicans favor their sympathy for Israelis in the current situation in the Middle East – a figure that has remained largely stagnant since 2012. In 2018 and 2020, this support was 86% and above.

Internet sympathy – the percentage of people more sympathetic to Israelis minus the percentage of people more sympathetic to Palestinians – saw a slight decrease among Republicans, suggesting that more Republicans are starting to sympathize with Palestinians. This year’s poll found net sympathy was 67 percent, a decrease from the 70 to 80 percent range seen since 2010.

Supporters of former President Donald Trump demonstrate in Washington, DC, August 3, 2023. MAGA supporters are divided over the U.S. response to the war between Israel and Hamas.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

This dissent was also seen among Republican Party contenders in the 2024 presidential primary. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley blasted front-runner Donald Trump for his statements accusing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for failing to support the United States as it prepared to strike a top Iranian general and for his remarks praising the Lebanon-based Hezbollah group.

“Going out and shooting Netanyahu, and in a time of war right now, I don’t see how that would be very productive,” DeSantis said Friday at a New Hampshire town hall.

But DeSantis’ fierce support for Israel has been criticized by MAGA supporters, who ridiculed him for also telling a crowd in Iowa on Saturday that while not all Palestinians are part of Hamas, “they are all anti-Semites.

“It’s an insane thing. It’s like we’re going back in time to the Bush era,” conservative activist Joshua Fontanilla said on X in response to DeSantis’ comments. “All of Trump’s progress on the right vanished with a single war cry in the Middle East. The neoconservatives rise up.”

Activist Jackson Hinkle also took issue with Shapiro’s comments calling for sympathy for all deaths caused by Hamas, resurfacing an old blog post written by Shapiro in which he complained about people “complaining about” civilian casualties “. Hinkle also urged Republican Party Rep. Jim Jordan to focus on domestic policies rather than his calls for additional military aid to Israel.

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