April 25, 2024

A Republican representative thinks that the U.S.’s response to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza brought on by Israel’s bombing campaign should be resolved “like Nagasaki and Hiroshima.”

Michigan Representative Tim Walberg made the horrific comment during a town hall meeting on Friday. In response to an audience question about the U.S. building a temporary port in Gaza to facilitate aid deliveries, he said that the U.S. shouldn’t be sending any aid to Palestinans in the region.

“We shouldn’t be spending a dime on humanitarian aid,” Walberg said.

Instead, “it should be like Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Get it over quick,” he said.

Palestinians in Gaza are experiencing a humanitarian crisis including starvation and a lack of medical care due to Israel’s war and invasion of the territory, which Tel Aviv claims is in response to the October 7 attacks. In Walberg’s eyes, any humanitarian aid to the Palestinians would support Hamas, Iran, Russia, and “arguably North Korea’s in there, and China, too.”

After receiving criticism from Michigan Democrats over the remarks, a spokesperson for Walberg, Mike Rorke, told the Detroit Free Press that “during [Walberg’s] community gathering, he clearly uses a metaphor to support Israel’s swift elimination of Hamas, which is the best chance to save lives long-term and the only hope at achieving a permanent peace in the region.”

Rorke said that Walberg “has great empathy for the innocent people in Gaza,” and noted that “Hamas still is holding hostages, including Americans. Hamas should surrender and return the hostages.”

Walberg’s comments are just the latest in a series of violent and often bigoted comments from right-wing politicians about Palestinians and Israel’s war in Gaza, which is entering its fifth month. Donald Trump said early in March that Israel had to “finish the problem” in Gaza, while Representative Brian Mast compared Palestinians to Nazis in November and even questioned the innocence of Palestinian babies in February. Meanwhile, the U.S. recently approved sending more bombs and fighter jets to Israel.