GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis (Fla.) on Saturday argued there is no “moral equivalence” between Israel and Hamas, as the war in the Middle East continues.
“Israel values life, the Hamas terrorists worship death,” DeSantis said during a speech at the Republican Jewish Coalition Conference in Las Vegas. “Don’t tell me there’s a moral equivalency here, because there is not.”
DeSantis, the governor of Florida, has been staunchly pro-Israel in its mission to defeat Hamas, after the Palestinian militant group launched a surprise attack on Israel earlier this month. More than 1,400 Israelis were killed in the attack, and over 200 people taken hostage.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to continue strikes until all of the hostages have been returned. The Israeli military expanded its ground operations in Gaza — which is controlled by Hamas — on Saturday.
DeSantis has vowed to send weapons and supplies to support the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), issued executive orders that crack down on Iranian businesses and sponsored flights full of Floridians back the United States from Israel.
He posted online that nearly 700 Americans have been flown from Israel to Florida in four separate rescue flights.
A spokesperson for the governor’s office said Florida contracted cargo planes to transport supplies to Israel at the request of the Israeli Consul General in Miami.
“I don’t care what some imbeciles on a college campus say… I don’t care what liars in the media say. I don’t care what reprobates at the United Nations say,” he said at the conference on Saturday, adding “We stand with Israel! The United States will have their back!”
Other GOP hopefuls, including former President Trump, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy spoke at the event as well.
Former Vice President Mike Pence also gave a speech, where he announced the suspension of his 2024 presidential campaign.