‘Level the Place,’ Declares Lindsey Graham as Israel Does Exactly That to Gaza

South Carolina Republican’s comment nothing short of “incitement to genocide.”

By Brett Wilkins

Human rights defenders on Wednesday accused U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of “incitement to genocide” after the South Carolina Republican urged Israeli forces to destroy Gaza—and he wasn’t the only prominent GOP figure to make such an incendiary call.

Appearing on Fox News on Tuesday night, Graham asserted that “we are in a religious war here, I am with Israel. Whatever the hell you have to do to defend yourselves; level the place.”

In a social media post, U.S. political analyst, author, and activist Josh Ruebner tagged the International Criminal Court with the caption, “ATTN… Incitement to genocide.”

Critics noted that as Graham was calling for the destruction of Gaza, Israeli forces were actually doing just that. A surprise infiltration attack by Gaza-based militants killed more than 1,200 Israelis since the weekend, and Israel has responded by launching a massive assault on the already-besieged Gaza Strip—home to around 2.3 million Palestinians, nearly half of them children—by air, land, and sea.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to exact a “mighty vengeance,” while members of his far-right government made even more inflammatory statements, including Knesset lawmaker Ariel Kallner’s call for a “Nakba that will overshadow the Nakba of ’48. Kallner was referring to the ethnic cleansing of over 750,000 Arabs from Palestine during the founding of the modern state of Israel in 1947-48.

“This war is not only against Hamas,” Israeli Foreign Minister Emmanuel Nahshon said on Wednesday, vowing the “complete and unequivocal defeat of the enemy, at any cost.”

Since Saturday, Israeli air and artillery attacks have struck civilian targets including apartment buildings, hospitals, schools, mosques, and the Jabalia refugee camp, Gaza’s largest.

At least 1,100 Palestinians—including at least 326 children—have been killed in Israeli attacks, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. As was the case in previous Israeli assaults on Gaza, entire families have been wiped out.

The emphasis, Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson Daniel Hagari explained Tuesday, “is on damage and not on accuracy.”

Additionally, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Monday announced a “complete siege” of Gaza, which was followed by an intensification of a 16-year blockade of the densely populated strip. Israel is blocking food and fuel from entering Gaza and has cut off its electricity—actions that experts say amount to war crimes.

In stark contrast with the intense American corporate media coverage of the Hamas massacres in southern Israel, there has been little mention in the mainstream media of the Palestinian death toll in the U.S.-backed war.

Meanwhile, other prominent Republicans have taken to corporate and social media to make similar calls to Graham’s.

Appearing on Fox News over the weekend, 2024 GOP presidential candidate and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley implored Netanayahu to “finish” the Palestinians, a remark Palestinian author and journalist Ramzy Baroud described as “an outright call for genocide.”

On Monday, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) wrote on social media that “Israel must respond DISPROPORTIONATELY to this and any future attacks.” Disproportionate attacks are war crimes under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Responding to Israel’s brutal assault, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Wednesday: “Let us not forget that half of the 2 million people in Gaza are children. Children and innocent people do not deserve to be punished for the acts of Hamas.”

“The targeting of civilians is a war crime,” Sanders added, “no matter who does it.”

The U.S.-based group Jewish Voice for Peace on Wednesday blasted “U.S. government officials [who] are spreading racist, hateful, and incendiary rhetoric that will fuel mass atrocities and genocide.”

“We call on all people of conscience to stop the imminent genocide of Palestinians,” the group added. ” We demand our government work towards de-escalation, that it immediately stop sending weapons to the Israeli military. A future of peace and safety for all, grounded in justice, freedom, and equality for all, is still the only option.”

Brett Wilkins is a staff writer for Common Dreams.

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8 responses to “‘Level the Place,’ Declares Lindsey Graham as Israel Does Exactly That to Gaza”

  1. summitflyer Avatar

    Will Israel and their supporters be able to discuss the holocaust with a straight face while they
    participate in genocide of another people ? Will Christians be able to look at themselves in the mirror when they find out that this was all orchestrated ?

  2. Woopy Avatar

    I’ve often wondered what makes people like Lindsey Graham, John McCain, William Krystol, Paul Wolfowitz, Victoria Nuland, and their ilk tic. These people are mentally defective and have infested the US government with their anti human rights culture. In 2016 during the Nazi attacks upon ethnic Russians McCain and Graham told the Ukrainians that US taxpayers would fund Ukraine if they would fight Russia. Other US congressmen like Mit Romney have stated that having Ukrainians fight and die fighting Russia is a good deal for the US because US citizens aren’t dying. What makes people like Romney tick? How backwards and evil can these types be?

  3. scrdmgl Avatar

    I hate to tell you that if you are American, your country shares exactly the same guilt as the war criminals massacring the Palestinian population surrounded in Gaza. Not only the 4th biggest army in the world, but now by a US ship of war and effectives from vassal states like my own country, traitor Canada. You must understand and accept that the day of reckoning will be ahead to settle accounts with all guilty parties.

  4. doug Avatar

    Political and Military elites often repeat the well worn soundbite that there is no military solution only a political solution, while they press forward with manufactured consent for ethnic cleansing, genocide, war crimes and political oppression. Spare me the platitudes and the self perpetuating congratulatory hypocrisy!

  5. braithwa842 Avatar

    The Australian media has been in what I call “propaganda overdrive” mode for more than a week now. The media coverage that I have seen in Australia has been unmitigated one sided propaganda, with the Palestineans being referred to as just “terrorists”, and with an ASIO (the Australian subordinates of the CIA) representative featured on the TV insisting that Australia must “come together” in support of Israel. What he means by that is the censorship of dissent Prime Minister Abanese appearing on TV vowed to do just that, by censoring what he and the media refer to “anti-semitism”, by which they mean any support for Palestine.

    The propaganda overdrive is what happens in Australia for each and every USA war. I hate it, but I have grown used to it. But I am very concerned about the eradication of free speech in the western world. But with the arrival of the internet, we have become accustomed to a certain degree of freedom of speech. That is about to be smashed in all 5 eyes nations except the USA, which has it enshrined in the constitution. Australia, NZ, UK, Canada and the EU have no such constitutional protection. Australia is pushing through its “Internet Safety” act, similar to the Canadian, the UK one, the New Zealand one, and also the EU one which is being applied forcefully to Twitter as we speak:-

    Although the USA does have free speech protections, it too will experience censorship as Big Tech platforms censor globally because of direct orders in Australia, UK, NZ, Canada and the EU. They will censor things in the USA because of orders from 5 eyes nations, which in turn, are obeying orders from Washington.

  6. Woopy Avatar

    Just saw a little bit of main stream media coverage of the white supremist Israeli massacre of the Palestinian prisoners. Almost like a replay of the Iraq/Syrians/Libya Holocausts. We live on a very sick planet.

  7. Ray Joseph Cormier Avatar

    Almost exactly a year ago, the European Commission president Ursula Von Der Leyen denounced Russia’s strikes on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine as WAR CRIMES, declaring this Western Principle, “Cutting off men, women, children of water, electricity and heating with winter coming – these are acts of pure terror,” she said, “And we have to call it as such.”
    See and hear her for yourself here:

    Everyone should question why in just 1 year, those “Western Values” apply to Russia, but are abandoned when it comes to Israel. The Ukraine WAR is out of the news.

    All the Hamas terrorists that got into Israel and did the actual killing on the ground, some 1500 of them, were killed by the IDF in 2 Days according to Israeli News media. The guilty people were terminated.

    Hamas has no jet fighters, tanks or artillery but for their rockets. What chance will the INNOCENT CIVILIANS have when Israeli tanks invade? The CIVILIANS will only have stones.
    The US West is giving Israel the green light to commit unlimited WAR CRIMES to defend themselves against a helpless CIVILIAN Population who did not attack Israel.

    No Political Leader does the killing but they can send others to kill for them.