(R-S.C.) labeled the United Nations the “most antisemitic body on the planet,” after the General Assembly renewed its call for a cease-fire in the war between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas.
“Let me just tell you about the U.N. right now,” Graham said in a Fox News interview Monday. “It is the most antisemitic body on the planet.”
“To ask Israel to have a cease-fire after their people were slaughtered more viscously than the Nazis, having children beheaded, women raped in front of their parents – the U.N. is wrong,” he added.
The war began early this month after Hamas killed over 1,400 Israelis, mostly civilians, in a surprise attack. The group also took about 200 people hostage.
Responding Israeli air strikes and a ground invasion have since killed at least 8,500 Palestinians, including over 3,500 children.
The U.N. has been the strongest voice in favor of a cease-fire in the conflict with the goal of preventing further civilian casualties in Gaza.
A resolution from the General Assembly calling for a cease-fire passed 120-14 with 45 abstentions. The U.S., however, voted against the measure.
“Here is when we’ll have a cease-fire: When Hamas ceases to be a threat to Israel,” Graham continued. “Then and only then will we have a cease-fire.”
Graham implicitly linked the Hamas attacks to the Holocaust, the genocide which killed about 6 million Jews in World War II, a strategy also used by some Israeli leaders in drumming up support amid the conflic in the region.
The U.S. has backed Israel in the war, pledging billions in additional aid for the country. But, the Biden administration reportedly warned the Israeli military against a ground invasion of northern Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas, citing civilian casualty risks.
Israel began its ground incursion overnight on Friday.
“Israel, take all the time you need and do whatever it takes to destroy Hamas,” Graham said, again dismissing a cease-fire. “That’s non-negotiable for me.”
“Weakness breeds more aggression,” he added.
On Monday, the head of the U.N. agency tasked with assisting Palestinians said “an immediate humanitarian cease-fire has become a matter of life and death for millions,” accusing Israel of “collective punishment” and forced displacement of civilians.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for a truce for weeks, arguing a halt in hostilities is needed in order to lessen what he described as a dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
“To ease epic suffering, make the delivery of aid easier and safer, and facilitate the release of hostages, I reiterate my appeal for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire,” Guterres said in a U.N. speech last week.
The U.N. chief also said that he was “deeply concerned” about the “clear violations of international humanitarian law” in the conflict.
A cease-fire in the conflict has also been a divisive issue in U.S. politics. Rep. Cori Bush (R-Mo.) led a group of nearly a dozen lawmakers, mostly progressive Democrats, in a resolution supporting a cease-fire earlier this month.
“War and retaliatory violence doesn’t achieve accountability or justice; it only leads to more death and human suffering,” Bush said in a statement introducing her resolution. “The United States bears a unique responsibility to exhaust every diplomatic tool at our disposal to prevent mass atrocities and save lives.”
“We can’t bomb our way to peace, equality, and freedom,” she continued. “With thousands of lives lost and millions more at stake, we need a ceasefire now.”