Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said on Tuesday that there should be “no limit” on how many civilian casualties Israel incurs in its bombardment of Gaza.
Graham made the comments while appearing on CNN after Israel bombed the Jabalia refugee camp in north Gaza, killing dozens of people. An Israeli military commander was asked after the strike if Israel was aware the camp was full of innocent civilians and replied, “This is the tragedy of war.”
Graham was asked if there was a threshold where the US might ask Israel to hold off on causing so many civilian casualties. “No. If somebody asked us after World War II, ‘Is there a limit what would you do to make sure that Japan and Germany don’t conquer the world? Is there any limit what Israel should do to the people who are trying to slaughter the Jews? The answer is no. There is no limit,” he said.
Israeli officials have been pointing to the US and allied bombings of Germany and Japan during World War II, which killed hundreds of thousands of civilians, to justify their onslaught in Gaza. The comparison includes the US fire bombings of Japanese cities, which killed around 100,000 civilians in Tokyo in one night in 1945, as well as the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Graham previously said if Israel doesn’t do something similar to Gaza, it would be a mistake. “Gaza is going to look like Tokyo and Berlin at the end of World War II when this is over. And if it doesn’t look that way, Israel made a mistake,” Graham said on Fox News.
The New York Times reported on Monday that Israeli officials conveyed to their US counterparts that “mass civilian casualties” were an acceptable toll of the Gaza campaign, which has been reflected by the massive child death toll, which according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, stands at 3,648. When asked about the child casualty rate on Monday, the Pentagon said there were “no limits” on how Israel can use its US-provided weapons.