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It looks like Andrew Yang’s got himself some new high-profile right-winger fans after he defended Israel and implicitly endorsed their deadly airstrikes in Gaza.
Health officials in Gaza said Tuesday that at least 28 people had been killed, mostly by airstrikes, and more than 130 were wounded by a series of over 100 airstrikes in the Palestinian territory Monday and Tuesday, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Two Israeli women were killed in the city of Ashkelon after the military wing of the Palestinian nationalist group Hamas and other militants fired hundreds of rockets in retaliation for an Israeli police raid injuring hundreds on the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, according to multiple reports. Violence has escalated recently as a result of police crackdowns during Ramadan and an ongoing attempt to evict Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem.
Yang, whose jurisdiction if he becomes mayor of New York City would not include Hoboken let alone the Gaza Strip, nonetheless decided to weigh in with a Monday tweet condemning the rocket attacks.
“I'm standing with the people of Israel who are coming under bombardment attacks, and condemn the Hamas terrorists,” Yang tweeted. “The people of NYC will always stand with our brothers and sisters in Israel who face down terrorism and persevere.”
Yang’s pandering delighted former Trump White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, a key architect of the Trump administration’s far-right immigration policies. “.@AndrewYang is exactly right, @IlhanMN is outrageously wrong,” Miller tweeted in response to Yang’s statement and a tweet from U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar calling the Israeli airstrikes “terrorism.”
Yang’s tweet was also endorsed by Sen. Ted Cruz, a conservative hard-liner on the issue of Israel.
Yang’s tweet even united the children of the Hatfield-McCoy feud of conservative politics. Meghan McCain, the daughter of late Sen. John McCain, tweeted “#YANGGANG!” while Donald Trump Jr. liked the tweet and cited its replies as evidence that “Dems are now legit pro terror.”
Yang’s tweet put him at odds with some Democrats, including Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Andre Carson, three of the four Muslim members of Congress in U.S. history.
The trio put out a statement condemning “all violence in this conflict,” but pointing out that the U.S. provides more than $3 billion annually to the Israeli military “with no conditions or accountability for wanton human rights abuses and continuing illegal seizures of Palestinian land.”
"It is long past time we finally take action to protect Palestinian human rights and save lives,” the statement said.
Republicans weren’t alone in siding with Yang, however. Fellow Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams also tweeted his support for the Israeli government while making no mention of the airstrike, proving that despite a minority of Democrats calling for Israel to be held accountable for its own actions, American politicians on both sides of the aisle largely treat the issue as a one-sided conflict in which Israel is the victim.
House Democrats, including Yang ally Ritchie Torres, also condemned Hamas but hasn’t yet not done the same for the airstrikes.
But as for Yang himself, he continues to say things the right-wing likes. On Tuesday, Miller again praised Yang after the mayoral frontrunner criticized the movement to defund the police over the weekend.
“With violent crime and homicides surging in America’s major cities, we are witnessing the tragic (and predictable) result of the war on cops,” Miller tweeted Tuesday. “Good for @AndrewYang for standing up to the defund extremists.”