Republican Representative Brian Mast horrifyingly compared Palestinian civilians to Nazis on Wednesday and implied that they are all guilty for Hamas’s atrocities.
The House was debating the Hamas International Financing Prevention Act, a measure that would impose sanctions on people who support groups, such as Hamas, that the bill deems “terrorist organizations.” The measure was originally introduced in January, but an amended version with no humanitarian considerations is on the floor now, partially in light of Hamas’s violent attack on Israel in early October. In the nearly one month since, Israel’s retaliation has killed more than 8,000 civilians, mostly women and children.
But Mast refused to accept that fact. “I would encourage the other side to not so lightly throw around the idea of ‘innocent Palestinian civilians,’ as is frequently said,” the Florida Republican said on the House floor.
“I don’t think we would so lightly throw around the term ‘innocent Nazi civilians’ during World War II.”
Mast’s comments, though horrific, should come as no surprise. When the Foreign Affairs Committee began debating the bill two weeks ago, Mast revealed he had amended the measure to strip out a humanitarian provision that would have allowed aid into Gaza. That aid would include food, medicine, and medical devices for civilians.
Mast said his goal was to deliberately slow the flow of aid into Palestine. “I would challenge anybody in here to point to me which Palestinian is Hamas and which one is an innocent civilian,” Mast said, implying that even children were complicit.
“It should absolutely be every effort made to slow down any perceived assistance that is going there.”