Unlike the issue of aid for Ukraine, which fell on the standard GOP dividing lines of interventionism versus isolationism, the dividing lines with the Israeli conflict are less clear.
🇺🇸 GOP candidates' Middle East approach,
💉 CDC dismissed myocarditis-COVID vaccine link data,
🍦 Biden admin's Israel-Gaza conflict response, 🔒
And everything else you need to know.
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How GOP candidates are approaching the Middle East
What’s happening: Politicians of all stripes have responded to Hamas’s violent attack on Israel and its aftermath, including GOP 2024 primary candidates. While the GOP has been facing a rift — between those who prefer American intervention in world affairs and those who want less of it — its candidates are somewhat united policy-wise when it comes to Israel.
Former President Donald Trump, the frontrunner, drew controversy by critiquing Israel in the wake of the attack, calling Islamic terrorists “smart.” He later argued that he would be the only president who could protect Israel.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been clear in his support of Israel, though he stopped short of calling for direct American military action. He recently chartered flights back to Florida for Americans stuck in the country.
Vivek Ramaswamy called for reducing aid to Israel in mid-August but now says the U.S. should provide it if requested.
Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley claimed that Hamas’s actions were an “attack on America” and argued that President Joe Biden’s hostage deal with Iran is to blame.
Former Vice President Mike Pence wants America to provide military aid and labeled Trump, DeSantis, and Ramaswamy as “voices of appeasement.” He has also argued that the U.S. should send in Special Forces to free American hostages in Gaza should Hamas refuse to give them up.
No clear dividing lines: Unlike the issue of aid for Ukraine, which fell on the standard GOP dividing lines of interventionism versus isolationism, the dividing lines here are less clear — there is no disagreement on assisting Israel.
WHAT WE'RE WATCHING
🤥 Hospital strike story still falling apart. After mainstream media outlets blindly put the blame on Israel for a rocket hitting a Gaza hospital, new photos suggest that it mostly hit its parking lot. The Wall Street Journal also said the “number of dead couldn’t be independently verified” after Palestinians claimed over 500 casualties. Available evidence points to a misfired rocket from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. (Visegrad 24, Wall Street Journal)
💰 Biden requests aid for Israel and Ukraine. The president wants $100 billion from Congress to assist Israel and Ukraine in their respective conflicts. The administration is putting money for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and border security together in hopes of increasing the likelihood of bipartisan approval for the funds. (Bloomberg)
🇮🇱 Democrats are divided on Israel. A growing number of Democrats are demanding President Biden limit Israel's actions against Hamas in the Gaza Strip and are calling for an immediate ceasefire. This mounting pressure is caused by a rising civilian death toll in Gaza and indicates a split in the Democratic Party over whether America should fully back its closest alley in the Middle East. (Washington Post)
🛂 American embassies overrun by protesters. In response to Islamic Jihad's bombing of a hospital, protesters took over American embassy buildings throughout the Middle East, blaming Israel. The State Department put out a travel advisory in Lebanon, warning that protesters had grown “violent” and “have blocked major roads.” (CNN, Al Jazeera, the Independent)
WHAT WE’RE HEARING
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) failed to get a majority of the House to back him as speaker yesterday. He is attempting to convince holdouts, and another vote is expected to be held today. (Washington Post)
Mainstream news outlet Axios claimed that the U.S. does not have an “open border” despite historic rates of illegal migration that have overwhelmed border agents. (Axios)
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) demanded the Department of Homeland Security expel any foreign nationals who show sympathy toward Hamas or similar terrorist organizations. (Just the News)
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said that Gov. Ron DeSantis’s claim that Gazan refugees are “all anti-Semitic” is “destructive” and “dangerous.” (Daily Wire)
CDC ignored data linking myocarditis to COVID vaccine
What’s happening: Uncovered emails revealed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ignored a paper casting doubt on the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine. A medical journal published by the CDC, along with five others, rejected the paper, which found an increased risk of myocarditis associated with the vaccine.
Why it matters: The CDC has largely ignored numerous studies finding that myocarditis rates are higher in people who have received the COVID vaccine, particularly in young males. The CDC is now recommending it for children as young as 6 months old.
What the data shows: The paper reports that one million doses of the vaccine given to young boys between ages 12 and 15 could cause up to 6.1 times more cardiac incidents than experienced by those who are unvaccinated. This contradicts CDC data suggesting the vaccine would prevent more COVID cases and hospitalizations than it would cause myocarditis.
Ignoring concerns: When the Biden administration sought final approval for the shot in 2021, an FDA public health officer advised that the risk of myocarditis needed to be examined further. She was eventually removed from her responsibilities related to the vaccine authorization process.
How the Biden administration is responding to the Israel-Gaza conflict
What’s happening: President Joe Biden recently announced that he would travel to Israel in a show of support for the country. Afterward, he’ll head to Jordan…
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POLL RESULTS FROM YESTERDAY
How should America be involved in the middle east war?
🟨🟨🟨🟨⬜️⬜️ 🙅♀️ No involvement (164)
🟨⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️ 💰 Funding (49)
🟨⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️ 🪖 Military support (54)
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 ⬆️ Combination of the above (229)
🙅♀️ No involvement: “Israel is powerful and wealthy. We should provide moral and intelligence support, but no people, equipment or money. This is their war, not ours.” — Pede
💰 Funding: “Israel, since 1948 has been an ally of the USA. We share intelligence, values and history with the Jewish state. As with any nation where we have a treaty, we should abide our commitments until a formal withdrawal of those commitments is made in advance.” — Darryl
🪖 Military support: “As an American son in law of Holocaust survivors… whatever military force required to stop the genocide of Jews in Israel and elsewhere, is needed. Never again.” — John
⬆️ Combination of the above: “Israel must be supported with funding and military if they need it. They are an ally and their fight against terrorist organizations is a global fight. If Israel loses, they WILL bring their fight to the US.” — Jim
Other: “We need to secure the rescue or recovery of all hostages taken by Hamas. After that we should walk away.” — Patricia
IN THE LOOP
Gun sales have jumped in some parts of Florida after Hamas’s attack on Israel as Jews prepare to protect their communities from potential attackers. (Daily Caller)
Two Navy ships are headed towards Israel to potentially assist in evacuating Americans. (Politico)
King Abdullah of Jordan announced that no Gazan refugees would be accepted in Jordan or Egypt. (Reuters)