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On his fifth visit to Israel since October 7, US Senator Lindsey Graham came to the Israel National News - Arutz Sheva studio in Jerusalem and spoke about the Hamas massacre, the International Criminal Court, Saudi Arabia, the US, and terrorism, as well as the US’s support for Israel in ensuring a future of peace in the Middle East.

In the Jerusalem studio, Graham was awarded the Arutz Sheva Jerusalem Award in recognition "of his steadfast and unwavering support of Israel amidst opposition from various quarters".

The award was granted as part of the Arutz Sheva Jerusalem Conference which will take place in New York on Sunday, June 2nd.

Commenting on the situation in Israel, Senator Graham said, “October 7th, what's this all about? You know there's been an effort. Saudi Arabia is trying to change, I think they're moving in the right direction. The Abraham Accords, that Ambassador David Friedman, Jared Kushner and President Trump accomplished. Six Nations recognizing Israel, we'd like to build on that.”

Senator Graham explained, “I think Iran's worst nightmare is for the Arab world to reconcile with Israel and move toward the light, away from the darkness. So, there's a lot going on here. But I brought ten Senators right after October 7th, five Republicans and 5 Democrats, to make the statement to the world and to Israel that we have your back. That's often said, but what does it mean? It means you need bombs; you get the bombs. Having your back is just easy to say. Why do you need 2,000 pound bombs, precision-guided. Hamas is in tunnels all over Gaza, so you’ve got to go down to where they're at and blow them up. The weapons that were being withheld were outcome critical to winning against Hamas. There were going to be precision-guided J bombs. It's the weapons package they need the most. The last thing in the world you want to do is delay delivery of these weapons.”

Senator Graham continued, “So I spoke up. Everywhere you look in Israel – Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran have one thing in common – kill all the Jews. They're not trying to help the Palestinians. Hamas is not a movement to make the life of the Palestinians better. It's a movement to destroy the state of Israel.”

Senator Lindsey Graham
Senator Lindsey GrahamArutz Sheva

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On the US and the world’s attitude to Israel, Senator Graham said he believes that, “The world is upside down. The world has changed. As the war goes on and as you watch television, Israel is becoming the bad guy. Now what are they doing? They're trying to defend themselves against the homicidal terrorist network that says openly, ‘we'll do it again and again and again.’ Hamas uses the Palestinians as human Shields. I've been a military lawyer most of my adult life. They take mosques and turn them into ammo dumps. They put rockets in schoolhouses and apartment buildings. They want to run up the number of civilian deaths to isolate Israel on the world stage. Now is not the time to reward terrorists who use their own people as human shields. The answer is not to reduce the ammunition to Israel, it is to accelerate the destruction of Hamas. Get them over with, done, that's good for everybody.”

Senator Graham asked, “So what happened with the International Criminal Court (ICC)?" and answered, "The world is upside down. This is the 1930s all over again. The International Criminal Court brought charges against the Prime Minister of Israel, the Defense Minister of Israel, for defending the Jewish state against homicidal maniacs and put them on the same level as Hamas. You know, the ICC has insulted the judiciary of Israel. Israel has one of the most independent judiciaries in the world. They can take care of allegations against the idea.”

Senator Graham elaborated that, “We are back to the 1930s because it's antisemitism again where people are being quiet and silent in the face of the Nurenberg Laws. ‘He just wants German-speaking territory.’ ‘He's really not that bad.’ ‘He doesn't really want to kill all the Jews.’ He just “says” that and as the laws change and as the oppression changed, people got quiet. The Olympics went on in 1936 as if nothing was happening. So here we are, 80 years later and it's not going to happen again. Why? I'm going to do my part. I'm going to have your back, not just saying it, but I'm going to give you the weapons you need to win a war you can't afford to lose. I'm going to take the ICC on. The idea of the wrong statute limits the ICC actions against robust democracies. They'll come after us next. They tried to come after our troops in Afghanistan. I want to sanction the ICC. The International Court of Justice just issued an injunction against military operations by Israel in Gaza to destroy the last four battalions. Look at who's in charge of the ICJ. The head judge is a raving antisemite. America speak up, speak out. We're next. Everybody wants to kill all the Jews. They want to kill you too.”

Senator Graham agrees with many people in Israel that enabling the establishment of a Palestinian state as a result of the October 7th massacre, “Would be rewarding terrorism. How does this end? We're going to destroy the four battalions. What happens next? Saudi Arabia in my view is changing. I think the only hope for the Palestinian world is for the Arabs to help them. You know, we've put a lot of money into Palestine and what have we got to show for it. I don't think Israel can completely occupy the place forever, so I'm hoping for the Arabs to get involved and deradicalize. Germany and Japan were defeated, right? How did they turn out to be who they are today? You changed the education system, you pulled the radical ideology up by the roots, you destroyed the regimes. So, a unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state rewards terrorism. If there is ever to be coexistence between Israel and the Palestinians, governed in a different way, it will come through direct negotiations without conditions. The Knesset passed a resolution 99:9 rejecting the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state. So, when Spain, Norway and Ireland recognized a Palestinian state, what are its boundaries? Who's in charge? Have they rejected the destruction of the Jewish people? How could you possibly recognize a Palestinian state? Have you ever heard of the Taylor Force Act? Itwas my bill. So, what will happen over time is Israel will have a chance, after the destruction of Hamas, to sit down hopefully and find a way forward that makes them more secure. There can never be a Palestinian state who is dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish people. There can never be a militarized Palestinian state. There can never be a Palestinian state hooked up to Iran. There can never be a Palestinian State who teaches math by if you had ten Jews, you kill six, how many would you have left? That can't happen! I don't know what the future holds, but I know this – the sooner Hamas is destroyed, the better and the stronger Israel is, and the more likely you'll get a peaceful outcome.”

On the option that Saudi Arabia might stipulate a Palestinian state for any peaceful outcome, Senator Graham reiterates, “They don't want that. I've talked to them. It's up to you to decide. You, the political body of Israel. You have to decide, not me. I will help you until my time on this earth is up. If you can find a way to create a Palestinian Emirate state, call it what you want, that would recognize Israel and live in peace with you, maybe that's a good thing. We're so far away from that. How do you get from where we are to where we want to go? Destroy Hamas, make sure they never come back. Take the education system, pull it up by its roots. All I can say is it’s up to Israel to determine who they're going to live with and how they're going to live. Not the United States. We're not going to dictate to you how to construct your neighborhood. I will be here for you. If you can engage with Saudi Arabia and the UAE and find a better way, God bless you, but right now we're talking about the destruction of a homicidal terrorist group, Hamas, and if we don't get this right, Iran is the great Satan. I worry about them immensely. A weak America leads to aggression. So, my message here to Israel is, ‘I just don't say I have your back. I want to have policies that will have your back. I want to sanction the ICC, because we're next. I want to attack the International Court of Justice as being a kangaroo court. I want to give you the weapons you need. I want to go all in and make sure that nobody will screw with you in the future.”

Senator Graham emphasizes that, “My goal is to be an ally and let you make the decisions that will determine your future. The one thing I can say about the Jewish People. ‘Never again is now,’ as Bibi says. You don't need any more critics. You've got all the critics you need. You need a friend. I'll tell you quietly as a friend what I think, but I'm not going to go out on the world stage and tell you what to do and how to do it, because you're under siege. Everybody around you wants to kill you and your family, so now's the time for me and people in America to circle the wagons, have your back. This means a lot to me. I'm looking for a peaceful outcome over time. The Palestinian people have been under the thumb of oppression and corruption. Maybe they can have a better future one day, I hope so for them. Bottom line is until peace comes, I will be in your camp.”

Senator Graham expresses his concern about bipartisan support, saying, “Republicans are good, but there's an erosion in America. There is a fatigue with the mid-east in America, so I worry about the radicalization of the Democratic party. I worry about isolationism in the Republican party, but let me say, when it comes to Israel, it seems to be the one thing we, as Republicans, agree upon. But it's not enough to have the Republican party, I want America in your camp. I want to wake America up to the idea that the threats you face, the people who chant ‘death to Israel’ also chant ‘death to America.’ This is a time for us to understand, as Americans, you need friends all over the world. We have no better friend than Israel. The idea of Fortress America will not work. This outpost called Israel that practices democracy, that provides us with intelligence to keep us safe, it is in our vital national security interest that the Jewish state survive.”

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