GOP Rep. Tim Walberg suggests Gaza should be handled 'like Nagasaki and Hiroshima'


Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., said this week that the conflict in Gaza should be over quickly “like Nagasaki and Hiroshima,” and the United States should refrain from sending any humanitarian aid to the besieged enclave as Israel’s war with Hamas continues.

“We shouldn’t be spending a dime on humanitarian aid,” Walberg said at a town hall meeting on Monday in Dundee, Michigan, according to a video that circulated on social media.

“It should be like Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Get it over quick,” he continued, referring to the Japanese cities on which the U.S. dropped atomic bombs during World War II. Hundreds of thousands of people died.

In a statement, Walberg said he “used a metaphor to convey the need for both Israel and Ukraine to win their wars as swiftly as possible, without putting American troops in harm’s way.”

“My reasoning was the exact opposite of what is being reported: the quicker these wars end, the fewer innocent lives will be caught in the crossfire,” he added.

According to Walberg’s public calendar, he was scheduled to attend a community gathering in Dundee on Monday, March 25, at 10 a.m.

Walberg made the comment in response to a question from an audience member who asked, “Why are we spending our money to build a port for them?

The question appeared to reference the Biden administration’s plan to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza via a floating dock. The United Nations and other agencies have warned the enclave is on the brink of famine amid Israel’s five-month assault and the lack of sufficient supplies flowing into Gaza.

“It’s Joe Biden’s reason: We need to get humanitarian aid into Gaza. I don’t think we should,” Walberg replied.

More than 32,000 people have died in Gaza since Israel launched its war against Hamas, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. The military campaign follows the militant group’s Oct. 7 attack in the country, in which nearly 1,200 people were killed and about 250 were taken hostage. More than 100 people are still believed to be held captive in Gaza.

A number of Walberg’s fellow Michigan politicians quickly criticized his remarks.

Democratic Rep. Haley Stevens said in a post on X that “threatening to use, suggesting the use of, or, God forbid actually using nuclear weapons, are unacceptable tactics of war in the 21st Century.”

Former Rep. Justin Amash, a Palestinian American Republican who is running for Senate, said in a post that Walberg’s comments “evince an utter indifference to human suffering,” adding “for him to suggest that hundreds of thousands of innocent Palestinians should be obliterated, including my own relatives sheltering at an Orthodox Christian church, is reprehensible and indefensible.”

State Sen. Darrin Camilleri, a Democrat, called on Walberg to resign, and Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee said Walberg’s comments were “horrific & shocking” and his position “indefensible.”

“My colleague’s comments are reckless and wrong,” Rep. Hillary Scholten, a Democrat, said on X. She called Walberg’s comments “depraved” and urged him to “retract and apologize.”

Politicians and organizations outside of Michigan also took issue with Walberg’s comments.

Rep. Chris Deluzio, D-Pa., called the comments “horrific, inhumane, and barbaric,” and Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., said the remarks were “disgraceful” and “shameful.”

“This clear call to genocide by a member of Congress should be condemned by all Americans who value human life and international law,” Dawud Walid, executive director of CAIR-MI — a Muslim civil rights group — said in a statement. “To so casually call for what would result in the killing of every human being in Gaza sends the chilling message that Palestinian lives have no value.”

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com





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