Rep. Kennedy on support of Israel: ‘If we turn the other cheek to them, we’re going to get it in the neck’

Republican Sen. John Kennedy (La.) on Sunday pushed for the U.S. to give its full support to Israel against Iran, arguing Tehran’s weekend missile attack underscores the threat the country poses to the Middle East.

“We need to stand with Israel. It’s very clear. We’re not at war with Hamas, or Hezbollah or Yemen. Those are all surrogates for Iran. Those are…they’re prostitutes, the pimp is Iran. Israel is at war with Iran. Iran hates Americans. Iran hates Jews, Iran wants to kill Americans and Jews. And if we turn the other cheek to them, we’re going to get it in the neck,” Kennedy said during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched dozens of missiles and drones toward Israel on Saturday after an alleged Israeli strike earlier this month that killed two IRGC officers near the Iranian embassy in Damascus, Syria.

The majority of these missiles and drones were intercepted on Saturday night by Israel’s air defense systems, with the assistance of allied forces.

President Biden cut his trip home to Delaware short in the wake of the attacks, returning to the White House on Saturday afternoon to consult with his national security team. He later spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and condemned the attacks “in the strongest possible terms.”

 “I told him [Netanyahu] that Israel demonstrated a remarkable capacity to defend against and defeat even unprecedented attacks – sending a clear message to its foes that they cannot effectively threaten the security of Israel,” Biden said.

The attack comes as Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas enter its sixth month of fighting in Gaza, where more than 33,000 Palestinians have died since early October, according to the Health Ministry.

Biden has become increasingly critical of Israel’s wartime campaign in Gaza and has repeatedly called on Israeli forces to take greater caution to protect civilian lives.

Kennedy criticized Biden’s shift in tone, arguing the president has gone “wobbly” in his support of Israel. The Louisiana Republican pointed to reports that Biden told Netanyahu the U.S. would not support an Israeli counterattack on Iran. Axios was the first to report the details Sunday morning.

“Let me say it again, more sheep is not going to solve the wolf problem. My advice to the president today — for what it’s worth — Mr. President, don’t stop it. Support Israel. With respect, go to Amazon and buy a spine online. Peace through weakness never works, not with these hard armed men,” Kennedy said.

The Hill reached out to the White House for comment.

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