Trump names Biden ‘very bad Palestinian’ in US presidential debate jab

Donald Trump has called US President Joe Biden “a very bad Palestinian” who doesn’t want to help Israel “finish the job” against Hamas in its war on the Gaza Strip which has so far killed more than 37,500 people.

“He doesn’t want to do it. He’s become like a Palestinian – but they don’t like him because he’s a very bad Palestinian, he’s a weak one,” former president Trump said in the first presidential debate with Biden on Thursday in Atlanta, Georgia.

While foreign policy and the Middle East were referenced numerous times during the debate, as pro-Palestinian protests were held near the venue, the suffering of Palestinians and the toll of Israel’s campaign in the besieged enclave – which has killed more than 37,700 people since October – received little mention.

Neither Biden, who is under pressure from his Democratic base over his staunch support of ally Israel, nor Trump is “not fit to represent” Palestinian and Arab communities in the United States. The debate highlighted how both Democrats and Republicans have lost their will to end the war and to support the creation of a Palestinian state.

Trump stated Israel wanted the war to continue, and that it should. Asked whether he would support the establishment of a Palestinian state to secure peace in the region, Trump baulked. “I’d have to see.”

Meantime, Biden falsely claimed that every party but Hamas had agreed to his ceasefire proposal and that he had secured an across-the-board agreement for his three-stage plan to end the war, including from Israel.

“Everyone from the United Nations Security Council, straight through the G7 to the Israelis and [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu have endorsed the plan that I put forward,” Biden continued, adding, “The only one who wants the war to continue is Hamas.”

He reiterated his opinion that Hamas has been “greatly weakened” by Israel, adding that the group “should be eliminated”.

Biden also noted that he was the first recent president to not have soldiers at risk overseas.

Meanwhile, Trump described Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan as the “most embarrassing moment in the history of our country” and stressed it encouraged Russia to invade Ukraine.

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