Florida Rep. Accused of 'Dehumanizing' Palestinians, His Bill Combating Hamas Passes Anyway

Florida Rep. Accused of 'Dehumanizing' Palestinians, His Bill Combating Hamas Passes Anyway

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
|
November 1, 2023

Representative Brian Mast’s (R-FL) Hamas International Financing Prevention Act passed in the U.S. House. However, Rep. Mast’s words on the House Floor did not come with a unanimous commendation from Democrats in the lower chamber.

Before the vote was held, Rep. Mast spoke on the bill’s purpose – to prevent the mediums in which Hamas was able to carry out its deadly attack on Israel on Oct. 7.

“Oct. 7 didn’t happen for free. Oct. 7 didn’t happen without planning. Oct. 7 didn’t happen without the delivery of arms from multiple nations. Oct. 7 didn’t happen without the intelligence from multiple nations … This happened as a result of a great deal of all of the above. This bill was specifically about sanctions, about making sure that we can get to the individuals or the states or the government agencies or the non-government agencies or the companies that enabled Oct. 7 to happen,” said Mast.

However, a multitude of Democrats in the House of Representatives took issue with another part of Mast’s words, accusing him of “dehumanizing an entire population.”

Mast said “I think when we look at this as a whole, I would encourage the other side to not so lightly throw around the idea of innocent Palestinian civilians. I don’t think we would so lightly throw around the term ‘innocent Nazi civilians,’ during World War II.”

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) called these words “dangerous.”

“These words by Rep. Brian Mast are dangerous, wrong and dehumanize an entire population. It can't be said enough - not all Palestinians are Hamas. There are countless innocent Palestinians whose lives deserve saving & deserve freedom from Hamas' terror,” said Rep. Wasserman Schultz.

Mast provided a response.

“I’ll recant when you can show me crowds of Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip protesting for the release of hostages or when you can show me evidence of Palestinian civilians trying to stop October 7.”

Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) went on social media as well to “demand accountability for this downright genocidal rhetoric.”

“Here is a sitting Member of Congress questioning the very idea that Palestinian civilians exist. For the record, roughly half of the 2.3 million residents of the Gaza Strip are children. 70 percent are refugees. There needs to be accountability for this downright genocidal rhetoric,” said Rep. Omar.

Mast provided a similar response.

“Again, show me the massive rally of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank for the return of hostages. Or the Palestinians who fought against the kidnappings and slaughter on October 7th.”

The bill passed in the house by a tally of 363 to 46.

This is a developing story.

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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