Fox News 2024-03-06 16:34:19


Biden hits 2024 roadblock as protest vote draws vast support on Super Tuesday

Tens of thousands of Super Tuesday voters sent a message to President Biden, after they chose to mark “uncommitted” on their ballots over voting for him. 

With 99% of the expected votes counted in Minnesota, nearly 1 in 3 voters backed someone other than the president, with nearly 46,000 voters, or nearly 19% of Democrats, marking their ballots “uncommitted,” or willfully deciding not to back any named candidate, to protest his support for Israel.

The sizable protest vote in Minnesota extended to six other states — Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Tennessee — where tens of thousands of voters also refused to support Biden, undoubtedly raising questions for his re-election campaign.

The votes come just a week after Arab American and Muslim community leaders in Michigan, home to one of the largest Muslim communities in the U.S., urged voters not to support Biden.

2024 DEMOCRATIC PRIMARIES & CAUCUSES

Progressive groups have backed the “uncommitted” vote to protest Biden’s support for Israel and its continued war against the Hamas terror group in Gaza, which has resulted in millions of Palestinians becoming displaced from their homes and the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians. 

The “uncommitted” option appeared on the Democratic ballot in six other Super Tuesday states, and each took a chunk of support away from the president.

In Alabama, over 11,000 voters, or roughly 6%, voted for “uncommitted.” The option collected the second-most votes in the state.

In Colorado, over 43,000 voters, or roughly 8% of the vote, marked “Noncommitted Delegate” on the ballot. 

In Iowa, 4% of the total vote backed “Uncommitted.”

In Massachusetts, over 54,000 voters, or just under 10%, backed “No Preference.”

In North Carolina, a whopping 88,000 voters, or nearly 13%, backed “No Preference.”

Finally, in Tennessee, approximately 10,450 voters, or nearly 8%, voted “Uncommitted.”

In these states, the non-declared option was usually the second most chosen, earning more than Democratic presidential candidates Dean Phillips and Marianne Williamson.

MICHIGAN DEMOCRATS, COMMUNITY LEADERS SOUND ALARM BELLS AFTER THOUSANDS OF VOTERS PROTEST BIDEN IN SWING STATE

The vote is a message for Biden and one that could cause his campaign to reassess ahead of the 2024 general election, where the president is expected to face former President Trump, a voter said.

“That is a powerful way to send the administration a message,” Christian Peterson, 22, a law student at the University of Minnesota, told Reuters. “Biden needs to stop sending military aid to Israel.”

Both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have defended Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s right to defend itself but, facing internal pressure, have called for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

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The Israeli military invaded Gaza after Hamas-led forces carried out the deadliest terror attack in Israel’s history as a country. The ensuing conflict has created a humanitarian disaster and has resulted in the deaths of over 30,000 Palestinian people, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry. 

Hamas’ attack on Oct. 7 left more than 1,200 Israelis dead, according to Israel.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Psaki, Maddow laugh and mock Virginia voters for caring about border crisis

An MSNBC panel led by Rachel Maddow laughed at and mocked Virginia Republican voters who listed the border and immigration as a top priority during coverage of Super Tuesday.

Far-left anchor Joy Reid assailed White working-class Republican voters as only making their decisions based on race and not thanking President Biden, a “White working-class guy himself,” for the “benefits they’re getting economically” from him.

“They’re voting on race,” she said. “They’re voting on this idea of an invasion of Brown people over the border.”

LAKEN RILEY’S MOTHER SPEAKS OUT ABOUT ‘AVOIDABLE TRAGEDY’ AFTER DAUGHTER’S FUNERAL

Jen Psaki, Biden’s former White House press secretary, concurred, adding, “Look at some of these exit polls. I live in Virginia. Immigration was the number one issue,” as Reid laughed.

Maddow added, “Well, Virginia does have a border with West Virginia,” as others on the panel laughed.

Former President Trump carried Virginia easily Tuesday night as part of a string of primary victories over Nikki Haley, cementing his status as the GOP frontrunner. The panel referred to exit polls that showed immigration as a top priority for Republican voters.

“You’re thinking like, what?” Psaki said. “Trump has indoctrinated people with this fear of people who do not look like them being a threat to them.”

MSNBC SEGMENT CALLING WHITE RURAL VOTERS ‘MOST RACIST’ IN THE COUNTRY RAISES EYEBROWS

Maddow complained that every election cycle, especially when a Democrat is in office, “we get reminded about the borders,” although Republicans have blasted Biden’s border policies for years as record-breaking numbers of migrants have crossed into the United States under his administration.

“You make these things an issue, you make them into boogeymen… as long as there’s a Democratic incumbent to blame on it,” she said. The panel was critical of Trump’s role in torpedoing bipartisan border legislation this year, saying he didn’t want a solution to the problem.

Conservatives jumped on MSNBC for the flippant segment.

“Democrats are laughing about the illegal immigration that’s hurting your city,” the House Judiciary GOP posted on X Tuesday. “Maybe they should read about Laken Riley. Disgusting.”

Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student at Augusta University, was killed while jogging on trails around the University of Georgia campus. Jose Antonio Ibarra, a 26-year-old Venezuelan national who was living illegally in the United States, has been charged in her murder.

Popular X account “End Wokeness” also referenced Riley, whose family held a funeral for her on Friday. 

“Jen Psaki and Rachel Maddow mock West Virginians for worrying about immigration despite their distance from the border,” the account wrote. “Athens, GA is 1,211 miles from the border. Ask the parents of Laken Riley if distance matters.”

Even a prominent anti-Trump voice took aim at MSNBC for the segment. Joe Walsh, a former Republican congressman who’s become a vehement critic of Trump, called it “pretty damn arrogant.”

“MSNBC talking heads laughing AT the American people,” commentator Joe Walsh wrote Tuesday. “Mocking them. Mocking Americans who are concerned about immigration. Pretty damn arrogant & out of touch. Not a good look Dems.”

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Fox News’ Audrey Conklin contributed to this report. 

High school basketball game ends in controversy as refs reverse game-winning shot

Controversy struck a New Jersey high school boys basketball playoff game on Tuesday night.

The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Group 2 semifinals between Manasquan High School and Camden High School came down to the wire. Camden went up one point on a foul shot from Alijah Curry with 5.8 seconds left, and Manasquan had to go the length of the floor to win the game.

Manasquan’s Rey Weinseimer missed a 3-pointer from the wing, but his teammate Griffin Linstra was there to grab the rebound and put the shot back in for what the team thought was the game-winning basket. The Manasquan fans went wild as Camden was in disbelief.

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The celebration quickly stopped as NJSIAA officials discussed the call at midcourt and reversed the decision. Camden was given the win 46-45.

“They reversed the call,” Manasquan coach Andrew Bilodeau told the Asbury Park Press. “The referee in the C position in the middle signaled ‘basket’s good,’ they huddled up, and then 15 kids got screwed in front of 1,000 people.

“Print that. Print it five times. Those three guys huddled up, and they screwed these kids in front of 1,000 people and that video will be on the internet for everyone to see.”

DARTMOUTH MEN’S BASKETBALL VOTES IN FAVOR OF JOINING LABOR UNION: ‘STUCK IN THE PAST’

Bilodeau was not the only one who thought his team was robbed.

Former Rutgers men’s basketball coach Mike Rice posted a video of the closing sequence on X. The video from NFHS Network showed Linstra grabbing the rebound with 1.7 seconds left and getting the shot off around 0.6 seconds left.

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“This wasn’t even close. Manasquan got robbed!” Rice wrote. 

“The trail ref had it correct. I really hope they suspend the ref that decided to waive it off. Manasquan got robbed!!!” he added.

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Bilodeau said he thought the referees were talking about putting more time back on the clock.

Camden will now play Arts High School in the Group 2 final on Saturday at Rutgers.

Follow Fox News Digital’s sports coverage on X and subscribe to the Fox News Sports Huddle newsletter.

Legal scholar left dismayed as Fani Willis case gets ‘worse by the day’

There is a new twist in the Fani Willis-Nathan Wade legal saga after a co-chief deputy district attorney for Cobb County claimed key witness Terrence Bradley lied about his knowledge of Willis and Wade’s relationship. While there has been no ruling on Willis’ disqualification, legal scholar Jonathan Turley questioned on “America’s Newsroom” Tuesday why the pair has not “stepped aside” as their legal quagmire worsens “by the day.”

FANI WILLIS AND HER TAINTED TEAM SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM TRUMP CASE IN GEORGIA

JONATHAN TURLEY: It was painful to watch. It had that look of a hostage tape, where he was just saying, ‘I know nothing, I heard nothing. If I said anything, I didn’t mean it.’ The problem is that this is getting worse by the day. So this new filing has another attorney, an officer of the court, saying, look, I heard that testimony, and I was shocked because I did hear with absolute clarity, the opposite of what was being stated to the court. And so you have this situation for the judge where you have emails, where there isn’t ambiguity. He is very clear that this relationship began before Wade was hired. And now you have this other attorney saying, yeah, that was the same clarity that I heard. So how does the court deal with that? What is very clear is that the continuation of Wade and Willis is undermining their case, undermining their office, and they have put their interests before that of the public. I am quite astonished that they have not stepped aside. They have an independent professional obligation towards their office, obviously to the people of the county. I don’t believe that they are shouldering that responsibility regardless of what the court is doing or will do.

Former law firm partner and divorce attorney Terrence Bradley testified under oath last week regarding what he knew about Fulton County, Ga. District Attorney Fani Willis and special prosector Nathan Wade’s personal relationship. Bradley took the stand after Judge Scott McAfee determined Bradley couldn’t claim attorney-client privilege.

Bradley, when pressed under oath, said he couldn’t recall several details and timelines about conversations he had with former client Wade about Wade’s romantic relationship with Willis.

Since then, a Cobb County, Ga. prosecutor has challenged Bradley’s testimony and has filed a notice of proposed testimony. 

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Co-chief deputy district attorney Cindi Lee Yeager made several allegations including that Bradley lied about his knowledge of Willis and Wade’s relationship. She also claimed to overhear a phone call between Willis and Bradley in September 2023 where Willis warned the attorney “they are coming after us.”

With no ruling yet in the disqualification hearing, the strength and legitimacy of the sweeping racketeering case against former President Trump in Georgia remains in question.

Fox News’ Brianna Herlihy contributed to this report.

San Francisco residents overwhelmingly pass law-and-order ballot measures

San Francisco voters passed a pair of law-and-order ballot measures on Tuesday night, including one that would require welfare recipients suspected of using drugs to undergo screenings to receive benefits.

It marks yet another rebuke of progressive policies in the famously liberal city, following the recall of far-left District Attorney Chesa Boudin in 2022.

The welfare requirement, called Proposition F, had 63 percent support as of Wednesday morning, according to the most recent election results online. Proposition E, which expanded some police surveillance powers and reined in some oversight, had support from 60 percent of voters. There are still votes to be counted but the measure’s proponents declared victory, while left-wing detractors grumbled about the results, saying they would backfire and reverse progress.

LIBERAL SAN FRANCISCO ON BRINK OF DRUG-TESTING WELFARE RECIPIENTS: ‘THE PENDULUM IS SWINGING’

Democratic Mayor London Breed, who’s up for re-election this year and had the measures placed on the ballot for voter consideration, celebrated on Tuesday night.

“It is clear that people want to see changes around public safety. What’s exciting about this for me is I get the kind of tools I need to continue the work we’re doing,” Breed told reporters, according to local station KQED.

She added on X, “Thank you to the voters for passing Prop F to bring more treatment and accountability to San Francisco. This is how we get more people the help they need and change what’s happening in our City.” She also wrote Prop E gives “our officers more tools to do their jobs.”

SAN FRANCISCO ANNOUNCES SCHOOL SHUTDOWNS AMID BUDGET, ENROLLMENT WOES: ‘WE MUST HAVE FEWER SCHOOLS’

A San Francisco business owner, Tom Wong, called for stronger support of local police from government officials, telling Fox News Digital that it was not fair to expect police to chase down and stop crime without community support. 

“Elected officials have to support local law enforcement,” he said. “It’s not the people.” 

Wong also dove into the political scene in San Francisco, explaining that Breed’s re-election campaign for mayor was an important factor in motivating her to talk about drug use and the police force in the city. 

“There’s a high probability that she will not win,” Wong said of Breed’s campaign. 

San Francisco Mayor Breed’s spokesman, Joe Arellano, spoke out on both propositions in a statement to Fox News Digital. 

“Mayor Breed placed Prop F on the ballot to give San Francisco another tool to get people suffering from addiction into treatment and save lives,” Arellano said. “Prop F will create more accountability and eliminate the ‘drug tourism’ where outsiders come to San Francisco to secure government-funded benefits and buy illegal drugs.”

On proposition E, which dealt with police powers to deal with crime, Arellano said that San Franciscans were “fed up and want more action to address crime.” 

“Our current public safety policies are outdated and make it difficult for police officers to chase suspects, even in a felony or violent misdemeanor,” he said. “Prop E makes common-sense changes to City rules to get more officers on the street fighting crime. It provides police with helpful new tools such as cameras and drones and expanded power to pursue criminals. Over the last few years, the City’s policies swung too far to the left. Now, it’s time to send a message that San Francisco is closed to criminals and brazen theft will not be tolerated.”

Breed faces angry voters and a strong challenge to her re-election as the city has languished from drug deaths and crime.

The first Black woman to lead San Francisco, she said at a January campaign stop that residents from poorer, Black and immigrant neighborhoods are pleading for more police, and recovery advocates are demanding change as more than 800 people died of accidental overdose last year — a record fueled by the abundance of cheap and potent fentanyl, according to the Associated Press. 

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Fox News’ Gabriel Hays and the Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Karine Jean-Pierre clashes with journalists over Biden’s reliance on notecards

Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre sparred with the White House press corps on Tuesday over President Biden “heavily” relying on notecards, while avoiding answering the question.

Fox Business’ Edward Lawrence asked Jean-Pierre at the daily press briefing, “If I may, the president, I noticed, had notecards at the border when he was doing his briefing there. He also had notecards last Friday with the Italian prime minister. Why does the president rely so heavily on notecards?”

Jean-Pierre shot back, “You’re upset because the president has notecards? You’re asking me a question about the president having notecards?”

The reporter replied, “I’m asking why does he rely so heavily­–”

WHITE HOUSE REPORTERS FEEL HEAT FROM ADMINISTRATION OVER COVERAGE OF BIDEN, TRUMP: ‘NAGGING AND COMPLAINING’

She cut him off, stating, “The president who has had probably one of the most successful first three years of an administration than any modern day president? He’s done more in the first three years than most presidents who have two terms. You’re asking me about notecards? I don’t think–”

Another White House reporter jumped in, telling her to answer the question.

The press secretary snapped at him, “Wait. I’m not speaking to you right now, James [Rosen]. I’m talking to your friend over here – Ed. So, thank you so much. But thank you so much for interjecting,” and turned back to Lawrence saying, “Go ahead, Ed.”

Lawrence followed up, asking again why Biden heavily relies on the cards.

Jean-Pierre deflected, “I think what’s important here and what the American people care about is how this president is delivering for them. And that’s what he’s doing and that’s what’s the most important thing here.”

BIDEN’S AGE, MENTAL ACUITY IMPACTING ELECTION CHANCES BECOMES MEDIA FOCUS AFTER TOUGH SPECIAL COUNSEL REPORT

Biden has been criticized for his use of notecards and cheat sheets throughout his presidency. Last month, it was reported that Biden’s reliance on his notes to give detailed answers at private fundraisers has some donors worried about his age.

Biden was photographed holding notecards with reporters’ names and faces during an outdoor joint press conference with the Australian prime minister in October.

Last spring, a photographer captured a small cheat-sheet in the president’s hand signaling he had advanced knowledge of a question from LA Times journalist Courtney Subramanian during a White House Rose Garden briefing alongside South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.

In 2022, he was spotted with notes spelling out stage directions at a press conference, including instructions on where to enter and when “YOU take YOUR seat.”

Earlier that year, Biden held a “cheat sheet” of answers preparing for questions about his off-the-cuff remarks signaling support for regime change in Russia.

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Fox News Digital’s David Rutz and Alexander Hall contributed to this report.

Biden to set unfortunate record with timing of State of the Union speech

President Biden is giving his second State of the Union address Thursday, when he’s expected to tout his administration’s accomplishments and set goals for the future in front of a Congress that is one of the most politically fractured in modern history.

Biden is making his case to a Democrat-dominated Senate that’s largely followed his lead on major legislation and a House Republican majority that’s actively investigating him for impeachable crimes.

The date of the speech, March 7, is the latest a State of the Union address has ever been delivered.

It’s just the second time a president’s in-person address to a joint session of Congress was not delivered in January or February. Biden delivered his first address to Congress March 1, 2022.

JIM BANKS CALLS ON BIDEN TO ‘PUBLICLY ACKNOWLEDGE’ LAKEN RILEY AT SOTU

It comes after Washington officials spent the first two months of 2024 scrambling to avert a government shutdown while also warring over Biden’s supplemental foreign aid request for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

Meanwhile, a war rages in the Middle East between Hamas and Israel, Ukraine is beginning to feel the drain of U.S. resources and China continues to stir concerns it could move to curb Taiwan’s independence.

BIDEN’S STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS: BRET BAIER, MARTHA MACCALLUM TO LEAD FOX NEWS CHANNEL’S SPECIAL COVERAGE

There’s also the issue of the worsening border crisis back home, and House Republicans told Fox News Digital they want to see Biden address it Thursday night.

Democrats, meanwhile, are urging Biden to highlight his accomplishments on infrastructure, the economy and other issues.

Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., the No. 3 leader in the House, said he was skeptical Biden could adequately address the crises he is facing this year.

“No amount of scripted rhetoric from the White House will change the fact that the real State of the Union has been defined by the unprecedented crisis at our southern border, total chaos overseas and lingering economic struggles caused by Joe Biden’s failed policies,” Emmer told Fox News Digital.

Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., who represents a district Biden won in 2020, said, “I want to hear him address the border issue with some honesty.”

“The No. 1 issue is the broken border, which has led to the murders of innocent Americans by migrants released into the country and the epidemic of fentanyl overdoses. President Biden has the power to fix it but refuses to do so and just blames Congress,” Bacon told Fox News Digital.

ALABAMA SEN KATIE BRITT TO DELIVER REPUBLICAN RESPONSE TO BIDEN STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS: ‘TRULY HONORED’

Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., told Fox News Digital, “Thursday night is sell night. The President needs to reiterate just how much he’s accomplished to the American people. His bipartisan legislative accomplishments are the best in generations. Fom the infrastructure bill to gun safety, building semiconductors and helping our veterans, the President knows how to get stuff done, and the economy is on the upswing with consumer finance soaring post pandemic.”

A House Democratic aide urged Biden to “save the ‘democracy is on the line’ argument for another day.”

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“Tell the American people concretely how their life is better today than it was in 2020, with a focus on lower insulin prices, increased manufacturing jobs and better health care for veterans. Those are tangible accomplishments, and there is no excuse not to be trumpeting them every chance he gets,” the aide told Fox News Digital.

“For the area where things aren’t better, like border security and reproductive rights, don’t sugarcoat it. Admit where the problems exist and make crystal damn clear both what you are for and what the Republicans are against.”

Fox News Digital reached out to the White House for comment.

Pop icon says her first word after waking up from coma was a response from God

Just like a prayer, Madonna knew God was there when she was hospitalized in the ICU with a “serious bacterial infection” in June.

The “Material Girl” singer recalled the “near-death experience” at her sold-out Los Angeles show on Monday night, and told fans that her first word coming out of an induced coma after four days was “no,” according to People.

“I’m pretty sure that was God saying to me, ‘Do you want to come? Want to come up with me? No,’ Madonna said.

MADONNA HOSPITALIZED FOR ‘SERIOUS BACTERIAL INFECTION’ THAT REQUIRED ICU STAY

The pop icon was forced to reschedule a number of dates on her Celebration World Tour in June due to a medical issue.

“On Saturday June 24, Madonna developed a serious bacterial infection which lead (sic) to a several day stay in the ICU,” her longtime manager Guy Oseary wrote on Instagram at the time. “Her health is improving, however she is still under medical care. A full recovery is expected.”

Madonna previously canceled a string of shows on her last tour in 2019, due to a knee injury, and ultimately ended the tour early.

MADONNA AWKWARDLY FALLS OFF A CHAIR DURING SEATTLE CONCERT

“This show every night is not really so hard on me physically,” she said, according to the outlet. “It’s hard on me emotionally because I’m really telling you the story of my life. My heart is on my sleeve. I’ve fallen off a lot of horses and broken a lot of bones … but nothing can stop me.”

Madge later recalled a conversation with Oseary while she was hospitalized.

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“He said, ‘Well, when do you think you want to go back on tour?’ I took the oxygen out of my nose. I looked at him, and I said, ‘in two f—ing months!” she said. “I just said it. Sometimes you just have to say s— [and] put it out in the universe. And it happens.”

The “Crazy for You” singer gave a shoutout to her doctor who was in the audience, and remembered feeling antsy to get back to performing for her fans once again. 

“I would call in every other day and ask [my doctor] why I didn’t have any energy, when was my energy going to come back? When was I going to feel like myself again? When can I go on tour again?” she said. 

“All he would say is, ‘Go outside in the sun’ … It was so hard for me to walk from my house to the backyard and sit in the sun. I know that sounds insane, but it was difficult.”

Ultimately, her health scare forced Madonna to slow down and listen to her body. 

“It’s a strange thing to finally not feel like I was in control, and that was my lesson: to let go,” she said.

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No safe haven escape for Palestinians as countries refuse any sort of refuge

JERUSALEM — Over the last two years, since Russian forces invaded Ukraine, countries around the world have stepped up to help more than 6.5 million Ukrainian nationals flee the ongoing fighting.

In Syria, during 13 years of civil war, more than 12 million forcibly displaced civilians managed to leave the war-torn country, resettling in the region and beyond. In Afghanistan, where the radical Islamist Taliban group returned to power in 2021, more than 2.6 million people are now spread out across the globe. 

The number of people in need of permanent refuge or at least some respite from the ongoing unrest continues to rise, according to data provided by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

And while countries around the world, including the U.S., continue to offer some of them a safe haven, there is no such escape for an estimated 1.9 million Palestinians who have been displaced and are suffering after nearly five months of war between Israel and the militant terror group Hamas. 

The mere suggestion of relocating these desperate men, women and children, even temporarily, just a few miles beyond the borders of the Palestinian enclave has been sharply criticized and quickly dismissed.

BIDEN’S VISION FOR A PALESTINIAN STATE DOOMED, EXPERTS SAY: ‘AN EXPLICIT RECOGNITION OF HAMAS’

On Oct. 7, thousands of Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists invaded southern Israel, murdering some 1,200 people and kidnapping 240, triggering an Israeli ground and air offensive that Hamas officials now say has killed more than 30,000 Gazans.

Since then, even countries sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, including nearby Arab nations, have refused to offer any sort of refuge to Gaza civilians.

“Palestinians are the only people in the world where relocation is not even considered.”

In fact, Egypt, which borders the Strip to the south, has bolstered its border fence and deployed additional troops in the event Palestinians in search of respite and aid might attempt to enter its territory.

In Europe, Thomas Corbett-Dillon, a U.S. based political commentator and former adviser to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, told Fox News Digital the unwillingness to provide refuge to Gazan civilians was mainly due to past waves of refugees and migrants, “particularly Muslims who have failed to assimilate into our culture,” he claimed.

“The European appetite for accepting refugees is over,” Corbett Dillon said, adding that recent polling in the U.K. and across Europe “consistently shows the vast majority do not want any more refugees.”

Corbett Dillon said the rejection of Palestinian refugees was less due to anti-Israel bias and more based on an overall rejection of opening doors to further immigration, including both those escaping war and those searching for better economic opportunities.

“We saw it in Syria and in Ukraine, but only in Gaza the refugee organizations are unwilling to give people who want to move out the option.”

“Europe is struggling,” he said. “Flooding the continent with people who will take more out of the system than they put in will only make the European crisis worse.”

ISRAELI SECURITY EXPERTS SAY BIDEN’S PALESTINIAN STATE PUSH IS AN ’EXISTENTIAL THREAT’

For Arab states, the refusal to even discuss offering Palestinians from Gaza refuge is more personal. 

“The Palestinian record in Arab countries has not been one of behaving guests, which has made Arab countries reluctant to take in any number of them from Gaza,” explained Hussain Abdul-Hussain, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. 

He noted that Palestinians relocating to Arab countries in the past created friction and even sparked conflict, such as in Jordan, where Palestinian armed factions tried to topple the government, or Lebanon, where Palestinian terrorists drew Israel into multiple wars. 

“We are not taking part in forced displacement,” UNRWA spokesperson 

In addition, Abdul-Hussain said that for most Arab leaders, it would be “politically toxic” to urge Palestinians to leave the coastal enclave – even if it meant sparing their lives.

“No Arab official wants to be seen as the one who called on Palestinians to surrender their territory to the Israeli army,” he said. “Prioritizing land over a good life for Palestinians has been at the heart of the problem and of Palestinian misery.”

Abdul-Hussain said that while many countries and activists are calling for a cease-fire in Gaza, they hold back from calling for lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians because they want “the Palestinians to prevail over Israel.”

“Getting Palestinian civilians out of harm’s way weakens the position of Hamas and allows a quicker Israeli victory,” he said. “The international community deals with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict along the lines of a theoretical framework that is devoid of reality, suggesting that the solution is territory, regardless of the interests of Palestinians.” 

ISRAELI PARLIAMENT BACKS NETANYAHU, REJECTS PUSH FOR ‘UNILATERAL’ RECOGNITION OF PALESTINIAN STATE

“The global model is inefficient and perpetuates the conflict, including making hereditary Palestinian ‘refugee’ status,” said Abdul-Hussain, referring to UNRWA, the U.N. agency dedicated to servicing Palestinian refugees

“On a per capita basis, Palestinian ‘refugees’ receive more global attention and resources than all other displaced persons on the planet,” he said. “This global generosity has transformed humanitarian aid and agencies into an industry in which many have vested interests and want to see them continue.”

Abdul-Hussain pointed out that the U.N., which works successfully to resettle refugees from all other conflicts, could have set up a temporary camp for Gazans in Sinai, the sparsely populated Egyptian territory. 

“The U.N. seems unwilling to impose such a decision on Egypt,” he said, noting that the international body has also held back from pressuring Hamas into surrendering, another way that could “spare further Gazan and Israeli deaths. …. The only pressure the U.N. decided to apply is on Israel. If this is not bias, I don’t know what is.”

When asked by Fox News Digital if UNRWA had considered or discussed assisting Gazans who might want to leave the Strip, even temporarily for the duration of the fighting, Juliette Touma, the agency’s director of communications, responded sharply.

“We are not taking part in forced displacement,” she said. 

“There is very little trust that the Israeli government would eventually allow displaced Palestinians to return to Gaza”

Israel has long said that UNRWA’s unprecedented approach to helping Palestinian refugees only serves to perpetuate the decades-old intractable conflict between the two. Instead of finding a permanent solution, the agency, which was initially established to provide shelter, welfare and health services to some 750,000 Palestinians displaced when Israel was created in 1948, continues to add refugees. 

Today, it works with more than 5.9 million Palestinian refugees, descendants of the original group, in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, as well as in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the war-ravaged Gaza Strip. 

With clear evidence that individuals employed by UNRWA participated in the Oct. 7 atrocities against Israel, Israeli officials have been ramping up their calls to disband the agency and create a new entity to help Palestinian refugees or have them fall under the broader UNHCR umbrella. 

“Egypt is the one that controls the border with the Gaza Strip, not Israel, so no one will block them from returning home whenever they want to.”

“The world has a legal obligation under international law to protect Palestinian civilians from forced displacement, indiscriminate harm, collective punishment and atrocity crimes,” Jeremy Konyndyk, president of U.S.-based Refugees International, told Fox News Digital. 

URBAN WARFARE EXPERT SAYS ISRAELI MILITARY TAKING UNPRECEDENTED STEPS TO PROTECT GAZA CIVILIANS

Konyndyk said few countries were likely to help Gazans leave without a credible guarantee they would be able to return to the Strip one day.

“No country in the region wants to be seen as facilitating ethnic cleansing, which would be the perception in many countries,” Konyndyk said. “The goal of providing refuge for people fleeing extreme violence should not be permanent relocation but to provide temporary protection until conflict ends.

“There is very little trust that the Israeli government would eventually allow displaced Palestinians to return to Gaza, hence the lack of enthusiasm for taking in Palestinian refugees from this conflict.” 

A senior Israeli government official told Fox News Digital that claims of ethnic cleansing by Israel in Gaza were false and hypocritical.

“In every situation of war and conflict there are people who wish to leave,” said the official, who spoke anonymously due to the sensitivity of the situation. “We saw it in Syria and in Ukraine, but only in Gaza the refugee organizations are unwilling to give people who want to move out the option.”

“Palestinians are the only people in the world where relocation is not even considered,” the official said. “I am sure there are many in Gaza who would be willing to start a new life somewhere else.”

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The official pointed to around 1,000 Gazans with relatives in Canada who were recently given safe haven there and are already starting a new life.

“More countries could offer that to the people in Gaza, but instead the majority will stay there, with the world stopping them from leaving,” said the government official, who also rejected claims refugees from the Strip would not eventually be able to return once the war ends.

“Egypt is the one that controls the border with the Gaza Strip, not Israel, so no one will block them from returning home whenever they want to,” the official said.