Former Navy SEAL and Senate candidate Tim Sheehy said America should be aiding Israel with “unconditional support” as conflict flares in the Middle East.
The Biden administration “doesn’t view Iran as the mortal enemy of American freedom that it really is,” said Sheehy, a Republican running for Montana Democrat Sen. Jon Tester’s seat.
In an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital at Bridger Aerospace in Bozeman, Montana, Sheehy called attention to the importance of standing up to Iran and ensuring support to Israel after the country was brutally and unexpectedly attacked by Hamas.
“Israel knows how to fight Hamas better than we do. They don’t need our help to do this. What they need is our unconditional support for their independence against all the hostile Muslim actors that have been trying to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth for almost 80 years now,” the GOP candidate told Fox.
Sheehy highlighted President Joe Biden unfreezing $6 billion in assets to Iran just weeks before Hamas attacked Israel — a step opposed by Republicans that eventually resulted in the refreezing of the funds after Hamas launched an attack on Israel.
“The most important thing America can do is stop empowering Iran,” said Sheehy. “We need to stop enabling Iran with billions of dollars of unfrozen assets, billions of dollars of oil revenues that they shouldn’t be getting and year after year of appeasement from the Obama administration and now the Biden administration that for some reason doesn’t view Iran as the mortal enemy of American freedom that it really is.”
Biden’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently asked Congress to pass an emergency supplemental funding package that would supply aid to Israel, but with an aspect most Republicans opposed – it was combined with even more funding to Ukraine amid its ongoing conflict with Russia.
While Biden’s package includes $14.3 billion in assistance to Israel, it sought to give $61.4 billion to Ukraine.
Republicans in the House passed a bill with the requested amount of aid to Israel Thursday evening, but it faces an uncertain future because it redirects funds intended for the IRS under Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.
Sheehy cited the differences in the conflicts as why he too does not support Ukraine funding to be tied with that for Israel because the country is “fighting for its very survival.”
“These are totally different issues,” Sheehy said of the aid packages. “Listen, I stand with Ukraine. I supported the initial aid package when we could stop Putin’s advance to Ukraine, but now that conflict has turned into a territorial stalemate that we are propping up Ukrainian small businesses were building roads or paying first responders. Israel is fighting for its very survival.”
“For 75 years, Muslim world has tried to wipe Israel off the map. We need to make it very clear we stand with Israel, provide them the aid they need. But most importantly, we need to be standing up to Iran and stop appeasing them economically. These are two totally different geopolitical conflicts,” he told Fox. “We shouldn’t be tying their aid together.”
U.S. students have been setting up pro-Palestine rallies at campuses nationwide since the war began, and in several instances celebrate the destruction in Israel by demanding an end of aid to the country and burning Israeli flags.
According to Sheehy, who is running in one of the most critical Senate races of the 2024 cycle, the recent behavior on college campuses is result of the “indoctrination of America’s youth.”
“It’s disgusting and disappointing that our youth are taking positions like this and saying the vile things they’re saying. But it’s not surprising,” he told Fox on Tuesday. “We should not be surprised that after 30 years of allowing this indoctrination of America’s youth: that Western civilization is bad, that Israel’s bad, capitalism is bad. We shouldn’t be surprised that these kids truly think that beheading babies in Israel, that murdering Israelis is actually justifiable in any way, shape or form by Hamas, the PLO, Hezbollah, or any other radical Islamic organization.”
The veteran also suggested these students visit the Middle East themselves before conducting protests.
“For those who spent our adult lives fighting Muslim extremism, we know what a terrible, pervasive force it can be for free people all over the world. It needs to be fought. It cannot be appeased. It cannot be negotiated with. The only thing to do is be destroyed. And we have to fight it hard. And these kids on the college campuses, the best thing to do with them would be: have them take a semester abroad in Gaza and see what it’s really like.”
When asked about the Biden’s handling of Middle East relations compared to past administrations, Sheehy said that former President Donald Trump was the first person to “stand up to Iranian evil against America and the free world.”
“Trump is the first president, first of all, to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel from an American perspective. And he was the first president to finally stand up to Iranian evil against America and the free world by killing Soleimani, who had been systematically killing Americans for decades,” Sheehy told Fox. “It sent an incredibly strong message to Iran and the rest of the world that we’re not going to allow evil foreign leaders to kill Americans and have it go unpunished.”