Graham: Obama official used 'terrorist' language in speech about Israel
© Greg Nash

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamPassage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy Progressive support builds for expanding lower courts McConnell backs Garland for attorney general MORE (R-S.C.) on Monday slammed a speech by Denis McDonoughDenis Richard McDonoughSenate confirms Vilsack as Agriculture secretary It's time to rename government facilities named after Confederate war heroes Harris and second gentleman hand out cookies to essential workers at DC veterans hospital MORE on Israel, saying the White House chief of staff used the same language as terrorists.

"The language used by the chief of staff of the president of the United States is exactly what Hamas uses," Graham said Monday from the Senate floor. "Today, the chief of staff of the president of the United States used language that has been reserved for terrorist organizations."


Speaking at J Street's annual conference, McDonough said that "an occupation that has lasted more than 50 years must end," adding that Palestinians should be able to govern themselves.

Graham, who is mulling a run for the White House in 2016, questioned if anyone in Israeli politics would agree with McDonough's characterization.

"Is your country occupying the West Bank, or are you there to make sure the West Bank doesn't turn into Gaza?" Graham asked. "The chief of the staff of the president of the United States is looking at a world completely different than the one I am viewing."

Graham warned Obama that, if his administration does not block anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations, "Congress will recalculate how we relate to the United Nations."

"All I can say is, when I thought it couldn't get worse, it has," Graham said, referring to McDonough's speech.

"Wake up and change your policies before you set the whole world on fire. Please watch your language. ... You're making everything worse, and now, you've added fuel to the fire."