Andrew Gillum, the progressive mayor of Tallahassee who recently won Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial nomination, accused Israel of using Gaza terror rockets to “justify” purported “actions” against Palestinians.
In audio reviewed by Breitbart Jerusalem, Gillum defined those purported “actions” as including alleged Israeli “outsized response” against Palestinian threats while claiming alleged Israeli disproportionate “firepower” and “pushback” are primary causes of regional instability.
Gillum made his unreported anti-Israel remarks during an interview with a far-left podcast host, Jamarlin Martin, posted on an obscure website.
Gillum’s comments were recorded in Miami on June 27, according to Martin’s podcast on GHOGH (Go Hard or Go Home), which is hosted on Moguldom.com, the domain name for Nubai Ventures, a company founded by Martin that produces editorial and video content. GHOH describes itself as providing “programming content for a Black Economic Revolution.”
The gubernatorial hopeful, whose political rise has been likened to that of Barack Obama, did not oppose Martin when the podcast host charged Israel with “apartheid” or claimed that Israeli forces killed over 60 Palestinians “for protesting” with “the endorsement of (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu.”
During the interview, Martin brought up Israel’s efforts to quell the recent deadly Gaza border clashes. Gillum noted the context of the Gaza violence, saying that during a previous trip to Israel he was present when “we had Katyusha missiles that was coming across the border into the part of the country where we were visiting, which is Haifa.”
“That’s dangerous,” he added. “Right. Now that is not the Palestinian government but there are militants who are not under the control of the elected government.”
Martin interjected, “Your point of view is you do condemn Israeli military killing the protesters, but you also condemn of course Palestinians firing missiles.”
Gillum replied in the affirmative, accusing Israel of using the Gaza terror rockets to “justify” alleged “actions.”
“Yeah,” Gillum replied. “That can also take lives, right. And the reason why that is important is because you have a government that is now able to justify its actions because now their citizens are in harm’s way.”
He continued, accusing Israel of an “outsized” response:
Imagine if in Canada. Now, I don’t think this would happen but if in Canada they began to fire missiles over the border into the United States whether they are going into barren lands or less populated lands. Believe that the United States will respond. In this case this is not direct comparable, but I say that to say that each country has the right to self-protection. Nobody wants to put their people in harm’s way.
And the reason why we have got to see the level of violence in these two areas in this region of the world reduced is quite frankly because Israel right now has more firepower and their pushback is outsized to the threat that they are attempting to squelch. But they are able to continue that mission out of a destination that they believe they should be able to protect their citizens.
And I don’t think any of us would disagree that they shouldn’t be able to protect their citizens. At the same token, as the United Nations has said, there is something called reciprocal response. And then there is outsized response. And what we have seen is in my opinion an outsized response that has created a humanitarian crisis.
Martin began the Israel section of his interview by asking Gillum to comment on events “in May” when the host claimed that “over 60 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces with the endorsement of Netanyahu” and “many Democrats did not speak up. The corporate side of the party.”
“Sixty Palestinians who were throwing rocks and protesting what I view as apartheid, they don’t deserve to be shot,” Martin continued, asking Gillum to “speak to the 60 Palestinians that were murdered and the lack of Democratic condemnation of that human rights violation.”
Martin was referring to Israel’s defensive actions during Hamas-organized, deadly border riots that month that saw tens of thousands of Palestinian rioters throng the Israel-Gaza border and attempt to storm the Jewish state with the stated goal of murdering Jews.
Rioters reportedly opened fire on Israeli soldiers and hurled Molotov cocktails and other deadly projectiles. Martin failed to mention that Hamas itself announced that 50 out of the 60 people who reportedly died during the May 14 riots were members of its own jihadist group and not civilians.
Gillum replied: “Yeah well I will tell you none of us can look at those images and be okay with it. Right. And I do think that the time is always right, as Dr. King says, to do what is right. The right thing to do is to hold our leaders accountable. To force through thoughtful and very deliberate negotiation on the two-state solution. To ensure that Palestinians have the right to self-determination. That they have the right to electing their own leadership. That just as we have in the United States sovereignty and the ability to desire for ourselves that it should also be true for Palestinians.”
Gillum’s comments on Israel could become an issue for him in the Florida election where Jewish voters have long been a key component of the state’s electorate. Gillum was backed in his race by billionaire George Soros. He is running against Rep. Ron DeSantis, a staunch Israel supporter.
A Jerusalem Post piece last month noted that Gillum “has no Israel paper trail.”
Over one week prior to the publication of this article, the Post reported that if one enters the words “Gillum” and “Israel” in Google then “very little of substance comes up.”
Continued the Post: “There are no public statements or speeches — something not at all unusual for a mayor. The words ‘Gillum’ and ‘Palestinians’ also do not produce any significant results.”
Referring to Jewish voters in Florida, the Post further related that “though foreign policy is rarely, if ever, a prominent issue in American gubernatorial races, some of those Jewish voters will be taking a look at the candidates’ positions and statements on Israel.”
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.
Joshua Klein contributed research to this article.