Sunday shows preview: Biden navigates calls for a cease-fire amid support for Israel

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The continuing conflict between Israel and Hamas is likely to dominate this week’s Sunday shows as the Biden administration navigates calls for a cease-fire amid its ongoing support for the Israeli government.

Biden has been staunchly pro-Israel since the war between the country and the Palestinian militant group Hamas began on Oct. 7. Initial reporting suggested that 1,400 Israelis were killed in the surprise attack, but the Israeli government revised the figures this week down to 1,200 killed.

In Gaza, an estimated 10,000 people have been killed in the month since the conflict began, although a senior Biden administration official noted this week that the death toll may be higher than what’s been reported.

“In this period of conflict and conditions of war, it is very difficult for any of us to assess what the rate of casualties are,” Barbara Leaf, assistant secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, told a House panel Wednesday. “We think they’re very high, frankly, and it could be that they’re even higher than are being cited.

Concerns over civilian casualties have led to mounting calls for a cease-fire and protests, including at the Delaware home of the president on Saturday, where the crowd chanted, “Biden, Biden, you can’t hide! We charge you with genocide!” While Biden has affirmed Israel’s right to defend itself in the wake of the Oct. 7 attacks and has denounced a cease-fire, the administration has recently been pushing for humanitarian pauses.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who will appear on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and CNN’s “State of the Union,” has agreed to pauses of at least 4 hours daily to allow for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza. He has wavered on whether Israel will seek to reoccupy Gaza if they manage to eradicate Hamas.

Another likely topic of conversation on this week’s Sunday shows is the third GOP primary debate, which was held Wednesday in Miami. A notable moment involving Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel, who will feature on “Meet the Press” and “State of the Union,” and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, a GOP candidate, made headlines. Tension between the two has risen since Ramaswamy blamed McDaniel for Republican losses in recent years.

“Since Ronna McDaniel took over as chairwoman of the RNC in 2017, we have lost 2018, 2020, 2022, no red wave, that never came. We got trounced last night in 2023,” he said.

McDaniel proceeded to brush off Ramaswamy’s attacks, claiming he “needs a headline,” citing his poll numbers.

Ramaswamy also butted heads on the debate stage with former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, who will appear on “Fox News Sunday.” Haley shot back at Ramaswamy after he mentioned her daughter during a discussion about TikTok, prompting the former South Carolina governor to label him “scum.”

Below is the full list of guests scheduled to appear on this week’s Sunday talk shows:

ABC’s “This Week” — White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan; Gov. Wes Moore, D-Md.; Reps. Mike Lawler, R-N.Y., and Jared Moskowitz, D-Fla.

NBC’s “Meet the Press” — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.; Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel.

CBS’ “Face the Nation” — Sullivan; Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.; Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas.

CNN’s “State of the Union” — Netanyahu, Sullivan, McDaniel; former Gov. Larry Hogan, R-Md.

“Fox News Sunday” — Warner; Nikki Haley, a Republican presidential candidate; Michael Herzog, Israel’s ambassador to the United States.

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