More Than 100 Lawmakers Slam Biden for Withholding Weapons from Israel

by Nick Pope

 

Dozens of legislators wrote to President Joe Biden on Monday to criticize the Biden administration’s decision to withhold certain weapons from Israel.

More than 100 lawmakers, including Democratic Rep. Jared Golden of Maine, signed the letter slamming the administration’s decision to hold back certain weapons from Israel, which President Joe Biden addressed during an interview last week with CNN. Pro-Palestinian demonstrators have engaged in highly-visible protests imploring Biden to back away from Israel for months before the administration ultimately opted to impose restrictions on military aid to Israeli forces.

“On May 7th, it was reported your White House staff confirmed a pause on 1,800 2,000-pound bombs and 1,700 500-pound bombs that they feared would be used in Israel’s last major planned operation against a Hamas stronghold in the city of Rafah,” the lawmakers wrote. “This move is part of a pattern of your administration hindering arms sales to our allies without sufficient explanation or strategic foresight.”

DCNF-logo“These delays hurt our allies and defense industrial base and are deleterious to our national security. Our allies and partners need to know they can rely on U.S. manufacturing to deliver the equipment and material they need to protect their national security,” the letter continues. “The world is watching your administration’s unique scrutiny of Israel when it comes to weapons shipments and foreign policy decisions more broadly, and the rest of the world now believes that with enough contrived public scrutiny, the U.S. will fail our allies.”

CASE

The Biden administration is pausing shipments of certain types of ammunition and bombs, and officials are also reviewing whether to transfer other items like Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) systems, according to CNN. The weapons pause is coming at a key juncture of the Israel-Hamas war that began with the Oct. 7 attacks, as Rafah is thought to be the last major Hamas stronghold in the Gaza Strip, according to The Associated Press.

Some critics of the administration’s restrictions, such as Republican Ohio Sen. JD Vance, have asserted that it does not make strategic sense to punish Israel for purportedly killing too many civilians by denying them access to more precise and advanced weapons systems.

The letter concludes by asking Biden to explain his rationale for withholding weapons shipments to a U.S. ally fighting a terrorist organization and to describe the timeline for determining whether to end the pause. Additionally, the lawmakers asked Biden to detail any plans that may be in place to reassure other allies that America will support them in the face of political pressure.

“President Joe Biden’s appeasement of the Hamas wing of his party and continued weakness on the world stage is emboldening our adversaries. This afternoon, I sent a bipartisan letter to President Biden with 104 of my colleagues to demand the President give us answers as to why he is holding up critical weapon shipments to Israel in their war against an evil terrorist organization” Republican Georgia Rep. Richard McCormick, who led the effort to write the letter and find co-signers, said in a statement. “Make no mistake; this is nothing more than an attempt by the administration to win over votes in the upcoming election by turning our back on our most important ally in the Middle East in their time of need. President Biden must make it clear that the U.S. stands with Israel and ensure that Israel has everything needed to finish off Hamas.”

Biden has been under pressure from the Democratic Party’s left flank to back away from supporting Israel, a trend most recently demonstrated on college campuses around the country. Disaffected voters have placed “uncommitted” protest votes in numerous Democratic primaries to signal their unhappiness with Biden’s support for Israel, and the issue could cause electoral problems for Biden in key states like Michigan, a battleground state that has a considerable Muslim population.

While some elements of the Democratic Party are unhappy with Biden’s support for Israel, others are dissatisfied with Biden because they perceive him to be wavering on a key ally locked in a war against terrorists. Some heavyweight donors have reportedly expressed their displeasure to Biden about his stance, and 26 Democratic lawmakers wrote their own letter to national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Friday to express their concern about the withheld shipments.

Read the letter:


POTUS / Israel Letter by Nick Pope

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Nick Pope is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.

 

 


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