NewsBiden's Dilemma: Growing Calls to Rethink US Arms Aid to Israel

Biden's Dilemma: Growing Calls to Rethink US Arms Aid to Israel

The fate of the USA's alliance with Israel hangs in the balance. "Biden won't do it."
The fate of the USA's alliance with Israel hangs in the balance. "Biden won't do it."
Images source: © Licensor | Evan Vucci

6:54 AM EDT, April 6, 2024

After the attack by Israeli forces on a convoy belonging to the World Central Kitchen (WCK) organization, discussions have been sparked within the American public sphere about whether the USA should curtail its arms deliveries to Israel. According to experts, Washington has constrained options regarding its dealings with Israel.

Let's recall a recent event. On Thursday, during a phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Joe Biden expressed his concerns, stating, "I am outraged and heartbroken by the deaths of seven humanitarian workers from World Central Kitchen, including one American, in Gaza yesterday. They were providing food to hungry civilians in the middle of a war. They were brave and selfless. Their deaths are a tragedy."

Did Israel overstep? Growing concerns in the USA

The methods employed by the Israeli Defense Forces in the Gaza Strip, facilitated by American weapons, have led to a reevaluation of the long-standing consensus among Americans concerning the unconditional provision of weapons to Israel, with skepticism particularly rising among Democratic Party politicians, as noted by the "Washington Post."

The same newspaper highlighted that since World War II, Israel has been the largest recipient of American weapons and various forms of aid. A bipartisan consensus in the USA has traditionally supported this.

"Israel has always been an exception," the "New York Times" concurs, pointing out that the country benefits from conditions not afforded to other arms buyers by the USA.
Israel enjoys access to cutting-edge American military technology and was notably the first foreign entity to deploy F-35 fighter jets in combat in 2018.

The "Washington Post" underscores that military aid to Israel has not been reduced despite growing tensions between the Netanyahu government and the Biden administration.

In a significant display of support, the US administration greenlighted in March the transfer of 1,800 MK84 bombs and 500 MK82 bombs, along with approval for the sale of 25 F-35A fighter jets. In December, sales of tank ammunition valued at $106.5 million, artillery shells, and artillery equipment worth $147.5 million were sanctioned.
A 10-year agreement, inked in 2016 and spanning 2019-2028, governs American arms deliveries to Israel, ensuring military aid totaling $38 billion. Additionally, the United States provides $500 million annually for joint air defense efforts.

As a salient point - the "Washington Post" notes - the Leahy Law enacted in 1997 prohibits arms sales to governments implicated in major human rights violations and governs the transfer of US weapons abroad.

Source: PAP, The White House

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