Top Dem Questions F-15 Sale to Israel, White House Restates Commitment to Tel Aviv

by | Apr 10, 2024

Top Dem Questions F-15 Sale to Israel, White House Restates Commitment to Tel Aviv

by | Apr 10, 2024

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FILE PHOTO: US F-15E Strike Eagles fly over northern Iraq after carrying out strikes in Syria, September 23, 2014. (Credit: US Air Force / Senior Airman Matthew Bruch)

One of the top-ranking Democratic members of the House questioned a sale of 50 fighter jets to Tel Aviv as Israeli forces conduct a brutal war against Gaza. An increasing number of Democrats are now opposed to unconditional military aid and weapons sales to Israel. However, top US officials insist that the policy of unconditional support has not changed. 

Rep. Gregory Meeks of New York, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, expressed his concerns about the sale of $18 billon of 50 F-15s and bomb kits to Israel on Tuesday. “I want to know what types of weapons and what the weapons would be utilized for. I don’t want the kinds of weapons that Israel has to be utilized to have more deaths,” he said. “I want to make sure that humanitarian aid gets in. I don’t want people starving to death, and I want Hamas to release the hostages. And I want a two-state solution.”

While Republican and Democrat leaders in the Senate have already signed off on the sale, an increasing number of Democrats are questioning military support for Israel. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) joined a group of over 50 House Democrats in a letter urging President Joe Biden to halt weapons transfers to Israel until there’s a full investigation into the Israeli killing of seven workers for the World Central Kitchen aid group.

Pelosi previously said that military aid to Israel was the top priority in the Capitol and accused Americans opposed to the weapon sales of acting as agents of Russia or China. 

Over the past six months, the American people have become increasingly less supportive of Washington’s unyielding commitment to Tel Aviv as Israeli forces systematically destroyed Gaza, killing tens of thousands of Palestinians. 

Last week, an American aid worker, along with the entire WCK Gaza team, was killed by a series of three Israeli air strikes. Those strikes prompted many members of Congress to shift away from unconditional US support for Israel. 

Still, the White House has no plans to end arms shipments to Tel Aviv, with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin declaring that Washington plans to supply Israel with all the weapons its forces need as the fight evolves. 

The Biden administration is “doing everything we can to make sure we get them what they need as quickly as possible. I would expect that as the nature of this fight begins to change, to become a more precision fight, then their requirements should change a bit.” he added, “We will stay abreast of their needs, and we will continue to provide security assistance as quickly as we can. We remain committed to helping Israel defend itself, but we expect that they would execute operations responsibly.”

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of Antiwar.com and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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