Dems Call for Biden to Rethink Support of Israel

January 22nd, 2024 - by Kyle Anzalone / The Libertarian Institute

Dems Call for Biden to Rethink
Unconditional Support of Israel
Kyle Anzalone / The Libertarian Institute

(January 21, 2024) — As Tel Aviv continues to ignore requests from Washington, a growing number of Democratic lawmakers are breaking with the White House and calling for placing conditions on aid the US sends to Israel.

In recent days, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has twice declared that Tel Aviv will never allow the Palestinians to have an independent state. For decades, Washington has called for the Israelis and Palestinians to adopt a two-state solution. However, Israel, for years led by Netanyahu, has worked to undermine the process for a Palestinian state.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MA) has emerged as one of the loudest critics of Biden’s unequivocal support for Israel. He has previously blasted Tel Aviv for restricting aid to Gaza by using an onerous inspection protocol for trucks entering Gaza. Val Hollen has also slammed the White House for allowing Tel Aviv to ignore its requests.

Following Netanyahu’s explanation that Israel is the only state that will exist between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, Van Hollen said, “I think people are at the end of their ropes with the Netanyahu coalition … which includes pretty right-wing extremists.” He continued, “It’s pretty clear that Netanyahu is listening much more to the extremists in his government than the president of the United States and the Biden administration.”

He demanded Biden stop sending “mixed signals” to Netanyahu. The Senator highlighted that the White House was bypassing “congressional notification to rush more artillery” while deceptively “telling Netanyahu to reduce the number of civilian casualties.”

Sen. Brian Schatz argued Tel Aviv abandoning the two-state solution meant Washington should place conditions on aid to Israel. Netanyahu is “at every opportunity, making things worse. It’s still the United States government’s position and objective to achieve a two-state solution, and we’re not letting go of that.”

He continued, “Netanyahu is way out of the mainstream of American politics and making it hard for the prospects of peace for anyone. Netanyahu’s saying the quiet part out loud — it’s dangerous and directly contradicts US policy. Aid must be conditioned on working toward peace.”

Illinois Democrat Tammy Duckworth also had sharp words for the Israeli leader. “Frankly, I’m appalled at Prime Minister Netanyahu rejecting a two-state solution in the Middle East, because that means he is effectively ruling out a sustainable, peaceful outcome in the long-term,” she said. “The only viable path to lasting peace is establishing a Palestinian nation-state alongside Israel.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren echoed her colleague in a post on X. “The US supports a two-state solution. It’s the only way to ensure security, dignity, and peace for both Israelis and Palestinians,” she wrote.

Several members of the House were in line with their colleagues in the upper chamber. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-CA) said Netanyahu’s position “should cause us to reset our relationship of unconditional support to [his] government. These are policies that are diametrically opposed to the US’s stated goals.”

A group of 15 Jewish House Democrats issued a statement responding to Netanyahu’s rejecting a Palestinian state. It said, “We strongly disagree with the Prime Minister. A two-state solution is the path forward.”

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

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