24 Democrats challenge Biden on Israel amid war on Gaza

Ahram Online , Wednesday 8 Nov 2023

Twenty-four Democrats and two independents signed a letter Wednesday asking US President Joe Biden to ensure that Israel has a "viable plan for defeating Hamas" and will use US military assistance in keeping with international law, according to The New York Times.


US President Joe Biden walks after arriving on Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, 6 November, 2023. AP

 

The majority of US House Democratic Caucus called on Biden to defend his request for $14.3 billion in emergency military assistance for Israel, seeking assurances that the US will not be funding actions that go against the international and US laws.

According to the report, the Senates sent a letter to the president, asking for details on how his administration planned to guarantee that Israel was properly mitigating civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip.

They also asked for Biden’s assessment of whether Israel’s plans to expel Hamas from Gaza were achievable militarily, whether those plans were taking into consideration the fate of the captives held by Hamas, and whether Israel's plan for governing the strip after the war was viable.

The latest movement comes as the Senates weigh Biden’s request for an emergency $105 billion national security spending package to provide military aid to Israel and Ukraine, as well as to address threats to the Indo-Pacific region and security at the US-Mexico border.

US administration officials have voiced concerns and warnings that Biden's quick support for Israel in its war on Gaza could backfire, amid the continuous Israeli airstrikes on Palestinian civilians and the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Democrats in Michigan have warned the White House that Biden’s handling of the Israeli war on Gaza could lead the Arab American community to sway the outcome of the 2024 election, in a state he almost certainly can’t afford to lose in his bid for reelection.

The situation has prompted the White House to discuss ways to alleviate tensions with some of the state’s prominent Democrats, including several who have been vocal critics of the president about the war.

The response to the Israeli war on Gaza by Biden, who went to Israel to show support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has prompted criticism from Muslim and Arab Americans.

The 80-year-old Democrat has been accused of turning a blind eye to the suffering of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, but the US leader has defended his actions, pointing to his efforts to get humanitarian aid into the besieged strip.

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