Commentary on Political Economy

Wednesday 15 May 2024

IT'S SIMPLE: PALESTINIANS MUST LEAVE PALESTINE

 

Biden’s Israel Arms Embargo Starts to Crack

The House this week will vote on a resolution that “condemns the Biden Administration’s decision to pause certain arms transfers to Israel” as the text says. The White House claims it is only holding up a shipment of 2,000-pound bombs it fears would harm civilians in Rafah. It is also trumpeting a new $1 billion weapons package for Israel that includes tank ammunition and tactical vehicles. But that package is in nascent stages and could be months or years from arriving.

Press reports suggest the Administration is also pocket-vetoing crucial weapons such as GPS guidance kits for bombs, known as Joint Direct Attack Munitions, which reduce civilian casualties in urban warfare. The Administration isn’t owning up to what it’s doing, apparently even to the Members of Congress it is supposed to inform about arms transfers.

“Despite numerous requests from our respective chambers,” Rep. Michael McCaul and Sen. Jim Risch, the Republican leaders of the House and Senate foreign-relations committees, respectively, wrote in a Tuesday letter, “we still don’t have basic answers to questions about the weapons you have stopped from shipping. To date, we do not know how these weapons were financed, where they are, or by what authority you chose to do this.”

The White House is whipping Democrats hard against the House measure, and Democrats will likely block it in the Senate, no doubt because a broad bipartisan vote would embarrass the President.

The White House promises a veto of the House resolution because, in a line for the ages, a mere messaging bill “would undermine the President’s ability to execute an effective foreign policy.” Mr. Biden’s real problem is his foreign policy, which is making America’s closest friends think twice about relying on the U.S.

Journal Editorial Report: Biden hits "pause" on a U.S. ally. Image: David Ryder/Reuters

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Appeared in the May 16, 2024, print edition as 'Biden’s Arms Embargo Starts to Crack'.

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