During a visit to Tel Aviv, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin reinforced the United States' commitment to Israel by pledging increased military support. The assistance includes additional munitions, tactical vehicles, and air defense systems. Austin emphasized that the United States remains Israel's closest ally, with unshakable support for its security.
However, the move comes amid heightened criticism of Israel's actions, particularly its blockage of essential supplies to Gaza, leading Human Rights Watch to accuse Israel of using starvation as a method of warfare. Indiscriminate airstrikes have reportedly destroyed 20 percent of buildings in Gaza, contributing to a decline in support for Israel within the traditionally pro-Zionist sentiment in the United States.
Recent polls indicate that only 30% of Americans support sending more weapons to Israel, and a majority of Americans aged 18 to 24 express anti-Zionist sentiments. The shift in public opinion is attributed to the perceived invincibility of Israel being shattered on October 7. Activists argue that the so-called Axis of Resistance now extends beyond the Middle East to include people worldwide, with movements in various countries calling for divestment and boycotts against Israel.
Despite some discussions in the US mainstream media suggesting a rift between Washington and Tel Aviv over Israeli actions, many believe that historical ties and strategic interests continue to shape the relationship. Critics argue that the US has relied on Israel as a forward military force for decades, serving as an unsinkable aircraft carrier in the region.
Furthermore, the US Secretary of Defense and Tel Aviv discussed transitioning to a "next phase" in the long-standing conflict against the Palestinians during their meetings.