DECEMBER 9, 2022
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Biden Administration Grapples with Controversy Surrounding Arms Aid to Israel

Biden Administration Grapples with Controversy Surrounding Arms Aid to Israel

In the fall of 2016, the Obama administration finalized a significant military agreement with Israel, pledging $38 billion in arms over a decade. At the time, President Barack Obama emphasized that this aid would bolster Israel's defense capabilities against various threats.

However, what was once an uncontroversial agreement has now become a point of contention for the Biden administration. A vocal minority of lawmakers, supported by liberal activists, is urging President Biden to restrict or halt arms shipments to Israel due to its military actions in Gaza.

While President Biden has criticized Israel's campaign in Gaza, labeling it as "indiscriminate bombing," he has refrained from imposing limitations on U.S. military aid. The longstanding military alliance between the United States and Israel has endured across multiple administrations, with the U.S. providing critical equipment such as fighter jets, helicopters, and missiles.

Despite calls for restraint, the Biden administration has continued to authorize arms shipments to Israel, maintaining its policy of full support. However, President Biden hinted at a potential shift during a recent phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, suggesting that U.S. policy could change if Israel fails to take action to protect civilians and aid workers in Gaza.

The process of arms delivery to Israel is complex and often opaque, involving long-standing agreements and legal contracts. While some arms orders have faced scrutiny, particularly those related to settler violence in the West Bank, the Biden administration has largely accommodated Israel's requests for expedited fulfillment of existing orders.

As political pressures mount, any potential change in U.S. policy towards arms aid to Israel would ultimately rest with President Biden.






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