Democrats in Congress are currently having discussions about implementing certain conditions for future military aid to Israel. According to party members in both the House and Senate, the debate is still in its early stages and it’s still unclear if any actual legislative action will result from these conversations. However, White House officials are aware of the discussions happening, with some allies hinting at openly supporting conditions for aid in the near future.
The current conflict in Gaza has prompted these discussions, with some lawmakers raising concerns about the need to address not only military but also humanitarian aid going into the region. In light of these concerns, more lawmakers are “moving towards” advocating for conditions on future support for Israel.
Senator Bernie Sanders hosted a lunch for fellow Democrats to discuss the Israel-Hamas war, during which speakers like Shibley Telhami and Tom Friedman shared their insights. As a result of these discussions, Senator Sanders issued a statement calling for conditioning U.S. aid to Israel.
Recent intensified fighting in Gaza and the rise in civilian casualties have caused some traditional allies of Israel to question the unconditional support it’s been receiving, with bipartisan calls for more protection of civilian life.
There has been mounting pressure for President Joe Biden to reconsider the staunch support of Israel, especially in the wake of the recent escalation of the conflict that resulted in a high civilian death toll. Furthermore, 13 Senate Democrats have specifically called for more to be done to protect civilians in Gaza.
If these talks turn into actual legislative action, it could potentially force President Joe Biden to reconsider the U.S.’s unconditional support for Israel. It remains to be seen what the result of these discussions will be, especially since some have already expressed skepticism about conditioning military aid to Israel.
However, certain mechanisms such as the Leahy Law, which prohibits sending funds to countries where human rights violations are credible, have been proposed as possible avenues through which to implement conditions on military aid to Israel.
The ongoing pressure and mounting concern from U.S. allies has brought attention to the need for some form of restrictions on future military aid to Israel, particularly in light of civilian casualties. However, U.S. intelligence also supports specific military operations in Gaza, indicating that the situation is complex.
Recent discussions between the U.S. and Israeli governments about establishing safe zones in southern Gaza, as well as ceasefire talks with Hamas, are ongoing but have yet to yield concrete results.
Overall, the situation remains highly complex and uncertain, with pressure mounting on President Biden to reconsider the U.S.’s unwavering support for Israel in the midst of the ongoing conflict in Gaza.