The Biden administration rejected a UN Security Council draft statement calling for an immediate ceasefire in the fighting. The US supports the call for a ceasefire, but it also supports Israel’s right to defend itself from attacks by Hamas.
While almost all Republicans support this position, many progressive Democrats are beginning to question Biden’s support of conservative Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, including the approval of $735 million in arms sales.
US Rejects UN Security Council Resolution
Last Monday, Washington rejected for the third time a UN Security Council draft statement. The draft called for an immediate de-escalation of the fighting.
The draft also aimed to express its concern over the loss of civilian lives and injuries in more than a week of fighting. As a result, Israel thanked the US for blocking the UN Security Council statement. The Jewish state stressed the need to protect children and other civilians in the area.
The US, a major ally, carries a long history of taking up the cudgels for Israel. The United States often rejects official UN statements that criticized Israel.
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In some cases, the US uses its veto power to prevent censuring Israel. This week was no different, although many hoped that the US would sign on to a statement calling for both Israel and Hamas to prevent further bloodshed.
However, the US did as expected, preventing the passage of a UN Security Council statement for the third time in a week. Reportedly, the decision surprised even some US allies.
Israel Thanks the US
Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz thanked the US in a tweet. “My sincere thanks to the US administration and in particular to @SecDef Lloyd Austin, with whom I spoke this week, for rightly preventing the unjust UN Security Council statement criticizing Israel’s actions in Gaza,” he wrote. “While Hamas, a terror organisation, targets our civilians and commits war crimes, our aims are solely to dismantle terror infrastructure and protect our people.
This criticism of Israel is hypocritical and detrimental to the global fight against terror,” he added.
Earlier Monday, the White House confirmed that Biden spoke with Netanyahu. Biden voiced support for an eventual ceasefire. Biden himself is a known Israeli supporter.
Insiders said that Biden stressed his belief in Israel’s right to defend itself. However, Biden also welcomed efforts to address violence and bring back peace to Israel.
The conflict in the Middle East is now in its second week and is showing no signs of slowing down. At least 212 people, including 61 children, already lost their lives over the skirmishes.
Since the violence broke last week, there are nightly clashes in Jerusalem between police and Palestinian protesters.
Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza since 2007, continues to fire rockets into Israel. Meanwhile, the Jewish state retaliates with airstrikes and bombing runs.
Since 1948, when Israel first declared its statehood, the United States continues to remain a key ally. Over the years, the US gave Israel a total of $146 billion in aid, bilateral assistance, and missile defense systems. In 2019, Israel received $4 billion in aid.
Democrats Question Sale of Weapons to Israel
As a result, some Democrat lawmakers raised questions on the morality of selling weapons to one side of the conflict. “The devastation in Gaza is unconscionable.
We must urge an immediate ceasefire. The killing of Palestinians and Israelis must end,” Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) tweeted last Sunday. However, Sanders also saw fit to revisit US policy on aiding Israel.
“We must also take a hard look at nearly $4 billion a year in military aid to Israel. It is illegal for US aid to support human rights violations,” he added.
Watch the Bloomberg: Quicktake Now reporting that Israeli PM Netanyahu defends airstrikes on Gaza Strip, Thanks Joe Biden for support:
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