UPDATE: Biden delays weapons transfers

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Jeremy Ben-Ami, J Street

May 9, 2024, 2:23:32 PMMay 9
to Eleanor Dwight


J Street


President Biden confirmed yesterday that he has decided to delay the transfer of select offensive weapons to the Israeli government – including massive 2,000-pound bombs which have leveled city blocks in Gaza and killed scores of Palestinians.

This is an important, measured, and commonsense demonstration of US leadership that J Street wholeheartedly supports.

While reaffirming his ironclad support for Iron Dome and Israel’s defense, President Biden reiterated his red line: If Prime Minister Netanyahu pursues a Rafah invasion without plans to protect the over one million Palestinian civilians sheltering there, he cannot count on US support.

“If they go into Rafah, I’m not supplying the weapons,” Biden said. “It’s just wrong.”

Since we launched J Street 15 years ago, we’ve supported every dollar of every US security package to Israel. The decision to hold back certain weapons shipments is one the President doesn’t take lightly. And neither do we.

Yet we are convinced that this is the right call for Americans, Palestinians and Israelis alike.

If you agree, please sign our petition supporting the President’s decision and thanking him for this significant step. Read, sign and share the petition here >>

Unsurprisingly, those who take a black-and-white, all-or-nothing view on these issues are lining up to attack President Biden with smears as predictable as they are exaggerated.

MAGA leaders and those on the right are claiming that Biden is basically siding with Hamas.

AIPAC has described President Biden’s decision as “dangerous” and said he is emboldening Israel’s enemies – and is calling on Congress to take action.

Meanwhile, voices on the extreme left are slamming the President for failing to do enough and enabling a genocide, even if one might think they would consider this a step in the right direction.

Eleanor, all right-thinking people want to see Hamas gone and the perpetrators of October 7 held to account, but that does not mean we should allow ourselves to be bullied into supporting a Netanyahu-led operation which risks thousands of lives, including hostages, with no clear strategic endgame.

So at J Street, we’ll be working to defend President Biden against these smears.

On Capitol Hill, in the media and in communities across the country, we’ll continue to back what we see as a measured step in the right direction: Clear support for Israel’s security coupled with a clear rejection of actions which violate our values.

Please take a moment to support this work: Add your name to rebut these attacks and thank President Biden for this step forward. Sign and share the petition here >>

A full-scale Rafah operation risks the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent Palestinians, puts hostages in more danger, jeopardizes negotiations, and risks further escalation on all fronts.

US aid to Israel must not be a blank check. The Israeli government should be held to the same standards of all aid recipients, including requirements to uphold international law and facilitate humanitarian aid.

We continue to hold out hope for a bilateral ceasefire to free hostages, stop the fighting and allow a surge of aid to Gaza’s civilian population. And in the interim, we will have the President’s back as he presses the Netanyahu government to follow the surest path to achieving those objectives - the path of diplomacy.

Yours in hope,

Jeremy Ben-Ami
President, J Street


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© 2024 J Street | www.jstreet.org | in...@jstreet.org

J Street is the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace, pro-democracy Americans who want Israel to be secure, democratic and the national home of the Jewish people. Working in American politics and the Jewish community, we advocate policies that advance shared US and Israeli interests as well as Jewish and democratic values, leading to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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