Biden Emboldens Hamas With His Latest Israel Arms Shutdown

President Biden’s Supposed ‘Ironclad’ Support For Israeli Defense Melts Away Under Heat From The Far Left, Threating America’s Credibility And Israel’s Security While Allowing Hamas To Survive




SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “To Hamas, civilian casualties are not tragedies – they’re tools of the trade. To these savages, kidnapping, torture, rape, and murder aren’t crimes – they’re tactics. For terrorists around the world, human suffering is the weapon of choice. And Hamas seeks to magnify it…. Putting fighting positions in hospitals, schools, and United Nations facilities. Directly attacking humanitarian aid crossings. This doesn’t just contravene the laws of war. It exploits human suffering. Why does Hamas behave this way? Because it works. Because they know the media will cover it – ‘if it bleeds it leads’.  Because they know it creates an international rush to blame Israel. Because leftist fifth columns and useful idiots on university campuses will play at revolution and express solidarity with the terrorists. Because the President of the United States will be forced to choose between his supposedly ‘ironclad’ commitment to an ally under attack and the will of his leftist political base. And because they bet that the President would choose the latter. Well, it would seem that Hamas bet correctly. President Biden is withholding urgent military assistance to Israel. But he cannot have it both ways. He cannot claim his support for Israel is ‘ironclad’ while denying Israel precisely the weapons they need to defend themselves.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 5/09/2024)

·       LEADER McCONNELL: “I fought for months to secure passage of the national security supplemental to support Israel, Ukraine, and vulnerable Asian partners, and to make important investments in our own military. I stood up to opposition in my own party to do the right thing. If the Commander-in-Chief can’t muster the political courage to stand up to radicals on his left flank and stand up for an ally at war, the consequences will be grave. Other allies who rely on ‘ironclad’ guarantees from America will question our commitment. Nations on the fence, in the middle of a major-power competition for influence, will look elsewhere for their own security. And our enemies will be emboldened.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 5/09/2024)

SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE RANKING MEMBER JIM RISCH (R-ID): “President Biden’s clear threat to Israel, made on network television, made it obvious that he and his administration are more concerned with pacifying anti-Israel, and often anti-Semitic, sentiment among potential voters than with supporting our close partner during a critical time of need. The president has admitted he is blocking – at the 11th hour – a contract that was already approved by Congress, paid for by Israel, and manufactured. This sale would actually REDUCE collateral damage in Rafah and elsewhere. American allies and partners are watching our government’s behavior closely. Israel is our closest partner in the Middle East, and Iran and Hezbollah delight in seeing what President Biden is doing to publicly shame our ally. President Biden has given Hamas the greatest victory it could hope for; he has driven a wedge between the United States and Israel.” (U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member, Press Release, 5/09/2024)

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD: “Call it what it is: a U.S. arms embargo against Israel. That’s the astonishing story this week as the Biden Administration confirms it is blocking the delivery of weapons to its main ally in the Middle East.” (Editorial, “Biden Slaps an Arms Embargo on Israel,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/08/2024)

·       “No matter how fiercely the President trumpets his ‘ironclad’ support for Israel, his denial of weapons now puts the Jewish state in danger. Israel is at war, assaulted on multiple fronts. Denying it U.S. arms is an invitation to its enemies to take advantage, in hostage talks and on the battlefield.” (Editorial, “Biden Slaps an Arms Embargo on Israel,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/08/2024)

·       “Israel needs to be ready now, and its enemies need to know the U.S. stands behind it. That’s why Congress approved military aid to Israel in April, 79–18 in the Senate and 366–58 in the House. The overwhelming votes, including a majority of both parties, marked an important defeat for the anti-Israel left. Failing in its efforts to disarm Israel, the left lost. Now Mr. Biden is endorsing its policy.” (Editorial, “Biden Slaps an Arms Embargo on Israel,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/08/2024)


President Biden Outrageously Declared He Would Withhold Weapons Shipments To Israel

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: “I made it clear that if they go into Rafah – they haven’t gone in Rafah yet – if they go into Rafah, I’m not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities – that deal with that problem.” (“Biden Says He Will Stop Sending Bombs And Artillery Shells To Israel If It Launches Major Invasion Of Rafah,” CNN, 5/09/2024)

SEN. SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO (R-WV):Are those reports false then, that I’m reading?
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE LLOYD AUSTIN:No, we are currently reviewing some near-term security assistance shipments in the context of the unfolding events in Rafah.”
SEN. CAPITO:So we are withholding our shipments of weapons predicated on the strategy that Israel’s employing and going into Rafah? Is that the bottom line here?”
AUSTIN: “We are assessing, we have not made any final decisions on this yet, but to answer your question, yes.” (U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee On Defense Hearing, 5/08/2024)

Biden’s Decision ‘Represents A Significant Turning Point’ And ‘Is A Major Setback For Israel’s War’

“The hold on the bombs represents a significant turning point in the 76-year-old relationship between the United States and Israel, historically one of the closest security partnerships in the world.” (“Turning Point or Breaking Point? Biden’s Pause on Weapons Tests Ties to Israel.” The New York Times, 5/08/2024)

·       “Biden’s comments and his decision last week to pause the shipment of heavy bombs to Israel are the most striking manifestations of the growing daylight between his administration and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.” (“Biden Says US Won’t Supply Weapons For Israel To Attack Rafah, In Warning To Ally,” The Associated Press, 5/09/2024)

“The president’s announcement that he was prepared to condition American weaponry on Israel’s actions amounts to a turning point in the seven-month conflict between Israel and Hamas.” (“Biden Says He Will Stop Sending Bombs And Artillery Shells To Israel If It Launches Major Invasion Of Rafah,” CNN, 5/09/2024)

“The comment from Biden to CNN is a major setback for Israel’s war. The US is by far Israel’s most important and most powerful ally, and without its support, Israel’s firepower and ambitions in Gaza would be weakened.” (“Biden’s Threat To Halt Weapons Deliveries Sparks Anger And Infighting Among Israeli Officials,” CNN, 5/09/2024)


This Unilateral Action Negates The Repeated Assertions From The President And Multiple Officials In His Administration Over The Last Month That Their ‘Security Commitments To Israel Are Ironclad’

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: “[M]y commitment to the safety of the Jewish people, the security of Israel, and its right to exist as an independent Jewish state is ironclad, even when we disagree.” (“Remarks by President Biden at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Annual Days of Remembrance Ceremony,” Washington, DC, 5/06/2024)

·       BIDEN: “My commitment to the safety of the Jewish people, the security of Israel, and its right to exist as an independent Jewish state is ironclad.” (“Statement from President Joe Biden on Passover,” The White House, 4/21/2024)

·       BIDEN: “I’ve just spoken with Prime Minister Netanyahu to reaffirm America’s ironclad commitment to the security of Israel.” (“Statement from President Joe Biden on Iran’s Attacks against the State of Israel,” The White House, 4/13/2024)

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE LLOYD AUSTIN: “Our commitment to Israel is ironclad, Senator.” (U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee On Defense Hearing, 5/08/2024)

WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COMMUNICATIONS ADVISOR JOHN KIRBY:  Yeah, look, I’ve seen the press reporting on this.  All I can tell you is that — to Jacqui’s question — our support for Israel’s security remains ironclad.  And I’m not going to get into the specifics of — of one shipment over another.” (White House Press Briefing, 5/06/2024)

·       KIRBY: “What I’ve said is our security commitments to Israel are ironclad.  The President pushed very hard to get that supplemental funding so that we could continue to help Israel with its security needs…” (White House Press Briefing, 5/06/2024)

WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: “Our commitment to Israel’s security is ironclad, as I’ve said and we’ve said many times.” (White House Press Briefing, 5/03/2024)

·       JEAN-PIERRE: “[O]bviously, our continued support for — for Israel’s security. That continues to be ironclad, obviously, that — we’ve shown that.” (White House Pres Briefing, 4/29/2024)

·       JEAN-PIERRE: “[W]e understand that we have to continue our strong commitment to Israel’s security. That is — continues to be ironclad.” (White House Press Briefing, 4/19/2024)

REPORTER: “Thanks, Karine. There have been multiple reports that the Biden administration has slowed arms transfers to Israel, including of Joint Direct Attack Munitions and potentially some — some other weaponry.  Can you confirm that?  And if not, why not?
JEAN-PIERRE: “So, we don’t comment on specific cases. What I can say — and we have been saying and we will reiterate from here — is that our commitment to Israel’s security is ironclad. I know my colleague from NSC was asked the same question a couple times from your colleagues, and I — we just don’t have anything to say beyond what I just laid out.”
REPORTER: “So, is it fair to say, then, you’re trying to send a message to the Israelis in private, but you don’t — not want to make that from here?”
JEAN-PIERRE: “What I will say is our commitment to Israel’s security is ironclad. I’m not going to speak to every case.” (White House Press Briefing, 5/09/2024)

STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON MATTHEW MILLER: “And so what we demonstrated over the weekend is that our commitment to Israel’s defense is clear, and it is ironclad, and we back that up not just with words and with action. And we will continue to make that clear …” (State Department Press Briefing, 4/15/2024)

NSC SPOKESPERSON ADRIENNE WATSON: “President Biden has been clear: our support for Israel’s security is ironclad.” (“Statement from NSC Spokesperson Adrienne Watson on Attacks Against Israel,” The White House, 4/13/2024)

SENIOR BIDEN ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: “[W]hat the President calls an ironclad commitment for the United States is just that…. Helping to defend Israel — that is something that remains — I know it’s overstated, but it’s actually true — ironclad.  I mean, that is a true statement. “ (“Background Press Call by Senior Administration Officials on Iran’s Attacks Against the State of Israel,” The White House, 4/14/2024)

SENIOR DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE OFFICIAL: “Following the end of the [Iranian] attack, the Secretary [of Defense] again spoke with [Israeli Defense] Minister [Yoav] Gallant and reinforced the U.S. ironclad commitment to Israel’s defense…. [T]he President and the Secretary have been very clear that our support for Israel’s defense is ironclad and our forces remain postured to provide further support for Israel’s defense …” (“Background Press Call by Senior Administration Officials on Iran’s Attacks Against the State of Israel,” The White House, 4/14/2024)

WHITE HOUSE STATEMENT: “The President reaffirmed his ironclad commitment to Israel’s security …” (“Readout of President Joe Biden’s Call with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel,” The White House, 4/28/2024)

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “Look, I believe that Israel and America have an ironclad relationship, and I have faith in what the Biden administration is doing.” (Sen. Schumer, Press Conference, 5/09/2024)


Republican Congressional Leaders: ‘Recent Press Reports And Pauses In Critical Weapons Shipments Call Into Question Your Pledge That Your Commitment To Israel’s Security Will Remain Ironclad’

SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY) & HOUSE SPEAKER MIKE JOHNSON (R-LA): “Having recently worked on a bipartisan basis to pass an emergency national security supplemental appropriations bill that included urgent assistance to Israel, we were alarmed by media reports that your Administration had delayed the delivery of a variety of weapons shipments bound for Israel. This news flies in the face of assurances provided regarding the timely delivery of security assistance to Israel…. [W]e believe that security assistance to Israel is an urgent priority that must not be delayed. These recent press reports and pauses in critical weapons shipments call into question your pledge that your commitment to Israel’s security will remain ironclad.” (Leader McConnell & Speaker Johnson, Letter to President Biden, 5/08/2024)


Congressional Democrats Committed To Israel’s Security Also Blasted Biden’s Announcement

SEN. JOHN FETTERMAN (D-PA): “Hard disagree and deeply disappointing.” (Sen. Fetterman, @SenFettermanPA, Twitter, 5/08/2024)

·       “Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) told Axios: ‘I strenuously disagree ... We have to stand with our key ally throughout all of this.’” (“Biden Faces Internal Blowback Over Israel Weapons Pauses,” Axios, 5/08/2024)

REP. RITCHIE TORRES (D-NY): “As the leader of the free world, America cannot claim that its commitment to Israel is ‘iron-clad’ and then proceed to withhold aid from Israel. The mixed messaging makes a mockery of our credibility as an ally. No one will take our word seriously.” (Rep. Torres, @RitchieTorres, Twitter, 5/08/2024)

·       REP. TORRES:I suspect it’s pandering to the far left … It looks like election year politics was driving it. That’s my impression…” (“Biden Faces Internal Blowback Over Israel Weapons Pauses,” Axios, 5/08/2024)

REP. JARED MOSKOWITZ (D-FL): “But the problem is there’s no pressure on Hamas … If Hamas is watching American television, which I guarantee you they are, they’re seeing more division and their power growing in this country, which means less pressure on Hamas… The only pressure that is left is the military pressure.” (“Biden’s Israel Threat Slammed By Pro-Israel Lawmakers, Mainstream Jewish Groups,” Jewish Insider, 5/08/2024)

·       “Moskowitz said that delaying arms sales is ‘not helpful to get us to a ceasefire’ because it shows Hamas ‘we don’t need to rush, there’s no pressure.’” (“Biden’s Israel Threat Slammed By Pro-Israel Lawmakers, Mainstream Jewish Groups,” Jewish Insider, 5/08/2024)

REP. BRAD SHERMAN (D-CA): “[Biden] came to this Congress and he said pass legislation… you can’t come to members and get them to vote for your bill, your package, and then throw away part of the package.” (“Biden’s Israel Threat Slammed By Pro-Israel Lawmakers, Mainstream Jewish Groups,” Jewish Insider, 5/08/2024)

·       “Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), speaking to JI moments after the Biden interview, emphasized that funding appropriated by Congress for Israel legally ‘has to be spent, has to be obligated, has to go.’” (“Biden’s Israel Threat Slammed By Pro-Israel Lawmakers, Mainstream Jewish Groups,” Jewish Insider, 5/08/2024)

·       REP. SHERMAN: “How in the hell do you criticize Israel for being imprecise in its bombing and then refuse to deliver them what they’re willing to pay for to make the bombs precise?” (“Biden’s Israel Threat Slammed By Pro-Israel Lawmakers, Mainstream Jewish Groups,” Jewish Insider, 5/08/2024)

“Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) told Axios that Israel is ‘surrounded by danger, they need the tools to defend themselves’ and the U.S. ‘should fulfill our obligation’ by sending the weapons.” (“Biden Faces Internal Blowback Over Israel Weapons Pauses,” Axios, 5/08/2024)

AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE CEO & FORMER REP. TED DEUTCH (D-FL): “President Biden should not take steps that could impair Israel’s ability to prevent Hamas from attacking it again and again.” (Josh Kraushaar, @JoshKraushaar, Twitter, 5/08/2024)


‘If Israel Can’t Complete Its Invasion Of Rafah, Hamas Wins’

REMINDER: Israel’s War Cabinet UNANIMOUSLY Agreed That An Operation In Rafah Was Necessary ‘To Exert Military Pressure On Hamas’

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that his war cabinet approved continuing an operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah in order to pressure Hamas to release Israeli hostages and achieve the country’s other war goals. ‘The war cabinet unanimously decided that Israel continue the operation in Rafah to exert military pressure on Hamas in order to advance the release of our hostages and the other goals of the war,’ Netanyahu’s office said in a statement.” (“Israel To Push On With Rafah Operation While Continuing Hostage Talks,” Reuters, 5/06/2024)

‘In Effect, It Is Now The Policy Of The Biden Administration To Leave Hamas In Power’

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD: “Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other U.S. officials explain that the goal of the embargo—which they present as a ‘pause’ or ‘review’—is to prevent a wider Israeli attack on the Hamas stronghold of Rafah. This is the terrorists’ reward for using civilians as human shields. We’ve written about why Rafah must fall: It is home to Hamas’s leaders, hostages and four military battalions. If Israel can’t complete its invasion of Rafah, Hamas wins.” (Editorial, “Biden Slaps an Arms Embargo on Israel,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/08/2024)

·       “The Administration would like to focus on the denial of 2,000-pound bombs, which it says are too destructive. Never mind that a professional force can employ them in a manner that restricts the radius of damage. Mr. Biden is also halting a shipment of 500-pound bombs and holding up Joint Direct Attack Munitions, which convert unguided bombs into precision ‘smart’ bombs. Politico reports that Small Diameter Bombs are being withheld. The Journal adds that the Biden Administration has been sitting on a deal that includes tank shells and mortar rounds. The message from the White House, in other words, is that Israel shouldn’t have large bombs or small bombs, dumb bombs or smart bombs, and let it do without tanks and artillery too. Now isn’t a good time to send the weapons, you see, because Israel would use them.” (Editorial, “Biden Slaps an Arms Embargo on Israel,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/08/2024)

NATIONAL REVIEW EDITORS: “National Security Council spokesman John Kirby now says that ‘we don’t support ground operations in Rafah that would put the majority or even any of the — the civilians there at any greater risk.’ Saying that absolutely no civilians can be put at any sort of heightened risk during an urban warfare campaign against an enemy that hides behind civilians as part of its war strategy is effectively the same thing as saying that Israel cannot be allowed to fight Hamas. What this means is that, in effect, it is now the policy of the Biden administration to leave Hamas in power.” (Editorial, “Biden’s Dangerous Misreading of ‘Never Again,’” National Review, 5/08/2024)

·       “[I]n the face of mounting political pressure from within his party to abandon his support for Israel, Biden buckled. For months, Biden has twisted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s arm privately and lashed out publicly in an effort to prevent Israel from taking out Hamas’s remaining stronghold in Rafah, which is also believed to be the location of the hostages still being held. This week, as Israel took targeted action at the Rafah crossing along the border between Gaza and Egypt — the exact sort of limited engagement that the Biden team previously said they were okay with — administration officials disclosed that the U.S. had taken the dramatic step of pausing shipments of bombs that are ready to go to Israel.” (Editorial, “Biden’s Dangerous Misreading of ‘Never Again,’” National Review, 5/08/2024)



Related Issues: National Security, Israel