May 29, 2024

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FILE PHOTO: Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during event to celebrate the anniversary of U.S. President Joe Biden signing the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act legislation in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., August 16, 2023. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

Democrats Call on Biden to Cease Arms Transfer to Israel

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, along with 40 other House Democrats, has united to urge President Joe Biden to cease the transfer of U.S. arms to Israel promptly. This coalition of congressional Democrats penned a letter to President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, calling for a reassessment of America’s involvement in the escalating conflict between Israel and Palestinian groups.

Nancy Pelosi criticised Donald Trump’s efforts to include a citizenship question in the upcoming census, asserting that the motive behind Trump’s initiative was to “make America white again.” Pelosi, a California Democrat, highlighted the administration’s legal battle in federal court to introduce the question, citing concerns about its potential chilling effect on response rates. While the Supreme Court temporarily blocked the question’s inclusion, Pelosi cautioned that failure to complete census forms could ultimately benefit the administration.

In recent months, the escalating tensions between Israel and Gaza have emerged as a significant political issue in the United States, drawing global attention as the election season approaches. Following an attack by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, Israel initiated a military assault on Gaza on October 7th, resulting in widespread criticism and international scrutiny. The Gaza health ministry reported a staggering death toll of over 33,000 individuals in the conflict, with the narrow coastal strip also grappling with mass starvation, intensifying the humanitarian crisis. Pelosi, a prominent figure in Biden’s Democratic Party, advocated for terminating arms sales to Israel, signalling a growing consensus within the party.

In response to a recent strike on aid workers and the deteriorating humanitarian situation, the signed letter emphasised the unjustifiability of approving weapon transfers to Israel. Additionally, the letter urged the Biden administration to conduct an independent investigation into an Israeli airstrike that claimed the lives of seven employees of World Central Kitchen, a humanitarian aid organization. Notable Democrats, including Representatives Barbara Lee, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, joined Pelosi in endorsing the letter.

Following investigations into the deaths of aid workers, Israeli military authorities took disciplinary action against two officers and senior commanders, acknowledging significant errors and procedural violations. President Biden engaged in discussions with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to explore measures for better civilian protection. Expressing concern over the need for improved measures, President Biden cautioned that the U.S. might reconsider its policy if adequate steps are not taken.