A $735 million arms sale between the United States and Israel is pending due to deliberation over whether Israel has a right defend itself from Palestine. As of the 26th of May 2021, the Health Ministry of Gaza has reported at least 66 children killed in the Gaza territory as a result of the Israeli – Palestine war that is currently taking place. Israel has also suffered deaths as a result of this conflict; however, they are burdened with a much lower death toll. The relevant arms sale is for precision-guided weaponry and is currently being reviewed by Congress due to deliberation over whether Israel has the right to obtain the funding to defend itself from future attacks. The Republican party have stated their alignment by allowing the Biden Administration to go forward with the sale. However, the Democratic party are still divided over the decision.
The military partnership between Israel and the U.S. has been implemented for many decades, as both share deep security interests in the Middle East. Due to these strong military ties, a $735m deal is not abnormal, but due to the war between Palestine and Israel, this deal has created heightened concern within Congress. The concern is, this deal would allow Israel to send more air strikes into Palestine thereby killing many more innocent citizens.
Democrats within the U.S. government have expressed their concern regarding the deal, although this concern is only evident within a small minority. Democrat Representative Ilhan Omar has expressed her views on the situation and discusses the consequences that will be received from this deal. Omar said, “It would be appalling for the Biden Administration to go through with $735 million in precision-guided weaponry to Netanyahu (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) without any strings attached in the wake of escalating violence and attacks on civilians.”
We stand with Rep. Ilan Omar and her statement, as should every person who values the lives of innocent citizens. It is achievable for the U.S. to maintain its self-implemented obligation of supporting Israel, while also aligning themselves in a position that does not sacrifice their duty to show basic humanitarian concern. Claims communicated from the White House admitting to the ‘heartbreaking’ scenes in Palestine have made it clear that the U.S. Biden Administration is aware of what their $735m weapon deal will most likely be used for. They are aware of how it is threatening the lives of families and children, yet there has been no evidence to negate the idea that U.S. Congress values assets and international relations over the lives of the innocent.
If the $735 million deal goes forward, the world can guarantee to see Palestinian lives on the line. This war is between Israel and Palestine, but the real power lies in the hands of the United States. By agreeing to the terms of the deal, the U.S. will set a global precedent showing that they care less for the lives of international citizens and more for the benefit of international military relations. When asked about the situation, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said; “…and we recognize and agree that watching the lives lost of these Palestinian children…is heartbreaking. We want to bring an end to the violence.”
This deal is not the way to bring an end to the violence, it is doing the opposite.