Over the last week or so, political tension in the Middle East has heightened as lawmakers in the United States have been largely divided regarding Israel and Palestine. The GOP faces infighting regarding the future of the party and its leadership, but the Democratic party now faces infighting of its own as many lawmakers in the party are vocally opposing President Joe Biden’s (D) support of Israel during the conflict. As the President faces criticism from his party over his stance in support of Israel, some lawmakers like Florida Rep. Vern Buchanan (R) are calling for the President to “suspend all aid to the Palestinians” as the conflict ensues.
On Twitter, Buchanan announced that he was calling “on the White House to immediately suspend all aid to the Palestinians as rocket attacks against Israel escalate.” Buchanan expressed that “President Biden made a mistake last month by restoring $235 million in aid that had been cut off by the Trump administration.”
Today I called on the White House to immediately suspend all aid to the Palestinians as rocket attacks against Israel escalate. President Biden made a mistake last month by restoring $235 million in aid that had been cut off by the Trump administration. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/CNzdylvHwx
— Rep. Vern Buchanan (@VernBuchanan) May 14, 2021
In a letter directed to President Biden, Buchanan writes that “over the course of the past week the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hamas has launched more than 1,500 rockets and counting into Israel, threatening millions of innocent Israeli citizens.”
“In 2018 Congress passed and President Trump signed into law the Taylor Force Act, a bill which prohibits the U.S. from providing aid to the PA as long as it maintained its revolting ‘pay-to-play program, which rewards terrorists and the families of terrorists who kill Americans or Israelis,” he added, noting that he was “extremely disturbed” upon finding out that the Biden administration had “announced plans to begin funneling up to $235 million in foreign aid into territories controlled by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA).”
Florida Rep. Greg Steube (R) also chimed into the conversation, sharing on Twitter that “Biden’s decision to restore aid to Palestine and his dangerous appeasement strategy with Iran have emboldened and even supported the Hamas terrorists attacking Israel.”
Biden’s decision to restore aid to Palestine and his dangerous appeasement strategy with Iran have emboldened and even supported the Hamas terrorists attacking Israel.
I joined colleagues in condemning these attacks.https://t.co/2GhXXt1N9F
— Congressman Greg Steube (@RepGregSteube) May 14, 2021
After speaking to Israeli Minister of Defense Benny Gantz on Saturday, United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin “reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself and condemned Hamas’ deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians.”
I spoke with MoD @gantzbe again today. I reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself and condemned Hamas’ deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians. I also expressed my hope that calm can be restored soon.
— Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III (@SecDef) May 15, 2021