May 6, 2024 | New York Post

Biden may be holding up ammo to Israel — Congress must stop him

May 6, 2024 | New York Post

Biden may be holding up ammo to Israel — Congress must stop him

President Biden appears so desperate to stop Israel from destroying Hamas in Gaza that he’s reportedly delaying munition shipments to put even more pressure on Jerusalem to let the terrorist organization stay in power.

Just as they did when Biden recently threatened sanctions against the Israeli military, Congressional leaders must put the White House on notice: Mess around with congressionally-directed military assistance for Israel and suffer the consequences.

A report in Axios cited two Israeli officials saying that a scheduled US weapons shipment did not arrive in Israel last week. Logistic delays can happen, but this hold-up didn’t seem to have an explanation.

Lips are sealed in both capitals as to the contents of the shipment, but Israeli sources believe the move was a veiled threat that Biden intends to use every available lever to hamstring further Israeli military operations to destroy the Hamas terrorist infrastructure in Gaza.

Biden fears the chaos today on college campuses will spill over to his party’s convention in Chicago this summer.

The president’s pro-Hamas left-wing base is in all-out revolt, while most Americans are souring on a sense of chaos both at home and abroad.

His solution? Pressure Israel to stop defending itself and pay whatever price Iran sets for six months of quiet through the November election.

Biden’s strategy, however, works against his objectives.

Every time he puts pressure on Israel to cut a deal with Hamas and hold back military operations, Hamas feels less pressure to cut a deal — opting instead for head fakes like Monday’s claim that it would accept a ceasefire proposal Israel had never offered.

Every time he makes cash available to Tehran, Iran’s terror proxies escalate against the United States and Israel — from the Houthis in Yemen to militias in Iraq to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Last month’s attempt to pressure Israel was a State Department threat to impose sanctions on Israeli military units — using specious claims put forward by radical anti-Israel groups to trigger a law prohibiting US funding to units tied to human rights abuses.

House Speaker Mike Johnson and other congressional leaders let the White House know that such an unprecedented move would result in investigations, hearings, and legislation — and the Biden administration backed down.

Now, as Israel announces the first stages of an operation to clear Hamas’s last stronghold of Rafah, Biden is flirting with another redline — curbing the flow of munitions to a democratic ally in the middle of a war for its survival.

Leaks suggest that Hamas sympathizers inside State are pressing for an aid cut-off – perhaps via a Biden-mandated report to Congress due this Wednesday on Israel’s compliance with international law.

Congress can intervene, however, either through oversight hearings or the power of the purse.

Considering the legislature just brokered a compromise on a $95 billion emergency supplemental that included aid to Israel, holding up assistance would contravene the will of Congress.

It would be justified in retaliating by holding up a wide-range of spending for any Biden-controlled department.

The President insists he wants to see the release of Israeli hostages and a transition to a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

He might achieve those goals by putting pressure on Hamas’s sponsors — Iran, Qatar, Lebanon and Turkey — instead of Hamas’s victim.

By playing for an Israeli surrender to Hamas, however, Biden all but guarantees continued conflict in the Middle East, and continued unrest from his left flank at home.

Richard Goldberg, a senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, is a former National Security Council official and senior US Senate aide.

Issues:

Israel Israel at War Military and Political Power Sanctions and Illicit Finance U.S. Defense Policy and Strategy