Written by Ashton Snyder on
 May 12, 2024

Biden Donors Upset Over Pause on Weapons Shipment to Israel

President Joe Biden's recent stance on halting weapon shipments to Israel, should they invade southern Gaza's Rafah, has ignited sharp reactions from key supporters.

This move by Biden, perceived as a deviation from traditional U.S. support for Israel, has triggered a wave of criticism from Israeli American donors and politicians, as Fox News reports.

The crux of the matter revolves around Rafah, a city known as a Hamas stronghold. The president indicated that the U.S. would not provide the customary offensive weaponry for operations in that region, emphasizing instead the continuation of support through defensive systems like the Iron Dome.

Key Donors Voice Concerns Over Policy Shift

Haim Saban, an Israeli American Democratic megadonor, expressed his discontent in an email to White House officials. Saban's message was clear and stern: "Bad, Bad, Bad, decision, on all levels, Pls reconsider."

Similarly, Mark Mellman, a Democrat Party advocate and CEO of Democratic Majority for Israel, highlighted concerns over what he sees as a significant policy shift. Mellman remarked on the uncertainty and distress this has caused within the pro-Israel community.

Political Repercussions and Public Statements

In a televised CNN interview, President Biden clarified his position. "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," he stated, emphasizing a strategic pivot in U.S. military support.

Biden's remarks continued to resonate with his commitment to Israel's broader security needs. "We’re going to continue to make sure Israel is secure in terms of Iron Dome and their ability to respond to attacks that came out of the Middle East recently. But it’s, it’s just wrong. We’re not going to – we’re not going to supply the weapons and artillery shells," he added.

Investigations Initiate as Tensions Mount

The House Oversight Committee has taken action by launching an investigation into the Biden administration's threat to withhold offensive aid from Israel. This development suggests potential political implications and a scrutinized examination of the administration's foreign policy decisions.

The strategic and humanitarian complexity of Rafah, as a Hamas stronghold with over a million residents, complicates the decision further. Reports of Hamas using hostages, including potentially Americans, as human shields there add to the gravity of the situation.

As the debate continues, the White House has yet to release an official response to the criticisms from Fox News Digital's inquiry. The absence of immediate clarification adds to the tension and speculation surrounding this international issue.

Community and Political Leaders Await Next Steps

Mellman also voiced concern about the potential political consequences of this shift. "There has never been a president more pro-Israel than Joe Biden but at the same time we are very concerned about what appears to be a significant shift in US policy," Mellman stated, reflecting a mix of admiration and alarm.

The responses from various sectors of the pro-Israel community underscore a pervasive sense of unease. "There are a lot of people in the pro-Israel community who are very worried, very upset and very angry. We don't know what the consequences are going to be politically," Mellman concluded.

As the situation develops, all eyes will be on how President Biden's administration maneuvers this diplomatically sensitive issue, balancing international relations with domestic political pressures.

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About Ashton Snyder

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