(LibertySociety.com) – Days after President Biden indicated that it was “a worthwhile thought” to consider placing conditions on United States aid to Israel, his National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan corrected the record. Following the deadly Hamas terrorist attack against Israel on October 7, the United States has promised to give Israel anything it needs to carry out its mission to completely demolish Hamas.
Certain progressive lawmakers have raised concerns about the number of civilian deaths that have occurred in Gaza. Democratic lawmakers participated in a teleconference with Sullivan on November 28 to have their questions answered about oversight of the weaponry provided to Israel. The main concern was ensuring that Israel’s use of the weapons was compliant with United States law.
The meeting was likely scheduled in response to a letter sent to the White House in early November, which was signed by most of the Democratic senators in Congress. Maryland Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen told the Associated Press on November 29 that Sullivan “made it clear that the White House is not asking for any conditionality on aid.” Van Hollen noted that President Biden had privately communicated lawmakers’ concerns about the Israeli Defense Force’s (IDF) retaliation in Gaza. He said that many lawmakers felt that the civilian death toll in Gaza was unacceptable and that the Israeli government had been uncooperative in ensuring that humanitarian aid was delivered to the people who needed it the most.
Just one day after the meeting with Sullivan, Van Hollen and two other Democratic senators released a statement reiterating their concerns. Hawaiian Senator Brian Schatz and Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed expressed concerns about the actions the Israeli government is planning to take once the ceasefire expired in Gaza.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby was also asked about conditioning aid to Israel during a press briefing. Kirby mirrored Sullivan’s response but added that the United States placing no conditions on the aid had proven successful since the conflict began. Kirby was likely referring to the multiple releases of hostages held by Hamas, including American citizens.
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