U.S. House Passes Bill Mandating Arms Shipment to Israel

U.S. President Joe Biden
U.S. President Joe Biden. Credit | AP Photo

United States – The Republican-dominated House of Representatives in the U. S. passed a bill on Thursday that makes the shipment of weapons to Israel mandatory and functions as a rebuke to President Joe Biden for delaying the arms shipment while telling the Israelis to exclude civilians from their war against Hamas.

The Israel Security Assistance Support Act was approved by a vote of 224 with 187 against, along party lines. One-sixth of the Democrats and almost all the Republicans voted yes on it; three Republicans joined almost all the Democrats and voted against it, as reported by Reuters.

Political Context

The Act, however, does not stand much of a chance of becoming law and rather highlighted the deep fissure in US election year over Israel policy where the governing Benjamin Netanyahu administration is struggling to suppress militants who, on Oct. 7, had killed over 1,200 people and abducted some 253 hostages.

Palestinian authorities stress that 35,272 civilians were killed during the campaign of the Israelis in Gaza. Malnutrition is rampant in the coastal land, and many of its residents have been rendered homeless as there has been infrastructural damage.

The Republicans accused Biden of being unfriendly towards Israel due to the fact that he supported the protesters, who were the majority in Palestine.

“This is a catastrophic decision with global implications. It is obviously being done as a political calculation, and we cannot let this stand,” Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson told a news conference with other party leaders on Wednesday.

The Republicans also denied the other party the right to play politics by saying that the Republicans were distorting Biden’s views about the political situation in Israel.

“It is not a serious effort at legislation, which is why some of the most pro-Israel members of the House Democratic caucus will be voting no,” House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries told a news conference before the vote.

Implications for U.S.-Israel Relations

Although Israel will come out on top, it will still get many billions of dollars’ worth of U. S. military assistance systems, despite the delay of one shipment of 2,000 pounds (907 kg) and 500 pounds of bombs and the review of the other weapons shipments by the Biden administration, as reported by Reuters.

State Department Actions

Concurrently, the State Department of the USA reportedly advanced a USD 1 billion arms deal to Israel last Tuesday. Yet, US officials still claimed it was “under the congressional review process.”