Biden plans weapons delivery to Israel despite statements of support for ceasefire

 February 18, 2024

Despite public declarations in support of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the Biden administration is reportedly planning to send a significant delivery of weapons to the Jewish state, as the New York Post explains, citing a report from the Wall Street Journal.

The move puts President Joe Biden in an increasingly precarious electoral position, as his bid for a second term is increasingly under threat from dissatisfied Muslim voters in critical swing states such as Michigan.

Weapons delivery planned

According to the WSJ, the munitions dispatch would include a substantial cache of equipment, including a thousand MK-82 bombs, a thousand KMU-572 Joint Direct Attack Munitions, and a thousand FMU-139 bomb fuses.

The value of the delivery is reportedly in the tens of millions of dollars, making it a substantial investment in the Israeli campaign to defeat Hamas.

The WSJ noted that the terms of the package remain under review by the administration and that the specifics may undergo further adjustment before the transfer is sent for congressional approval.

On the one hand, the proposal seems in keeping with the administration's unwavering statements of support for Israel's right to self-defense and response in the wake of the Hamas attacks of Oct. 7, but some observers suggest that it runs counter to Biden's calls for a ceasefire agreement between parties to the ongoing conflict.

Inconsistencies abound

At the same time that his administration is finalizing the terms of an arms shipment to Israel, Biden has also issued statements suggesting a growing impatience with the manner in which the country is prosecuting its war on Hamas.

As the Daily Mail explains, Biden recently warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against pressing ahead with an operation into the city of Rafah unless he had a “credible and executable plan” to safeguard the civilian population there.

Biden also recently referred to certain aspects of Israel's campaign against Hamas as “over the top” and expressed concerns about obstacles to the provision of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Walking the tightrope

The entire situation poses a vexing electoral dilemma for Biden, whose declared support for Israel continues to alienate a significant Democratic Party voting bloc as the 2024 presidential race heats up.

Nowhere is this scenario more evident than in Dearborn, Michigan, which is home to one of the largest Arab American and Muslim populations in the United States, and where opposition to the president's stance on Israel is reaching fever pitch, as USA Today explains.

Emblematic of the frustration felt by a key demographic in a potentially pivotal swing state were remarks from Dearborn attorney Amer Zahr, who took particular issue with Biden's aforementioned “over the top” remark. “Five dead kids is over the top – maybe 20, maybe even 100. But 12,000 kids is a genocide funded by the United States, led by him,” Zahr said of the president.

Another activist from Dearborn, Abbas Alawieh, put Biden's current prospects in even starker terms, saying, “People fell not a vague sense of betrayal. People feel a deep sense of betrayal, a bone-deep sense of betrayal.”

Whether this type of anger causes a seismic shift among typically reliable Democratic voters come November -- or whether it prompts a recalibration of Biden's approach to Israel -- only time will tell.

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