Early Hurdle for Biden’s Request to Fund Israel Amid Scrutiny of Israel-Palestine Conflict


A US rights group, Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), has expressed concern over President Joe Biden’s request for $14 billion in funding for Israel, suggesting that it may result in the removal of Palestinians from Gaza. DAWN warned that this funding could potentially support the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. In a letter to Congress, the White House stated that the funding would support displaced and conflict-affected civilians, including Palestinian refugees in Gaza and the West Bank. However, concerns about Palestinian displacement have been heightened after a leaked Israeli government document revealed a plan to transfer Gaza’s population abroad. DAWN’s executive director, Sarah Leah Whitson, accused the Biden administration of bankrolling ethnic cleansing, disguising it as humanitarian aid. Gaza is home to approximately 2.3 million people, many of whom are refugees or descendants of those displaced during the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. Biden has discussed with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi the importance of safeguarding civilian lives and preventing Palestinians in Gaza from being displaced to Egypt or other nations. Republicans in the House of Representatives have raised objections to Biden’s funding request, introducing a bill that separates aid for Israel from assistance for Ukraine. Their bill also proposes slashing funding for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to offset aid to Israel. Democrats have opposed the Republican bill, suggesting that compromise is necessary to pass any legislation for aid money. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer accused right-wing lawmakers of exploiting the crisis in Israel to help the wealthy avoid taxes, emphasizing that such divisive legislation sends a negative message to allies and adversaries. However, far-right Congresswoman Lauren Boebert supports the bill, arguing that the money should come from the IRS. It is worth noting that progressive lawmakers have called for conditions to be placed on aid to Israel to prevent abuses against Palestinians but remain a minority in Congress.


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