House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) is reportedly considering sending a letter to President Joe Biden, urging him to delay the sale of $735 million in weapons to Israel, joining a slew of top Democrat lawmakers calling for the same.
According to The Hill, Democrats on the committee help an emergency meeting on Monday during which they discussed demanding Biden to delay the unexpected weapons sale to Israel amid the recent violence between Israel and Gaza.
One of the committee members, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), was reportedly among the Democrats who supported blocking the sale. She later tweeted, “Congress must intervene and stop the sale of these weapons.”
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) also showed her support for delaying the sale, tweeting, “No more weapons to kill children and families @JoeBiden. Enough.”
In another tweet, Tlaib called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “Apartheid-in-chief.”
“@POTUS + @SecBlinken: If you support a cease-fire, then get out of the way of the U.N. Security Council and join other countries in demanding it,” she wrote.
“Apartheid-in-chief Netanyahu will not listen to anyone asking nicely. He commits war crimes and openly violates international law.”
Some Democrats on the committee stood firm in their support for Israel. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) said it was “shocking” that some members of Congress were condemning Israel rather than Hamas.
“Another night of rocket attacks by terrorists aiming to kill innocent civilians,” Rep. Deutch wrote on Twitter. “Hamas terrorists condemned by Congress for using human shields. Hamas is a foreign terrorist organization. Shockingly, some condemn Israel rather than the terrorists. Not me. I stand with Israel.”
A number of Republicans condemned the anti-Israel rhetoric from members of Congress, particularly those who make up “The Squad”: Democrat Reps. Omar, Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), and Ayanna Pressley (MA).
“Democrats, once again, are planning to abandon Israel – while she’s being attacked,” Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) wrote. “Too bad there’s not a ‘Hamas Caucus.’ Oh wait – there is one – it’s called ‘The Squad.’”
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) echoed his colleague, tweeting, “If there were a Hamas caucus in the House, this would be its top priority.”
President Biden’s administration approved the sale of $735 million in weapons to Israel on Monday as the nation continues to battle a barrage of rockets fired by the terrorist organization Hamas from Gaza.
Congress was first notified of the potential sale on May 5, according to three people familiar with the matter, the Washington Post reported. The sale was proposed almost a week before Hamas began firing rockets into Israel, reportedly killing at least 10 Israelis so far.
A House Foreign Affairs Committee spokesperson confirmed that Congress was informed about the sale on May 5, noting that Boeing will provide the weapons to the Middle Eastern nation.