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Biden condemns antisemitism, claims to be a Zionist as he professes continued military support for Israel
12/18/2023 // Belle Carter // Views

At a Hanukkah celebration hosted by the White House on Monday, President Joe Biden expressed his full-fledged commitment to Israel's security as he professed to be a Zionist while lambasting the surge of anti-Semitism both in the U.S. and around the world amid the Israel-Hamas war. Biden also pledged continued military support for West Jerusalem despite its bombardments of Gaza having led to heavy civilian casualties, according to local medical authorities.

Speaking to Jewish lawmakers, Holocaust survivors and members of the Jewish community, the POTUS said that his "commitment to the safety of the Jewish people and the security of Israel, its right to exist as an independent Jewish state, is unshakeable." He then vowed to continue to provide military assistance to Israel until they got rid of Hamas. The president also blasted what he called a "sickening" surge of anti-Semitism both in the United States and around the world amid the conflict. "We see it across our communities and schools and colleges and social media," he said, adding that "silence is complicity."

He also described the festival of lights as a "timeless story of miracles" and a celebration of survival and hope. "But we know this year's Hanukkah is different," he said dramatically. "The warmth and connection I feel to the Jewish community is unquestionable. I ran into trouble and criticism when I said a few years ago that you don't have to be Jewish to be a Zionist and I am a Zionist."

Meanwhile, a group of nearly 20 women describing themselves as "Jewish elders" chained their bodies to the fence guarding the White House on Monday. They wore black T-shirts that read "Not In Our Name" and chanted "Biden, Biden, pick a side! Ceasefire not genocide!" while reading the names and ages of those killed in Gaza.

RT reported that the U.S. was the only member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to veto an emergency resolution calling for an emergency ceasefire in the enclave last week. On Friday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said "There is a serious risk of starvation and famine," noting that 97 percent of households in northern Gaza and 83 percent of displaced people in the south are not eating enough food. (Related: White House interns demand PERMANENT CEASEFIRE for Gaza via letter to Biden.)

The Iran-backed militant group Hamas had a surprise attack on October 7 that claimed the lives of some 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians. More than 240 people were also taken hostage by the militants. In response, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) conducted massive bombings of the Palestinian enclave, followed by a ground operation. As per the Gaza Health Ministry, the death toll in the enclave linked to Israeli actions has surpassed 18,400.

Biden bypasses Congress, approves emergency arms sale to Israel

Over the weekend, the Biden administration bypassed congressional authority when it granted emergency approval for the sale of $106.5 million worth of tank ammunition to Israel to signify its allegiance to the Jewish state. The vending of about 14,000 tank shells came as the White House struggled to gain the legislative body's approval for $106 billion in supplemental security spending, including $14.3 billion for Israel. Biden's State Department used an Arms Export Control Act emergency declaration for the tank rounds for immediate delivery to Israel, the Department of Defense said in a statement on Saturday.

The shells are part of a bigger sale the Biden administration is asking the Congress to approve. The larger package is worth more than $500 million which includes 45,000 shells for Israel's Merkava tanks, regularly deployed in its offensive in Gaza, which has killed thousands of civilians.

As rights advocates expressed concern over the sale as the move is inconsistent with Washington's effort to press Israel to minimize civilian casualties, how and where exactly the U.S. weapons are used in the conflict has come under more scrutiny.

But U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken justified to Congress that the tank shells must immediately be provided to Israel in the national security interests of the U.S., as per the DoD. "Israel will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense," the Pentagon said, adding that there will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of the sale. The sale will be from U.S. Army inventory and consists of 120mm M830A1 High Explosive Anti-Tank Multi-Purpose with Tracer (MPAT) tank cartridges and related equipment.

Head to WeaponsTechnology.news to read more stories on the West's continued munition assistance to Israel and Ukraine.

Sources for this article include:

RT.com

TimesOfIsrael.com

AlJazeera.com



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