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Beyer Statement On Israel Supplemental

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) issued the following statement today on H.R. 8034, the Israel Security Supplemental Appropriations Act:

“I have repeatedly condemned Hamas’ horrific attacks since October 7 and steadfastly called for the release of all hostages. Since that day, the United States has provided massive and costly military, intelligence, and diplomatic support to Israel. The Israeli government has unfortunately proven unwilling or unable to match that support by adhering to the laws governing U.S. assistance or adequately responding to concerns raised repeatedly by the Administration. Hamas’ destructive tactics do not absolve our allies from their legal obligations to the U.S. or the international community. We must not sacrifice our humanity or our values to the viciousness of our opponents.

“The IDF campaign in Gaza has resulted in far too many civilian casualties, which significantly undercut claims of rigorous targeting or careful adherence to rules of engagement. Too many well-documented incidents have either gone uninvestigated or resulted in pro forma investigations that do not lead to consequences or corrections. The World Central Kitchen strike unfortunately does not stand out because it represents a rare failure, it was unique because the identity of the victims led to internal consequences within the IDF. The disastrous humanitarian situation in Gaza, highlighted by the absurdity of the United States airdropping supplies and building a pier while our Israeli allies impede supplies via land crossings and Israeli ports, has only improved in recent weeks due to threats of a change in US policy. This supplemental sends the opposite message.

“Unlike Ukraine, Israel simply does not need fiscal assistance from the United States at the level contained in this bill. Israel is a wealthy nation with the ability to borrow, and recently-passed appropriations language provided Israel with $3.8 billion. I support humanitarian assistance and have voted in the past to fund defensive capabilities including Iron Dome, but too much of this funding is likely to pay for weapons that recent history says will lead to more civilian deaths.

“This bill ties us ever more closely to a Prime Minister who has lost the trust of his people and has demonstrated that he does not deserve ours either. While war has raged in Gaza, the Netanyahu government is engaging in inflammatory tactics in the West Bank and Jerusalem, expanding illegal settlements, and failing to restrain extremist settler violence. They also seem intent on ignoring President Biden’s solid advice to avoid dangerous regional escalation. The Prime Minister in both word and deed has made his opposition to a US-supported two state solution crystal clear. I cannot agree to further assistance that is not tied to verifiable changes in Israeli policy.

“Above all, I am deeply concerned that Israel’s current government is on a path of increasing isolation that jeopardizes Israel’s long term security and is directly at odds with core American values. I cannot in good conscience support this bill, and therefore will vote no.”