Not to PR halt but yes to end any weapons shipment to Israel

Yossi Schwartz ISL(RCIT section in Israel/Occupied Palestine) 9.5.2024

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, testifying before a US congressional subcommittee on Wednesday, said the Biden administration had paused one shipment of high payload munitions amid concerns about the Israeli military’s push to invade the southern Gaza city of Rafah. The paused weapons are considered attack weapons. Thus, the US will continue to supply weapons and ammunition, but it will call it defensive weapons. But are bullets, airplanes, and bombs defensive or offensive?

“US officials confirmed on Wednesday that Washington paused delivery of an arms shipment of 1,800 2,000-pound (907kg) bombs and 1,700 500-pound (227kg) bombs to Israel because of the risk to civilians in Gaza. Four sources told Reuters that the shipments delayed for at least two weeks involved Boeing-made Joint Direct Attack Munitions, which convert dumb bombs into precision-guided ones and Small Diameter Bombs (SDB-1). They were part of an earlier approved shipment to Israel, not the recent $95bn supplemental aid package the US Congress approved for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.”

More than a severe move, it is a PR exercise reflecting the mass opposition to Biden’s policy of supporting the genocide of the Palestinians in a year of presidential elections. In addition, Biden is afraid that the genocide in Rafah will lead to mass uprisings in the Arab states, which will cut American profits from oil production.

On the other hand, the US Republican party attacked Biden for the pause. “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Mike Johnson penned ץreviews of Israel’s wartime conduct following the announcement of a delay in arms shipment to Israel pending its operation in Rafah. McConnell and Johnson said they have not been able to obtain pertinent information from the Department of State or the Pentagon regarding the ongoing review of Israel’s assurances that it’s following US and international law“.[i]

This PR exercise will likely increase the mass pressure on the Biden administration. Despite the use of the brutal police force and the slanders against the pro-Palestinian global student movement, the movement is only growing while, at the same time, dockers workers are blocking weapons to Israel in different countries.

“The threat by US President Joe Biden that some arms shipments will be frozen if Israel launches a planned offensive in Rafah was met with swift denunciation from government figures in Jerusalem on Thursday, who indicated that the military would push ahead regardless. Biden’s comments also sparked harsh criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by chief opposition rival Yair Lapid for what he said was the government’s “failed management” of ties with Washington. Some American Jewish groups and US lawmakers spoke out against the move in the US, and others indicated it was unlikely to go beyond words. Former president Donald Trump accused Biden of siding with terrorists”.[ii]

Netanyahu stated that even if Israel is alone, it would still attack Rafah to destroy Hamas.  Brig. Gen. Amir Avivi, chairman of the Israel Defense and Security Forum, spoke to The Media about the war in Gaza,

And really, now it’s in Hamas’s hands. If Hamas agrees to a 40-day cease-fire, and with this cease-fire to return the 33 hostages we agreed upon, then we’ll see a cease-fire for 40 days.” Avivi rightfully expected a renewal of the ground invasion in Rafah if Hamas didn’t agree to Israeli terms suitable for the hostage release”.[iii]

Asked about the Biden Administration’s thoughts on halting the operation in Rafah, Avivi told The Media, “What the administration is saying is it’s calling Israel to lose the war. Israel cannot lose the war. Israel cannot go back to a reality where Hamas can build itself back to tens of thousands of militants on our borders, threatening all the towns along the border and threatening all of Israel with rockets. He reiterated that Israel must achieve the real goals of the war and that it is not just about Gaza, referring to its ability to stand strong against Lebanon, Hezbollah, Iran, and militias in Syria and Iraq.”[iv] 

One can only wonder what drug he used for his pipedreams.While telling his pipedream “protesters demanding the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip blocked rush hour traffic on the Ayalon freeway in central Tel Aviv Wednesday morning, as activists sought to step up pressure on the government to reach a deal with the Hamas terror group.

Holding a massive banner reading “Save who is still possible [to save]” and unleashing billowing clouds of orange smoke, a group of over a dozen mostly female protesters blocked northbound lanes of the busy highway for about 20 minutes at 8 a.m. before being removed by law enforcement We want them alive, not in coffins,” protesters chanted from lanes of blacktop near the Rokah interchange in north Tel Aviv, as traffic backed up“.[v]

 No weapons to Israel!

Stop the genocide now.!

For Palestine red and free from the river to the sea!





[iv]  Ibid


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