President Biden is facing criticism from both Republicans and Democrats over the escalating violence between Israel and Palestine in the region that saw a Hamas rocket attack take aim at Jerusalem.
Lawmakers from vastly different ends of the political spectrum have taken aim at Biden and his administration over the growing violence in the region, calling out the president on the violence in the region — albeit for different reasons.
Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., demanded the Biden administration “strongly condemn Hamas,” the Palestinian terror group that launched rockets at Jerusalem as the city was celebrating Jerusalem Day on Monday.
“The Biden Administration should strongly condemn Hamas and other terrorists that are exploiting tensions in Jerusalem to carry out rocket attacks against innocent civilians,” Hagerty tweeted. “The United States should unequivocally support Israel’s right to defend its citizens.”
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House Armed Services Committee member Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., bashed Biden as well, telling Fox News on Monday that the “actual actions” of the administration are “incredibly unhelpful” even though their talk “sounds good.”
“They’ve given away all leverage right up front, and we’re seeing this is a theme with the Biden administration in terms of handing out cash hoping it fixes the situation,” the congressman said. “So they’ve already agreed to give hundreds of millions of dollars without any conditions.”
Waltz noted that the Biden administration could have used the cash it gave away to leverage the Palestinian Authority to “denounce Hamas” or change school curriculums that paint Israel as “evil.”
“And, importantly, without changing the governing situation on the ground. There’s just endemic corruption within the Palestinian government that is a real disservice to is people,” he said. “Yet, American taxpayer dollars are going to flow back into that situation.”
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On the flip side, firebrand Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. — who has supported the boycott, divest and sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel — wildly claimed that the US is “enabling” the violence in the region by giving Israel foreign aid and criticized the Biden administration for not declaring Israel is using the aid to “commit human rights violations.”
“U.S. taxpayer dollars should not be used to commit human rights violations. That needs to be said,” Tlaib said Monday on MSNBC. “I have yet to hear anybody from the Biden administration declare that.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Monday that the Biden administration has “serious concerns” about the situation and pointed to the readout from national security adviser Jake Sullivan’s call with Israeli national security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat.
“Mr. Sullivan highlighted recent engagements by senior U.S. officials with senior Israeli and Palestinian officials and key regional stakeholders to press for steps to ensure calm, deescalate tensions, and denounce violence,” the readout said.
“Mr. Sullivan also reiterated the United States’ serious concerns about the potential evictions of Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood,” it continued. “They agreed that the launching of rocket attacks and incendiary balloons from Gaza towards Israel is unacceptable and must be condemned.”