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Biden Admin Says Israel's Military Aid Won't Be Cut Despite Judicial Reform Concerns
The Biden Administration is making it clear that the “special relationship” the U.S. has with Israel won’t be changing, just because Netanyahu’s government is enacting new legislation that gives itself more power.
Yes, that’s despite Joe Biden repeatedly voicing his opposition to that very legislation. But shockingly, the Israeli prime minister didn’t listen—because he knew that if he was already getting away with vowing to continue and even expand the decades-long illegal occupation of Palestinian land, depriving those occupied civilians of basic resources such as access to clean water, and allowing military forces to use live ammunition, targeting civilians, medics and journalists—then there’s a good chance the U.S. isn’t going to do much other than complain when Netanyahu limits the power of Israel’s Supreme Court. And he was right.
A spokesperson for the State Department confirmed that on Tuesday, when he was questioned by Palestinian Journalist Said Arikat.
“There’s not going to be any cut or stoppage of military aid, and that is because our commitment to Israel and our commitment to Israel’s security is ironclad. Our decades-long partnership with Israel is ironclad,” Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said.
As a reminder, the U.S. currently sends Israel $3.8 BILLION each year in military aid. It may not be Ukraine numbers. But it was once considered a lot of money. The current deal for Israel was cemented by the Obama Administration, and it has been continued ever since, no matter what crimes against humanity Israel stands accused of committing.
No matter what the current U.S. President of the moment may think, the Israeli Government continues to do whatever it wants, which in this case, is a judicial overhaul that has left the Biden Administration quote “disappointed.”
And it’s not just the U.S. Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Israel for the last 29 consecutive weeks, to protest the new legislation. They say they’re concerned that weakening the Supreme Court’s powers will turn Netanyahu’s government into an authoritarian state—which it currently is, for the Palestinian occupied territories.
The legislation would remove what is known as the “reasonableness clause,” which said that if the Supreme Court, which as reports noted, “deemed an executive decision ‘unreasonable,’ it could void it.” With the bill in action, judges will have to rule against the government using other legal grounds.
One major concern is that anyone striving for accountability within the Israeli government can be easily targeted, as experts are warning that the judicial change will quote “open the door to corruption because it makes it easier for government as a whole or individual ministers to hire and fire officials for potentially wrong reasons.”
Notably, Netanyahu himself is still facing corruption charges, so this seems to be right up his alley.
But no one is actually challenging him, especially here in the U.S., where Joe Biden made sure to mention the importance of Washington’s “iron-clad support” for Israel when he wasn’t falling asleep during his meeting with the Israeli president last week.
“As I affirmed to Prime Minister Netanyahu yesterday, America's commitment to Israel is firm, and it is iron-clad, and we are committed as well to ensure that Iran never acquires a nuclear weapon,” Biden said.
And those who are running for that coveted spot in the White House have already gotten the memo, as Republican hopeful Ron DeSantis is apparently trying to be the most pro-Israel candidate we’ve ever seen.
“We would toss aside Biden’s horrendous treatment of Israel. We will re-establish an iron-clad relationship between the United States and Israel. That means things like butting out of their internal affairs,” DeSantis said.
Horrendous treatment? I would say that continuing to give Israel $3.8 BILLION every single year is pretty generous. And what is it with the use of the term “iron-clad”? It’s like they all got the same pamphlet to read from. I guess by “internal affairs,” DeSantis means that he wouldn’t dare criticize Netanyahu’s plans for judicial reform. Oh, and during that Christians United for Israel conference, he also claimed that the occupied West Bank is not occupied territory.
Then there’s Democratic hopeful, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who appears to be on this weird quest to prove that he’s not antisemitic. Which, as a reminder, criticizing Israel does not make you antisemitic.
RFK is also arguing that he’s the most pro-Israel—accusing Biden of trying to interfere in “domestic politics” by criticizing Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul, and claiming that if he was president, his support for Israel would be quote “unconditional.”
We all know that Donald Trump is right there with the rest of them in his zealous support of Israel. So, it will be business as usual for whoever ends up in the White House in 2025—at least when it comes to U.S. policy towards Washington’s favorite ally.
Far too many of those saying they are concerned about the latest judicial reforms, and what they means for the future of Democracy in Israel, aren’t talking about the fact that the authoritarian state they claim to be concerned about is already here, and the occupied people of Palestine are forced to suffer the consequences of it every single day—and that’s something everyone should be talking about.