Leading Democrat Nancy Pelosi joins calls to halt US arms transfers to Israel

Dozens of congressional Democrats in the United States have signed a letter urging president Joe Biden and secretary of state Antony Blinken to halt the transfer of weapons to Israel, as internal pressure continues to ramp up against Washington’s unconditional support for the occupation and its war crimes in Gaza.

In the letter on Friday, it stated that “In light of the recent strike against aid workers and the ever-worsening humanitarian crisis, we believe it is unjustifiable to approve these weapons transfers” to Israel, referring to the Israeli military’s killing of seven Western humanitarian workers from the World Central Kitchen organisation in what appeared to be precise and surgical strikes.

Expressing the representatives’ “shared concern and outrage” over the incident, the letter acknowledged that “Over 200 aid workers have been killed since the start of the war. These attacks and deaths are having a chilling effect with the World Central Kitchen and other humanitarian groups now suspending their operations in Gaza”.

It stated to the Biden administration that “In light of this incident, we strongly urge you to reconsider your recent decision to authorize the transfer of a new arms package to Israel, and to withhold this and any future offensive arms transfers until a full investigation into the airstrike is completed”.

Although it hailed the “recent efforts to increase the delivery of desperately needed humanitarian aid to Gaza”, the letter stressed that “these efforts will not be sufficient to meet the extraordinary need on the ground”.

Signed by 37 Democrats, those signatures included prominent figures and representatives such as Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Barbara Lee, and even Nancy Pelosi, former speaker of the House.

Pelosi’s support for the letter was the most notable, particularly with her significant track record of support for Israel and her recent comments accusing pro-Palestinian activists of having ties to Russia. She is also a longtime leading figure in the Democrat party, having the ear of president Biden and ties to Washington’s political establishment.

Her acknowledgement of Israel’s war crimes, her advocacy for holding Israel accountable for the strikes on the aid workers, and her support for halting arms transfers to the occupation represents the significant pressure the Biden administration is under to make support to Israel more conditional, as well as the administration’s general discontent with the Israeli government over its transgressions in Gaza.

(Source: MEMO)