A number of congressional Democrats are ramping up pressure on the Biden administration to more forcefully engage on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as violence in the region intensifies, revealing a delicate shift in the way Democrats have talked about Israel for decades and a small crack in the party on foreign policy.
The change in tone — subtle but noteworthy — comes as there is still disagreement within the party about how far to push. Those on the progressive fringes are trying to block a $735 million arms deal made with Israel, but there’s little chance of that happening in Congress given the timeline on Capitol Hill.
“It would be appalling for the Biden Administration to go through with $735 million in precision-guided weaponry to Netanyahu without any strings attached in the wake of escalating violence and attacks on civilians,” Rep. Ilhan Omar, a progressive Democrat from Minnesota, said in a statement Monday. “If this goes through this will be seen as a green light for continued escalation and will undercut any attempts at brokering a ceasefire.”