The US Congress opposes financing of Ukraine and Israel
The United States finds itself in a vortex of internal disputes that have begun to reflect directly on its image abroad. What was once easy to accomplish is now saturated with challenges, from financing the war in Ukraine, which enjoyed broad bipartisan support, to financing America’s most important ally in the Middle East, Israel, which still enjoys significant support in Congress but has become the focus of internal clashes.
Although the US House of Representatives approved funding for Israel, which amounted to 14.3 billion dollars, this funding will not see the light of day in the Senate, which insists on approving the entire budget requested by the US administration from Congress, which amounted to $106 billion. , of which 61 billion to Ukraine and 14.3 to Israel, in addition to the financing of Taiwan, border security… and other dossiers.
The Washington report, the result of cooperation between Asharq Al-Awsat and Al-Sharq, examines the possibilities for approving the financing and the reasons for the obstruction, as well as what some describe as double standards in the handling of the war in Ukraine by ‘administration. regarding his position on the Gaza war.
The war in Ukraine and the financing of Israel
Lara Seligman, Politico’s defense correspondent, points to new House Speaker Mike Johnson’s record of being “known for voting against Ukraine.” For this reason, she does not consider it “surprising that he (is) proposing a separate law for Israel that does not include support for Ukraine, as requested by the administration.” Seligman added: “I think this is going to pose a problem for the Biden administration and for the Ukrainians, who are going into two years of war now, and only have two weeks of fighting season, and it doesn’t look like they’re going to make it.” any further progress.”
For his part, Alex Bolton, chief correspondent of The Hill newspaper in Congress, talks about the difficulty of passing funding for Israel independently in the Senate, underlining that the proposal of the speaker of the House of Representatives will be financed in exchange for a significant reduction in the IRS budget, which was one of President Biden’s major accomplishments last year. Bolton adds: “Let’s compare the two Chambers. Johnson has said that he will pass a bill for Israel separate from the amounts allocated for Ukraine, while the senators refuse to pass a separate bill for Israel. So we are currently at a dead end.”
In this regard, journalist Elise LaBute, founder of the news site Zvi Media, talks about the decline in American support for financing Ukraine, emphasizing that this is the main reason for the administration’s insistence on merging the two financings. Because their separation means not approving aid to Ukraine. LaBute says the American people are suffering from war fatigue in Ukraine and want a specific time frame for this aid, as it has been two years since the war, adding: “Americans don’t want to be involved in a 20-year war. years, as happened with the United States in Afghanistan.”
Aid to Gaza
LaBute points out that “the conflict in Israel has a much deeper impact on American public opinion. There are so many ties between the United States and Israel and such deep feelings that Americans say: we supported Ukraine, now let’s support Israel. “There is also a serious conflict over whether to send aid to Gaza.” He added: “Although the majority of Americans support Israel, there is a growing segment of Americans, approximately 62 percent, who support providing aid to Gaza.”
Bolton addresses Congress about some of the obstacles that aid to the Gaza Strip may face, noting that the administration’s request includes more than $9 billion in aid and humanitarian support for Gaza, Israel and Ukraine. He said: “But humanitarian aid to Gaza is under attack from Republicans in Congress, as they say these amounts could end up in the hands of Hamas, which could hinder their approval.”
With the escalation of voices calling for a ceasefire in Gaza among Americans, and demonstrations and protests increasing in various states, Bolton points out that these calls to Congress are limited to the progressive side, such as Senator Bernie Sanders, who He called on Israel to show restraint, and explained: “I know this after speaking with… Some progressive senators say they share Sanders’ point of view, but are reluctant to say so publicly; Because Israel has a lot of political power in Washington. While some members of Congress are concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza, they are unwilling to call out the suffering of civilians as Sanders has done.
Greater youth support for Palestinians
Bolton pointed out that opinion polls show that young members of the Democratic Party are more sympathetic to the Palestinians, and this is a change in public opinion in recent years, which could influence the positions of Democrats in Congress, especially because the Young voters are very important to increase their chances of being elected in 2024.
LaBute agrees with this approach, pointing to additional polls showing a decline in Arab American support for Biden due to his stance on the Gaza war, which could negatively influence him in the presidential election, especially in an important state like Michigan. LaBute adds that these factors, in addition to growing calls for a ceasefire from American universities, would push Biden to push harder to provide aid to Gaza.
For his part, Seligman stresses that Israel “does not necessarily listen to the administration’s advice.” He explains: “We see Israel attacking refugee camps and moving in to invade Gaza despite Pentagon advice not to, learning the lessons the United States learned in Iraq and carrying out attacks aimed at combating terrorism. But it does not appear that they have heeded this advice, given that they are currently besieging Gaza.”
Fears of expansion of the conflict
Seligman warns of expanding conflict in the region as attacks by groups supporting Iran increase against American forces there, which could drag the US into “a broad regional conflict that the Biden administration will not he wants it to happen.”
He says: “That’s why we’ve seen (the Pentagon) send large numbers of destroyers with the goal of deterring further attacks by Iranian proxies against American forces.” “It’s unclear whether this will lead to the desired outcome,” Seligman adds. It is something that should be monitored, as one of President Biden’s priorities is not to further involve American forces in this regional conflict and not see it explode into a larger war.”
LaBute believes that sending destroyers to the region is a show of force to the United States, stating that while it does not intend to interfere in this war, it has the ability to do so and will act if pushed to do so. .