Updated March 2nd, 2024 at 14:49 IST

Biden's Gaza Aid Airdrops Spark Partisan Rift Among Pro-Israel Lawmakers

"We didn't send aid to Germany and Japan in 1944. Let Israel finish the fight with Hamas and then send aid," said a Republican lawmaker.

Reported by: Sagar Kar
US President Joe Biden. | Image:AP

Pro-Israel members of Congress found themselves sharply divided along party lines on Friday over President Biden's decision to initiate airdrops of aid to Gaza, as tensions in the region continue to escalate. The move, announced by Biden on Friday, aims to address the dire humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza amidst the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. 

Biden's decision comes amid mounting pressure domestically and internationally for the United States to intervene in the crisis.


Aid currently flowing into Gaza is not enough, says Biden

"Aid flowing to Gaza is nowhere nearly enough," Biden stated, emphasizing the urgent need for humanitarian assistance in the region. According to a report from Axios, he also suggested the possibility of establishing a Marine corridor to facilitate the transportation of aid by land. 


While some Democrats, including staunchly pro-Israel representatives, expressed support for Biden's decision, Republicans voiced strong opposition, citing concerns over the aid potentially falling into the hands of Hamas, the militant group controlling Gaza.

"I support this move by the president," stated Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.), underscoring the necessity of exploring all avenues to deliver aid to Gaza. "We have to explore all possible paths to get aid into Gaza, especially since we know Hamas doesn't care about the people of Gaza," he added.


Similarly, Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) voiced his full support for delivering humanitarian aid to Palestinians in distress, while Rep. Kathy Manning (D-N.C.) backed President Biden's decision to airdrop aid into Gaza.

Republicans oppose Biden's decision 

However, Republican lawmakers were uniformly opposed to the airdrops, expressing concerns about the aid potentially benefiting Hamas or undermining Israel's efforts to combat the militant group.

"If it gets to the children that's great but the problem we have had in the past is aid gets to the enemy," remarked Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), highlighting the challenges associated with ensuring aid reaches those in need without aiding Hamas.


Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) echoed these sentiments, arguing against sending aid to Gaza amidst ongoing hostilities between Israel and Hamas. "We didn't send aid to Germany and Japan in 1944. Let Israel finish the fight with Hamas and then send aid. Sending aid now helps Hamas," he asserted.

The challenge of striking a delicate balance 

President Biden's decision to initiate airdrops of aid to Gaza has laid bare the deep divisions among pro-Israel lawmakers, reflecting the complex challenges facing policymakers as they navigate the humanitarian crisis in the region amidst escalating violence.

In the wake of the announcement, tensions within Congress are likely to persist as lawmakers grapple with how best to address the humanitarian needs of Palestinians in Gaza while also supporting Israel's security interests.


Published March 2nd, 2024 at 14:49 IST