J Street Supports Comprehensive Military Aid Package to Israel, Rejects Republican Ploy

February 5, 2024

J Street strongly opposes efforts by House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson to turn security aid to Israel into a political wedge by stripping humanitarian assistance for the people of Gaza, which has bipartisan support, in the midst of the devastating suffering brought on by the Hamas-Israel war.

Speaker Johnson’s proposed legislation is, as the White House appropriately called it, House Republicans’ “latest cynical political maneuver” that has only one purpose: to turn support for Israel into a political football.

It is in the interests of neither Israel nor the United States to exacerbate a humanitarian catastrophe on Israel’s doorstep – fueling death, despair and misery that only benefits terror groups like Hamas. Republicans should listen to security experts in Israel and the United States rather than doing the bidding of extremists in the Netanyahu government.

J Street recognizes the American interest in providing additional support to Israel in a time of war. The country is being attacked on several fronts and the United States should stand by its close ally.

However, it is also in the best interests of Israel and in the national security interest of the United States to ensure that the people of Gaza, caught in the crossfire, have the basic necessities of life, including food, medicine, water and fuel.

For the United States to send billions in military aid to Israel and not one penny of assistance to the Palestinian people being killed, injured and displaced is unacceptable to us.

We urge Members of the House to oppose Speaker Johnson’s cynical ploy.

The Senate is about to consider a bipartisan compromise package that incorporates both aid to Israel and humanitarian assistance. The bill also contains important funding for other critical American priorities, including aid to Ukraine. It is far from a perfect bill as introduced, and we will support amendments, in particular, that strengthen transparency to ensure the aid we provide to Israel and other recipients is used in compliance with US and international law and that maintain congressional oversight over US arms sales.

We urge Members of the House who vote against the Speaker’s cynical ploy to make clear that they do in fact support aid to Israel at its time of need, but cannot in good conscience do so without providing for the needs of Palestinian civilians as well.