Statement on House Passage of National Security Supplemental

April 20, 2024

J Street welcomes House passage of the national security supplemental package, in a series of bills providing security assistance to Ukraine, Taiwan, and Israel, as well as humanitarian aid for global crises, including in Gaza.

J Street strongly supports funding for the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and Iron Beam missile defense systems. Iran’s attack on Israel last weekend demonstrated the importance of funding these defensive systems and resupplying Israel’s diminished stocks.

We also strongly support the provision of more than $9 billion of humanitarian aid in this package, which will be used to address the dire humanitarian crisis and looming famine in Gaza, as well as other crises across the globe.

As we said at the time of the passage of the Senate version of this supplemental, while this is not the bill J Street would have drafted, it is “nonetheless an important step forward in addressing the immediate and long-term security and humanitarian needs of the Israeli, Palestinian, Taiwanese and Ukrainian peoples.”

J Street has repeatedly raised our serious concerns about the Israeli government’s conduct of the war in Gaza, including potential violations of international humanitarian law and Section 620I of the Foreign Assistance Act, which requires all countries that receive US military aid to not restrict or block US-backed humanitarian aid.

As we welcome passage of this package, we reiterate our urgent call on the Biden Administration to enforce existing US law – and, specifically, the Biden Administration’s own National Security Memorandum 20. NSM-20 mandates compliance with Section 620I and with international humanitarian law for countries receiving US security assistance. It requires reporting to Congress regarding each country’s compliance and consideration of remedial steps such as withholding certain arms transfers if a country is found to have violated NSM-20.

We await the May 8 deadline for the administration’s report to Congress assessing and determining compliance with the provisions of NSM-20. We expect the Administration to have reviewed specific and credible evidence that has been presented to it regarding the conduct of the war and the steps being taken to address the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. J Street will work closely with Congress in the weeks ahead to ensure that every dollar of US security assistance is being used in compliance with our law, our values and our interests.