House Panel to Consider Resolution Opposing ‘One-Sided’ Biden Pressure for Ceasefire in Gaza

House Panel to Consider Resolution Opposing ‘One-Sided’ Biden Pressure for Ceasefire in Gaza
President Joe Biden speaks while departing the White House in Washington on April 5, 2024. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The House Rules Committee is set to consider a resolution next week condemning President Joe Biden’s recent advocacy for an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza during a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday.

The proposed resolution aims to denounce what it terms “efforts to place one-sided pressure on Israel with respect to Gaza.”

It cites a White House statement on President Biden’s conversation with Mr. Netanyahu, wherein the president emphasized the urgent need for a ceasefire to stabilize the region and protect innocent civilians.

Additionally, the resolution expresses opposition to a recent United Nations Security Council resolution passed last month, which called for a ceasefire in Gaza. The United States abstained from voting on the resolution instead of wielding its veto power.

In a statement on Friday, Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.), who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, accused President Biden of trying to appease “far-left lunatics” by demanding Israel accept a ceasefire with Hamas terrorists.

The proposed resolution reads: “Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives—(1) stands with Israel as it defends itself against the barbaric war launched by Hamas and other terrorists; (2) reaffirms Israel’s right to self-defense; and (3) opposes efforts to place one-sided pressure on Israel with respect to Gaza, including calls for an immediate cease-fire, such as the recent statement by President Biden and United Nations Security Council Resolution 2728, which was adopted due to the Biden administration’s decision not to exercise the United States veto.”

Relatives of the hostages who were captured by Hamas in southern Israel on Oct. 7, 2023, have warned that any ceasefire agreement that does not include the release of their loved ones could have devastating consequences.

During a press briefing held in New York City on Friday, Orna Neutra, the mother of Omer Neutra, stated that a ceasefire without a full or partial hostage release deal could be a “death sentence” for her son and the other hostages.

The resolution will come through the House Rules Committee, which only requires a simple majority to pass to reach the House floor for a vote. It has the potential to resurface deep-seated divisions amongst pro-Israel and pro-Palestian Democrats.

US Policy ‘Could Change’

The proposed resolution comes quickly after President Biden spoke on the phone with Mr. Netanyahu on Thursday, in which the need for a temporary ceasefire, exchanging hostages, and increasing humanitarian aid in Gaza were the primary focus, according to the White House.

During a phone call, the president underscored the White House position that an immediate ceasefire is essential to improving the humanitarian situation and protecting innocent civilians.

President Biden urged Mr. Netanyahu to take immediate and concrete actions to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza and to negotiate a deal to bring home the remaining Israeli hostages taken by Hamas terrorists from the attack on Oct. 7, 2023.

The humanitarian situation in Gaza is “unacceptable,” President Biden told the Israeli prime minister on their phone call, according to a White House readout.

The president warned that U.S. policy regarding Gaza could change if Israel doesn’t take action. This is the first instance where President Biden, a Democrat and a firm supporter of Israel, has attempted to use U.S. aid as a means of influencing Israeli military conduct.

3 New Crossings

Hours later, Israel announced the opening of three new crossings to facilitate increased aid in Gaza. Israel will temporarily open the Erez border crossing in Gaza’s north and allow aid to arrive at the nearby Port of Ashdod, which was closed after the Oct. 7 rampage by Hamas terrorists in southern Israel.

NTD Photo
A car passes by an Erez Crossing signboard, after the Israeli cabinet approved the reopening of the crossing into northern Gaza, near Yad Mordechai, Israel, on April 5, 2024. (Hannah McKay/Reuters)

Jordanian aid will also be allowed to enter through the Kerem Shalom Crossing, where Gaza borders southern Israel and Egypt.

“This increased aid will prevent a humanitarian crisis and is necessary to ensure the continuation of the fighting and to achieve the goals of the war,” an Israeli government statement reads.

The president has come under enormous pressure from his party’s left wing to do more to address the humanitarian catastrophe for Palestinian civilians from Israeli attacks.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has criticized what he sees as “a pattern where the Netanyahu government ignores the president of the United States and we just send more 2,000-pound bombs” to support Israel’s war.

“There should not be a total blank check,” he said.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Ma.), an Independent who caucuses with Democrats, noted that the president is “angry” with the Israeli prime minister while at the same time providing military aid.

“You cannot continue to talk about your worries about [the] humanitarian situation in Gaza and then give Netanyahu another $10 billion, or more bombs. You cannot do that. That is hypocritical,” Mr. Sanders said on the Pod Save America podcast on Thursday.

Meanwhile, President Biden has been accused by some Republicans, who have generally supported what they say is Israel’s right to defend itself, of pivoting tactics to improve his election chances.

“To help his polls in Michigan, Joe Biden just strengthened Hamas’s negotiating position. He effectively encouraged Hamas to hold out and not release the hostages. Shameful,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) wrote on X on Friday.

On Friday, President Biden dodged a question from a reporter as he boarded Marine One, asking if he threatened to stop military aid to Israel and if he abandoned the Middle East country amid its war against Hamas.

“Where you from, man?” the president asked in response.

“Are you abandoning Israel?” the reporter asked.

“Is that a serious question?” President Biden asked.

Reuters contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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