Sen. Cotton: Biden Has Been Slow-walking Arms to Israel Since January

Tom Cotton (Susan Walsh / Associated Press)
Susan Walsh / Associated Press

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) accused the Biden administration Thursday of slow-walking arms and ammunition deliveries to Israel since January, when a group of left-wing Democrats hostile to Israel urged the White House to cut off its support.

As Breitbart News reported Thursday, a war of words has erupted between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Joe Biden over whether the White House is withholding needed arms from Israel.

Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN), who serves on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said Wednesday that Netanyahu was correct — that Biden had been stopping congressionally approved arms deliveries by delaying reports Congress.

On Thursday, Cotton laid out the accusation in detail in a letter to the White House in which he demanded answers:

Your administration responded by claiming that aid is flowing normally, with one official asserting, “We genuinely do not know what he’s talking about.” You claim that the only hold or delay is on the 2,000-pound and 500-pound bombs you refused to deliver earlier this year. But you’re deliberately misleading the American people and insulting a key ally.

Your administration is engaged in bureaucratic sleight-of-hand to withhold this crucial aid to Israel during a shooting war. As you are aware, the Arms Export Control Act requires the administration to notify Congress before sending weapons to a foreign country. Your administration has manipulated this requirement by withholding this formal notification to Congress of approved weapons sales, including F-15s, tactical vehicles, 120-mm mortars, 120-mm tank rounds, joint direct attack munitions, and small diameter bombs. Your administration can then claim that the weapons are “in process” while never delivering them.

But the law also includes an exception for “when emergencies exist,” which allows you to waive the requirement for congressional review and expedite weapons sales. Your administration is obviously aware of this exception since you invoked it just last year. Yet, it appears that you stopped acknowledging the emergency in Israel after receiving a letter from nearly twenty congressional Democrats in January, urging you to end expedited weapons sales to Israel. Though your administration reportedly released a ship carrying at least some of these arms on Wednesday, that modest step doesn’t cure the damage done by the delay.

Cotton’s letter fleshes out the story behind rumors and suspicions that have built since the beginning of the year. In March, as Breitbart News and others reported, Israeli military officials said they believed the Biden administration was “slow-walking” ammunition. And reports earlier this week that arms shipments had resumed may have referred to the single ship, referred to by Cotton, that was released on Wednesday.

As Cotton noted, the need is urgent, as the Jewish state faces a growing threat from Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorists illegally occupying southern Lebanon.

Cotton demanded that the White House list and explain any delays in the shipment of U.S. weapons from Israel.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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