'Appalling': Biden State Department Quietly Grants Boeing an Export License for $735 Million Bomb Sale to Israel
May 27, 2021 | News | No Comments
The Biden administration has reportedly granted Boeing an export license for the sale of $735 million in advanced weaponry to the Israeli government, news that came as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday pledged $5.5 million in emergency aid to help Gaza recover from the latest Israeli bombing campaign.
Citing an unnamed congressional staffer, Alex Kane of Jewish Currents reported Tuesday that the U.S. State Department approved the export license on May 21, a necessary step in the planned delivery of Joint Direct Attack Munitions and Small Diameter Bombs to Israel.
“The State Department should immediately revoke approval for this arms sale to, at minimum, allow for proper debate in Congress.”
—Rep. Rashida Tlaib
As Kane pointed out, the “two kinds of laser-guided munitions… were reportedly used by Israel in the 11-day attack on the Gaza Strip that ended on Friday with a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.”
The Biden administration notified Congress of the proposed $735 million sale in early May, just days before Israel launched its latest onslaught against Gaza. The nearly two-week aerial and artillery campaign—which Biden administration officials and the president himself publicly defended—killed more than 240 Palestinians, displaced tens of thousands, and further decimated Gaza’s critical civilian infrastructure.
Warning that selling additional weapons to the Israeli government would deepen U.S. complicity in war crimes, a small coalition of progressive lawmakers last week mounted a late bid to block the agreement with so-called resolutions of disapproval.
But neither the House nor Senate resolution—led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), respectively—has received a vote as the Biden administration plows ahead with the sale. The lawmakers say Congress still has a chance to stop the deal before the weapons are delivered.
Jewish Currents reported Tuesday that after being notified of the export license, Sanders “responded by placing a hold on all State Department nominees, blocking Congress from considering them for diplomatic posts.”
“After the administration committed to humanitarian aid for the rebuilding of Gaza, Sanders lifted the hold,” according to Jewish Currents.
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