Foushee: People of Israel, Gaza deserve better from Netanyahu



(The Center Square) – Both Israel and Gaza deserve better from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a North Carolina congresswoman says.

“The people of Israel and Gaza deserve better than the recent actions of the Netanyahu government,” writes U.S. Rep. Valerie Foushee, D-N.C., and a dozen others in Congress to President Joe Biden. It is the Israeli prime minister’s clear responsibility, and foreign aid “generally should only be conditional under extreme circumstances,” they say.

The estimated per day cost of the war to America was $220 million at the turn of the new year, according to economists asked by The Washington Post. That would be more than $40 billion thus far, though no White House or budget office estimate has been given. The estimated cost is $180 million alone for this week’s proposal for a humanitarian aid pier off the Gaza coast.

Biden’s call with Netanyahu last week has been a bit of a lightning rod inside the Beltway. The April 1 strike by Tel Aviv that killed seven World Central Kitchen humanitarian aid workers in Gaza sparked debate internally among Democrats, with Biden telling Netanyahu to protect civilians and get them safely out of the battlefield areas and many Democrats in Congress saying weapons transfers to Israel should be halted.

At Tuesday’s hearing of the Armed Services Committee in the Senate, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Charles C.Q. Brown Jr. answered queries on the Pentagon’s $850 billion budget and on Israel strategy.

The letter of which Foushee was part of said Hamas’ crimes on Oct. 7 were against humanity and cannot be forgotten.

“However,” the letter read in part, “nations have a responsibility to civilians, aid workers, and other noncombatants during military operations. These responsibilities go beyond the laws of war to basic morality and decency.”

Lawmakers said conditions for children are “intolerable.” “Foreign military aid,” they wrote, “generally should only be conditional under extreme circumstances.”

Foushee’s colleagues signing the letter included Reps. James Clyburn D-Ga.; Sanford Bishop, D-Ga.; Nikema Williams, D-Ga.; Hank Johnson, D-Ga.; Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.; Jonathan Jackson, D-Ill.; Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas; Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas; Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y.; Steven Horsford, D-Nev.; Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo.; and Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J.

The war now in its seventh month has claimed the lives of more than 33,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children according to published reports. About 1,200 Israelis died in the Hamas attack of Oct. 7, with another estimated 250 taken hostage.

A Chapel Hill native, Keith Siegel, is among the estimated 130 hostages remaining.

Later, another letter that included mainstream progressive groups MoveOn, Working Families Party, Center for American Progress and NextGen America wrote Biden requesting an end to military aid to Israel until restrictions on humanitarian aid to Gaza are lifted.

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