Young Israel Statement on President Biden’s Decision to Withhold Arms Shipments to Israel

May 12, 2024

The National Council of Young Israel today issued the following statement following President Biden’s announcement that his administration will withhold the shipment of certain weapons to Israel in connection with the White House’s disagreement with Israel’s plans to conduct a military operation in Rafah:
We take President Biden at his word that his commitment to Israel is “iron clad.” We find it difficult to reconcile that commitment, however, with the President’s decision to withhold arms from Israel, which will embolden Hamas and imperil Israel’s ability to secure a deal for the hostages’ release.
Given its recognition that Israel continues to contend with an array of existential threats, we ask the Biden administration not to dictate to its democratic ally how to protect its people. We certainly acknowledge and remain grateful for all the help that the United States continues to provide to Israel, including replenishing the Iron Dome and coming to Israel’s aid when it was attacked by Iran. It is essential, however, that Hamas be defeated, and the United States should fully support Israel as it works to eliminate this evil terrorist group.
The President knows that Hamas, not Israel, is the cause of suffering of the Palestinian people. Operation Swords of Iron has been prosecuted in a supremely ethical manner and has achieved the lowest civilian death ratio in the history of urban warfare. But Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist group that has embedded itself among civilians for the express purpose of causing civilian casualties, must be defeated, and the hostages must be returned home. Israel has no choice but to accomplish these goals by force because Hamas will not agree to these terms voluntarily. And the best way to accomplish these goals quickly, with precision, and with the least collateral damage to Palestinian civilians, is with uninterrupted American support.
We urge President Biden to reassess his decision concerning Rafah, and to ensure that Israel has the United States’ complete and unequivocal support as it continues to defend itself against terrorist groups intent on destroying the Jewish state. We also urge members of Congress who represent Young Israel branches to assert their influence with the Biden administration at this critical time.
We fully support Israel and the IDF, and pray for a quick and successful end to the war.
For the past 112 years, the National Council of Young Israel has ably served the broader Jewish community. With more than 25,000 member families and approximately 135 branch synagogues throughout the United States, Canada, and Israel, the National Council of Young Israel is a multi-faceted organization that embraces Jewish communal needs and often takes a leading role in tackling the important issues that face the Jewish community in North America and Israel.