Israel’s Best Friend: American Assistance to Help Fight Hamas
“As we continue to account for the horrors of the appalling terrorist assault against Israel this weekend and the hundreds of innocent civilians who were murdered, we are seeing the immense scale and reach of this tragedy.”
These were the opening words of President Joe Biden in a written statement released on Monday. Since then, the United States has remained steadfast in its support for Israel and the IDF, sending its own warships and aircraft to the Eastern Mediterranean and providing the IDF with additional equipment, resources and munitions.
Under President Biden’s leadership, the Biden Administration has firmly supported Israel in the ongoing fight against Hamas, who launched a deadly attack against Israeli civilians Saturday. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken headed to Israel on Wednesday, at the same time as aid packages began to arrive from the U.S. The U.S. Embassy has announced that Blinken will meet with senior officials to “reiterate his condolences for the victims of the terrorist attacks against Israel and condemn those attacks in the strongest terms.” He will “also reaffirm the United States' solidarity with the government and people of Israel … [and] discuss measures to bolster Israel's security.”
“Our support for Israel remains unwavering,” Blinken wrote in a statement posted to X, the site formerly known as Twitter, as of Tuesday, a few hours before flying out.
In addition, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin released an official statement on Oct. 8, detailing the current and future actions the U.S. is taking to “bolster regional deterrence efforts.”
He announced that two U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups have been deployed to the region. First, the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier — the Navy's newest and most advanced aircraft carrier — arrived in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea on Tuesday with its eight squadrons of attack and support aircraft, guided missile cruiser and guided missile destroyers. One day later, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower strike group was rerouted from its original destination and set out to join the Ford. Austin further stated that the U.S. has taken steps to increase the number of Air Force assets in the region. “The arrival of these highly capable forces to the region is a strong signal of deterrence should any actor hostile to Israel consider trying to take advantage of this situation,” said General Michael E. Kurilla, commander of the U.S. Central Command, in a statement on Oct. 8.
Austin also stated that the U.S. will replenish the IDF’s stockpile and supply the IDF with additional equipment and munitions following Israel's urgent appeal for more arms. However, this emergency request comes at a time of deep dysfunction in Washington, with Congressional appropriations required to ensure Israel is given the materials and resources it needs. The House can only pass legislation once it elects a speaker to replace Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who was voted out of the job on Oct. 3. Republicans are scheduled to vote for a new speaker this week, but no nominee has the requisite votes to win the election yet.
Despite Congress’s dysfunction, the Biden administration has continued to send weapons to Israel, rapidly replenishing air defenses and military equipment, with lawmakers on both sides pledging to grant Israel whatever it needs. Eventually, though, Congress will need to appropriate money, and those efforts will be affected by how the leadership drama in the House plays out in the coming days.
The United States' assistance, unequivocal position, and condemnation of the recent Hamas attacks underscores its fortified relationship with Israel and serves as further confirmation that Israel is no longer “the nation that dwells alone (Bamidbar 23:9).”
“The United States and the State of Israel are inseparable partners,” Biden wrote at the conclusion of his statement. “The United States will continue to make sure Israel has what it needs to defend itself and its people.”
Photo Caption: The USS Gerald Ford Underway. The carrier arrived in the eastern Mediterranean Tuesday to provide support for Israel.
Photo Credit: United States Navy / Wikimedia Commons