Israel reacts with fury as Biden halts some weapons shipments to Zionist state

Has the United States finally been pushed to shift its policy of unconditional support for Israel?

May 10, 2024 by Peoples Dispatch
President Joe Biden with Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu in New York City, September 2023. Photo: White House / Cameron Smith)

The US has finally begun to halt weapons shipments to Israel, marking a notable policy shift, in response to the Israeli Occupation Forces’ ground incursions in Rafah and continued threats of a full-blown invasion. Last week, Biden halted shipments of 1,800 2,000-pound bombs and 1,700 500-pound bombs to Israel over concerns that they would be used in an invasion. Biden has threatened to halt “the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah,” if Israel “enters Rafah,” Biden said on Wednesday, despite the fact that Israel has already entered Rafah and has been conducting airstrikes on civilians in Rafah since October 8.

Israeli officials have reacted with fury. Netanyahu released a message expressing Israel’s determination to “stand alone” if necessary. It is unclear how the Zionist state will survive without the steady flow of US weapons and aid—of which the Zionists receive around USD 4 billion each year.

“We are determined, and we are united in order to defeat our enemies and those who want to destroy us,” Netanyahu said on May 9.

Israel’s far-right Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben-Gvir, simply wrote on X, “Hamas [loves] Biden.”

Within the US, some argue that Biden’s actions show that he could do more to end Israel’s genocide in Gaza. “If Biden really wanted to bring an end to the war on Gaza, he could do so with a single phone call,” write socialist presidential and vice presidential candidates Claudia De La Cruz and Karina Garcia. “Israel cannot survive without US support — if Biden said he was going to permanently end US support unless Israel agreed to a ceasefire, the regime would have no choice but to accept.”

According to the candidates, Biden’s actions are a result of “the massive pressure the [Palestine solidarity] movement has brought to his doorstep.”

Indeed, within the United States, mass mobilizations for Palestine have been taking place since October 8. Biden has had to adapt his reelection campaign strategy so that he can more effectively hide from pro-Palestine protesters disrupting campaign speeches—at one point on the campaign trail his speech was interrupted 13 times by Palestine solidarity demonstrators.

The explosion of the student movement last month has electrified the solidarity movement, with students launching Gaza Solidarity Encampments across the country and around the world, demanding that their universities divest from Israel. Each day, more and more universities launch encampments, despite severe police repression eliminating some of the earliest Gaza Solidarity Encampments.