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GOP Senators rail against Biden for changing his tune on Israel

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) along with eleven other GOP Senators held a press conference Wednesday to reiterate their support for Israel, in hopes that the Biden administration will do the same. This comes after almost 20 GOP senators signed a resolution Tuesday to condemn Hamas attacks on Israel.

The senators held the press conference out of frustration with the current administration’s handling of the conflict. Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) said the security situation is out of control at the event. Young also signed the resolution.

“Eight months ago we had unprecedented peace breaking out in the Middle East,” the senator said, who has served in both bodies of Congress for ten years. “But here we are months later, the wheels have literally fallen off the security situation.”

Many senators pointed out the president’s changing tone in the days since the violence started. “Israel has a right to protect itself,” Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) said, echoing other senators. He pointed out that this was a direct quote from Biden early in the conflict.

But his messaging seems to be affected by the left. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) talked about how Biden’s message “then became he supports a cease fire. Then his aide said well he talked really tough to Benjamin Netanyahu. Today he said he expect significant deescalation from Israel. Joe Biden pretty soon is going to be supporting a resolution to stop arms sales to Israel.”

Cotton also announced during the conference that House Democrats introduced an additional resolution to block military resupply to Israel.

Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) disagreed with the House Democrats’ proposal. Instead, Lankford said that “the strongest negotiating position we have” is remaining closely allied to Israel. Otherwise, it “stirs this chaos that’s in the region.”

Moreover, Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AL) pointed to “one of the fortunate things that’s happening.” He said, “Civilian lives are being saved because of years of cooperation between the United States in Israel on missile defense.”

And Sen. Cindy Highsmith (R-MS) promised continued support for Israel “They are our allies. We are not going to abandon them at this time.”

Finally, Sen. Roger Marshall (R-AK) also brought attention to a diplomatic response to the conflict. “We still don’t have a nominee for the ambassador to Israel,” Marshall said. He called it a “signal to go ahead” for Iran and Hamas.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism

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CIA director meets with Israeli PM to arouse regional support following drone attack

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By Jenny Goldsberry

Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns visited Israel Wednesday in an effort to rally regional support amidst attacks from Iran. Burns discussed possibilities for regional cooperation with Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

Late July, drones struck an Israeli tanker off the coast of Oman. As a result, two crew members died. Since then, the United States blamed Tehran for the attack. Iranian officials deny their involvement.

At the time, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the White House was noticing a disturbing pattern. “We feel it follows a pattern of attacks and other belligerent behavior,” Psaki said. “And these actions also threaten freedom of navigation through crucial waterways — something that is posing a risk to a range of countries around the world.”
 
Therefore, the press secretary suggested that countries get involved. “You know, I would also note that we know our British partners have called for action, called for steps in a coordinated way from international bodies, including the United Nations, which we would certainly support,” Psaki said. Now, Burns’ visit symbolizes the United State following through on the White House’s comments.

According to a statement from Burns’ office, he met with Bennett after meeting with the head of Israel’s Mossad intelligency agency David Barnea. Burns met the Israeli leader in Tel-Aviv. “They discussed the situation in the Middle East, with emphasis on Iran, and possibilities for expanding and deepening regional cooperation,” the statement read.

Next, Burns will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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