Biden visits the weapons factory

When it comes to sending weapons to countries in conflict, the Biden administration has adopted two distinct approaches: one to Ukraine and the other to Israel. While arms transfers to Ukraine are announced with fanfare and transparency, silence prevails when it comes to weapons destined for Israel.

Antony Blinken, United States Secretary of State, recently proclaimed support for the “courageous Ukrainian people” while highlighting US efforts to defend the country against Russian aggression. However, this transparent narrative is not replicated when it comes to Israel. Details about arms transfers to the Israel Defense Forces remain shrouded in mystery, with little information being released to the press.

The difference in transparency is particularly significant in light of the historic $95 billion foreign aid package signed by President Biden. While military aid to Ukraine is widely reported, transfers to Israel remain in the shadows.

Data provided by the State Department reveals that since the start of the conflict, more than 126 press releases have been issued describing military aid to Ukraine, compared to just three for Israel. This disparity in information disclosure raises questions about equal treatment between the two countries.

While the State Department regularly provides detailed information about military equipment sent to Ukraine, communications about military sales to Israel are sparse. The lack of transparency raises concerns about accountability and oversight of Israel’s use of American weapons.

The opacity surrounding arms transfers to Israel also highlights tensions within the Democratic Party over the country’s foreign policy. While some party members advocate sending fewer weapons to Israel due to human rights concerns, others argue for continued support for the country.

While arms transfers to each country are subject to different authorities and reporting requirements, it is clear that there is a disparity in how the State Department handles these issues. Josh Paul, a former State Department official, pointed out that more information is provided to Congress about military sales authorizations to Ukraine than to Israel.

President Biden has faced criticism for not sending more equipment to Ukraine, which may explain the emphasis on transparency around these transfers. However, the administration appears eager to avoid a confrontation with Israel, opting to keep arms transfers to the country secret.

The lack of disclosure about Israel’s use of American weapons raises concerns about their application in areas such as Gaza and the West Bank. Transparency is critical to ensuring accountability and adequate oversight of the use of U.S.-supplied weapons.

Ultimately, as pointed out Nicholas Kristof, no The New York Times, the Biden administration must be transparent about weapons sent to Israel, even though doing so may be politically uncomfortable. Transparency is essential to ensuring accountability and maintaining public confidence in United States foreign policies.


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