With the outbreak of the war between Hamas and Israel this Saturday morning, political tensions on the matter are now rising in Washington to alarming levels.
As Israel is at war with Hamas, there is another war going on in Washington. Members of the Republican Party in Congress are accusing the White House of trying to gain political leverage of the Israel-Hamas conflict.
In this regard, many top Republicans have accused the Biden administration in the past three days of being the root cause of the unrest in Israel. Republican Senator Ted Cruz, for example, accused Biden of encouraging the Hamas sneak attack by “unfreezing billions in oil revenue for Iran — a major sponsor of the terrorist group that controls Gaza — and by stiff-arming Israel’s hardline Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”
“The Biden administration supports the Palestinians because they’re quietly cheering for the terrorists,” Cruz said this Monday in a statement, adding also that “Now, look, they’re not cheering for the acts of terrorism, but they think the terrorists are right.”
Some other Republicans stepped even further in their accusations against Biden. Tim Scott, the Republican senator from South Carolina said Biden was “complicit” in the Hamas attack, adding that his “weakness invited the attack, Biden’s negotiation funded the attack.”
Likewise, former US president Donald Trump, who is also a potential candidate for the US 2024 presidential election, blamed Biden for the war.
“These Hamas attacks are a disgrace and Israel has every right to defend itself with overwhelming force. Sadly, American taxpayer dollars helped fund these attacks, which many reports are saying came from the Biden Administration,” Trump said in a statement.
Rebuking Biden’s way of presidency, Trump also noted that his administration brought “so much peace to the Middle East through the Abraham Accords, only to see Biden whittle it away at a far more rapid pace than anyone thought possible. Here we go again.”
The White House hits back at the critics
Meanwhile, high-ranking officials from the White House, such as the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, charged Republicans with exploiting the crisis for their own political ends. “It’s deeply unfortunate that some are playing politics when so many lives have been lost and Israel remains under attack,” Blinken said during an interview with CNN on Monday.
What makes the matters even worse for Biden is that according to latest reports, there were a number of US citizens among the dead and captured from the Hamas attack on Israel. This can surely inflame even more the partisan mud-slinging between Republican leaders and the White House.
Blinken also addressed the Republicans’ accusations that Biden was responsible for the war between Hamas and Israel because of his appeasing Iran through the recent deal involving the return of five detained Americans in exchange for the release of $6bn in frozen Iranian funds for humanitarian use.
Insisting that none of the $6bn had yet been liquidated, Blinken explained to CNN that “not a single dollar has been spent from that account. The account is closely regulated by the US treasury department, so it can only be used for things like food, medicine, medical equipment – that’s what this is about.”
Last but not least, it will not be a surprise that if the war between Israel and Hamas continues in the coming days, the dispute over who to blame in Washington for a war happening thousands of miles away from the US territory can very well get worse.