April 10, 2024

Pelosi joins letter from House Dems demanding Biden end weapons transfers to Israel after 'mistake' airstrike killed aid workers in Gaza

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who has faced relentless protests from far-left pro-Palestinian activists over her initial strong support for Israel's existential fight against Hamas terrorists in Gaza, appears to have finally bowed to the anti-Israel pressure on her party's left flank.

Last week, Pelosi was among 37 mostly progressive House Democrats who urged President Joe Biden to immediately cease the provision of U.S. weapons and ammunition to Israel, according to The Epoch Times.

The reason for the stunning about-face was a tragic mistaken airstrike by Israel that killed seven international aid workers in Gaza affiliated with the nongovernmental charity group known as World Central Kitchen.

Pelosi joins Dems calling for halt to U.S. weapons transfers to Israel

In an April 5 letter to President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the 37 House Democrats, including former Speaker Pelosi, wrote, "We write to express our shared concern and outrage regarding the recent Israeli airstrike which killed seven World Central Kitchen aid workers, including an American citizen."

"In light of this incident, we strongly urge you to reconsider your recent decision to authorize the transfer of a new arms package to Israel, and to withhold this and any future offensive arms transfers until a full investigation into the airstrike is completed," the letter continued. "If this strike is found to have violated U.S. or international law, we urge you to continue withholding these transfers until those responsible are held accountable."

"We also urge you to withhold these transfers if Israel fails to sufficiently mitigate harm to innocent civilians in Gaza, including aid workers, and if it fails to facilitate -- or arbitrarily denies or restricts -- the transport and delivery of humanitarian aid into Gaza," the leftist lawmakers added.

Israel denies airstrike was deliberate, says it was a "tragic event" and "grave mistake"

According to ABC News, one of the founders of World Central Kitchen, celebrity chef Jose Andres, asserted that his organization's convoy was "targeted deliberately" by Israel Defense Forces with an airstrike that "systematically, car by car," killed the group of seven aid workers serving meals to hungry Palestinians.

Of course, the Israeli government strenuously denies that the strike was deliberate, an accusation that Israeli foreign policy adviser Ophir Falk told the outlet was "absurd," given that "The last thing we would want in the world is to endanger civilian lives."

He further said the airstrike was a "tragic event" in a "complex war," and explained, "The incident happened in the middle of the night. It should not have happened. And we'll do everything possible so that it doesn't happen again."

Likewise, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi said in a statement that the deadly strike was a "grave mistake" that was "not carried out with the intention of harming WCK aid workers," but instead was "a mistake that followed a misidentification -- at night during a war in very complex conditions" and that the incident "shouldn’t have happened."

Progressive Democrats demand U.S. investigation of Israeli airstrike on aid workers

The Democrats who signed on to the April 5 letter apparently aren't buying that excuse, as they wrote, "If this is true, it is a shockingly unacceptable mistake."

To Biden and Blinken, they said, "We strongly urge your administration to conduct a thorough investigation into this airstrike to determine how the
aid convoy could have been mistakenly targeted despite coordinating their movements with the Israeli military and traveling in clearly marked vehicles."

The leftist lawmakers also decried the purported contents of the latest proposed weapons deal for Israel and concluded, "In light of the recent strike against aid workers and the ever-worsening humanitarian crisis, we believe it is unjustifiable to approve these weapons transfers."

As for why former Speaker Pelosi joined that letter, Axios reported that her spokesperson said, "Speaker Pelosi is sympathetic to some of the thoughts in the letter, and she feels very strongly that there must be a comprehensive, independent investigation into the horrific killing of the World Central Kitchen heroes," and added, "Speaker Pelosi knows President Biden's support for Israel and empathy with the innocent civilians in Gaza, and she respects his judgment in how to proceed."

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