Rep. Ilhan Omar Statement on Proposed Arms Sale to Israel Amidst Gaza Airstrikes

May 17, 2021
Press Release

MINNEAPOLIS—Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) released the following statement after the Washington Post reported that the Biden Administration is planning to move forward with an arms sale to the Israeli government led by Benjamin Netanyahu amidst escalating violence and human rights abuses.

“The United States should not stand idly by while crimes against humanity are being committed with our backing. 

“The violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip is spiraling out of control. Far right ethnonationalist Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu is now responsible for at least 1,505 casualties in Gaza, including 200 deaths, 59 of them children. He has leveled entire residential buildings, targeting journalists and civilians alike in direct violation of international law. And he is doing so with direct funding and military assistance from the United States of America. At least 10 Israelis , including 2 children, have also been killed by indiscriminate Hamas rocket attacks. To be clear, this is also a war crime.

“It would be appalling for the Biden Administration to go through with $735 million in precision-guided weaponry to Netanyahu without any strings attached in the wake of escalating violence and attacks on civilians. If this goes through this will be seen as a green light for continued escalation and will undercut any attempts at brokering a ceasefire.

“We should be standing unequivocally and consistently on the side of human rights—holding all state and non-state actors accountable for their crimes and using every tool at our disposal to end the violence and bring about peace. We should be affirming the right of all people, regardless of their faith, to have self-determination and equal rights. That includes both Israelis and Palestinians because, yes, Palestinian lives matter.”