Statement- Arms and Rafah

May 9, 2024- Americans for Peace Now supports President Biden’s decision to cease sending offensive weapons to Israel following its invasion of Rafah. This principled step reflects the gravity of the crisis and the urgent need for a cessation of hostilities.

We know this decision is difficult. President Biden has always been a staunch supporter of Israel’s right to defend itself. Now, however, with Israel’s government proceeding with its invasion of Rafah, and with humanitarian aid again halted by the closure of the only access points into Gaza, this is a necessary step that demonstrates President Biden’s commitment to preventing further loss of life. Over 1 million civilians are sheltering in Rafah and, as the President pointed out, the weapons being withheld are powerful bombs and artillery shells that indiscriminately kill and maim innocent civilians.

We applaud President Biden’s commitment to continue supplying defensive weapons, including Iron Dome, but the United States must ensure that US military assistance is only used in compliance with American laws and in reflection of American values.

“Rafah is unquestionably a red line for the Biden Administration,” said APN President and CEO Hadar Susskind. “This difficult decision reflects the gravity of the crisis, and many months of brazen defiance by the Netanyahu government of its most important ally and friend. Aid to Israel cannot proceed as if nothing has changed and Netanyahu remains a trusted ally.”

“We are saddened that the Israeli government continues to place its own citizens and over a million Gazans at risk, and that this decision is a necessary step. We stand behind the President.”