Rep. Jonathan Jackson blasts President Joe Biden for sending more military aid to Israel

Jackson, son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, told theGrio he stands firm on not supporting Israel’s “offensive campaign in destroying Gaza.”

Rep. Jonathan Jackson, D-Ill., and other members of Congress are criticizing President Joe Biden for backing a foreign aid bill that will provide more military aid to Israel, despite the rising death toll in Gaza.

Jackson, son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, told theGrio that he disagrees with Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict and believes the president’s approach to the crisis “is not resonating with Black voters” who would like to see the Democratic president do more for Palestinians.

Jackson told theGrio that Palestinians in Gaza are on the brink of starvation, yet Biden is not putting enough pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to follow through on his promise to ramp up humanitarian aid in the region.  

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, told theGrio she gets “the frustration” some voters may have with Biden’s handling of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Hirono added that members of Congress are waiting for “an analysis of whether or not Israel is doing all that it can to comport with international law” while pursuing Hamas in Gaza.

U.S. President Joe Biden,
President Joe Biden is being criticized by some for his support of a bill to increase military aid to Israel. (Photo by Alex Brandon, AP, File)

“I understand why people feel frustrated,” said Hirono. “I am too.”

On the contrary, Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., told theGrio that he supports Biden’s guidance on the Israel-Hamas conflict and that “there is no substitute for American leadership in the world.”

Warnock argued that under the Biden-Harris administration humanitarian aid is being sent to Gaza.  

Biden held a 30-minute phone conversation with Netanyahu this month stating that there would be policy changes if the Israeli prime minister failed to address “civilian harm” caused by Israel’s conflict with Hamas. 

Since the conflict began on Oct. 7, more than 34,000 Palestinians have been killed, most of them women and children, 2.3 million people have been displaced, and many more are on the brink of starvation.

Recently, Jackson and 36 other House Democrats voted against sending more military aid to Israel in their bid to protect Palestinian lives. The aid bill, which included help for Gaza, passed both chambers of Congress and Biden signed the measure on Wednesday.

Senator Raphael Warnock,
Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., said he supports the Biden administration’s guidance on the Israeli-Hamas war in Gaza. (Photo by Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)

He told theGrio, that although he is not averse to sending missiles to Israel for self-defense purposes, he stands firm on not supporting Israel’s “offensive campaign in destroying Gaza, as a result displacing, killing and injuring Palestinians [and] preventing the flow of food and medicine.”

“This is wrong,” said Jackson.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., also voted against sending military aid to Israel and shared a post on X, formerly Twitter, stating that the U.S. should refrain from “sending more offensive weapons to an Israeli government that has operated with callous disregard for human life.”

Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., also joined the short list of no votes and took to X to write that he was “inspired” that other House members opposed sending military aid to Israel. 

Bowman wrote that his colleagues joined the movement “for peace by refusing to send billions more in weapons to support Netanyahu’s killing of innocent civilians.”

The lawmaker said he believes the Biden-Harris administration should push for “an immediate and permanent ceasefire” to deescalate the crisis in Gaza. 

U.S. Rep. Cori Bush,
Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., said House members can either “prioritize humanity” or “prioritize our base.” (Photo credit: Getty)

Last week, Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., held a press conference at the Capitol with fellow Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Greg Casar, D-Texas, urging the Biden-Harris administration to prevent a regional war by calling on Netanyahu to enact a lasting ceasefire. 

Bush told theGrio that she and other House members have a choice, to either “prioritize humanity” or “prioritize our base.”

She believes some congressional members who voted in favor of sending military aid to Israel are appealing to the views of their constituents, however, she told theGrio that she will continue to call for “peace” in Gaza to prevent further bloodshed. 

Bush added that “no amount of money or death threats” would stop her from advocating for the lives of Palestinians. 

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