Politics

Israel Is ‘Creating Such an Escalatory Pressure’ in Middle East

On Friday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Inside with Jen Psaki,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) stated that Israel has to allow more aid into Gaza and its war “shouldn’t be seen as a war against Palestinians or a war against Gazans.” He added that “the allowance of this humanitarian crisis to spiral out of control, with starvation and famine and medical emergencies, that is what is creating such an escalatory pressure in the region. And Israel has an obligation, pursuant to a Biden administration security memorandum, as a recipient of U.S. security aid, to do what every other recipient must do, and that’s cooperate with U.S. humanitarian efforts.”

Kaine said, “We’re already seeing, not only a war in Gaza, but Hezbollah attacks into Israel from the north, Iranian militias in Iraq and Syria taking action against Israel and U.S. positions, the Houthis firing missiles into the Red Sea. The last thing we need is an escalation between Iran and Israel right now, and that puts the onus back on all of us to work together to find a hostage deal that would release hostages in exchange for a ceasefire, we could flood the zone with humanitarian aid into Gaza, safely, and we would open up space for a discussion about an extended ceasefire, but also about what would the future be for Palestine.”

He added, “I think more offensive weapons that have the possibility of killing civilians and humanitarian aid workers right now is just pouring gasoline on a fire that’s already raging out of control. Israel needs to defend itself against those who would annihilate it, and the U.S. has always been a partner in that. That includes Hamas, that includes Hezbollah, that includes Iran. Systems that we have worked with Israel on in the past like the Iron Dome system, which intercepts missiles and rockets fired at Israel, those are the kinds of things that we should be continuing to provide. … So, I think there’s plenty we can do that will make sure that Israel can defend itself against threats, including the serious threat from Iran, but I think more offensive weapons into this theater of war right now is only going to lead to more and more bad outcomes, not the de-escalation that we need to see.”

Kaine further stated, “I think the pacing issue that’s the most crucial issue right now is to see Israel dramatically increase the allowance of humanitarian aid into Gaza. This is a war against Hamas, it shouldn’t be seen as a war against Palestinians or a war against Gazans. But the allowance of this humanitarian crisis to spiral out of control, with starvation and famine and medical emergencies, that is what is creating such an escalatory pressure in the region. And Israel has an obligation, pursuant to a Biden administration security memorandum, as a recipient of U.S. security aid, to do what every other recipient must do, and that’s cooperate with U.S. humanitarian efforts. … We need to see robust delivery of humanitarian aid, safely, to a civilian population that’s suffering during this war, and suffering under the thumb of Hamas. That’s the pacing issue that I think is the most urgent right now.”

Kaine later said that Hamas attacked Israel partially because they want to prevent normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia and Hamas doesn’t want a peaceful two-state solution.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett



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