Sen. Lankford Urges President Biden And Congress To Stand With Israel

Just back from a weeklong trip to Israel, U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) says the longtime U.S. ally is feeling ‘abandoned’ in its fight to defend itself from terrorists, and he’s calling on both the Biden Administration and Congress to step up and make strong statements of support.

Tuesday, April 9th 2024, 10:29 pm

By: News 9, Alex Cameron, News On 6


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Just back from a weeklong trip to Israel, U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) says the longtime U.S. ally is feeling ‘abandoned’ in its fight to defend itself from terrorists, and he’s calling on both the Biden Administration and Congress to step up and make strong statements of support.

In an interview Tuesday, Lankford said he understands the growing concern many have for the fate of innocent Palestinian civilians in Gaza, but he saw firsthand the impact the war is having on Israelis and heard their concern about losing American support.

"I would tell you," Lankford stated, "the people of Israel asked, point-blank, 'Is an aid package coming? We need the help.'"

Lankford hopes aid is coming because, while the focus for many right now is on Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's assurance that Israeli forces will attack the city of Rafah and the risk that poses to the tens of thousands of civilians essentially trapped there, he points out that Israelis also remain under attack. "Hamas continues to fire rockets, Hezbollah continues to fire rockets, the Houthis are firing rockets from Yemen, all at Israel," Lankford explained, "and right now there seems to be a wavering of the United States."

It's estimated that approximately half of the 30,000 killed so far in the six-month conflict have been civilians -- predominantly Palestinians -- and Lankford says those deaths and the loss of aid workers last week is tragic. But Lankford says Hamas military leaders use civilians as a human shield, a tactic that is barbaric and unimaginable in the United States. "And they’ve already made public statements," Lankford said, "when this is over, they’re going to do another October 7 all over again."

In social media posts, Lankford has criticized the Biden administration's pressure on Israel to accept a cease-fire as 'weakening' U.S. support for Israel, which he says plays right into the hands of Hamas.

In our interview, he said, "Right now, President Biden needs to be clear: we stand with Israel, against terrorism, we oppose terrorism in all its forms."

Lankford met with the families of those still held hostage on his trip, and today in the Senate he and U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R- SC) jointly introduced a resolution reiterating Israel’s right to self-defense, in part to show solidarity with the Israeli people. "They’re just looking for someone to say, 'We understand what you’re facing, we understand the need to protect civilians, but we also understand people are coming after you,'" Lankford said, "so I would hope that the House is going to bring an aid package."

The Senate already passed a foreign aid package in February that includes $14 billion in aid to Israel, along with $60 billion for Ukraine. The ball is clearly in the court of U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), and so far he has yet to make a move.

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