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|Mort Klein||August 15th 2014|
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has expressed deep concern over disturbing reports that President Barack Obama has pressured Israel by withholding military shipments to Israel in the midst of its war with Hamas over his opposition to Israel continuing its military operations. Reports, citing an unnamed senior Israeli official confirmed to Israeli media that the U.S. had suspended a shipment of Hellfire missiles to Israel on the grounds of what the official reportedly described as "increased diplomatic tension ... the Obama administration, perturbed that much of the ammunition was used by the IDF in its offensive in the Gaza Strip, revised the review process in a move that is likely to limit or at least delay Israel's requests for weapons" (Marissa Newman, 'Israeli official confirms US nixed arms shipment; pols argue over who's to blame,' Times of Israel, August 14, 2014).
A report in the Wall Street Journal claimed the White House and State Department had been angered by a transfer of arms to Israel by the Pentagon and had ordered greater oversight into future sales. Yet, a Defense Department official has confirmed that weapons transfer was unexceptional and that "The process for this transfer was followed precisely along the lines that it should have." The same report notes that a "particularly combative phone call" is said to have taken place yesterday between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Adam Entous, 'Gaza Crisis: Israel Outflanks the White House on Strategy,' Wall Street Journal, August 14, 2014).
We find these reports deeply disturbing. If these reports are true, it means that President Obama has been withholding arms to Israel in the middle of a war Israel is waging in protection of its citizens from Hamas terrorists who are continuously assaulting Israel with over 3,000 missiles in an attempt to murder as many Jews as possible. They are targeting major civilian population areas. If not for the Iron Dome missile defense system, thousands of Israelis would have ben killed by these missiles. Allies cannot always precisely agree on policy. But it is inexcusable for the American President to withhold urgent requests for arms, especially in the middle of a war.