Group of 14 Republican senators accuse Biden of 'antisemitic boycott' of Israel
A group of Republican senators are accusing US President Joe Biden of engaging in "an antisemitic boycott of Israel" following moves to end US support for science and technology collaboration with Israeli institutions in the occupied territories, according to a report by Jewish Insider.
The 14 Republican senators are getting ready to send a letter, seen by Jewish Insider, to Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, warning that they will block confirmations if the Biden administration doesn't change its policy.
"We... write to emphasize that any effort to deepen American policies that discriminate between territories Israel controlled before and after June 1967 will risk a full rupture in my/our ability to engage the Department of State on these issues," the letter reportedly reads.
"Candidly, it is untenable for State Department officials to continue testifying to Congress that they support the US-Israel relationship and then — once out of view — to push policies designed to undermine that relationship. Without reversing these trends, Congressional oversight and the expeditious vetting of nominees would become intractable," the letter continues.
The Biden policy is a reversal of that of former President Donald Trump's administration, which allowed US taxpayer funding for Israeli scientific research in the occupied West Bank. However, the letter appears to imply the Biden policy is new, though it is reverting to a pre-Trump policy.
The letter says that Biden's move "does something America has never done before unilaterally impose territorial restrictions on US scientific research aid to Israel."
The letter is led by Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and signed by 13 other senators from his party. The Democrats hold a razor-thin margin in the Senate. However, an individual Republican can block a nominee at the committee level.