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Biden's Vietnam? Israel-Gaza war threatens to sink 46 with legal, political triggers

Former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren said that Congress has made a commitment to help Israel and the commitment must be upheld. 

Published: May 7, 2024 11:17pm

Updated: May 7, 2024 11:38pm

Always colorful as an unabashed socialist, Bernie Sanders declared this week that President Joe Biden, the man he tried to defeat in 2020, may be politically consumed by the Israel-Gaza war like former President Lyndon B. Johnson was by Vietnam.

Experts have fretted that the Democratic convention in Chicago this summer is in danger of descending into chaos and violence just like Hubert Humphrey's 1968 convention in the Windy City that helped propel Richard Nixon to victory.

But the more imminent threats for Biden are legal and political triggers in the immediate offing this spring, experts told Just the News.

The International Criminal Court is poised to declare Israel a war criminal. According to The Hill, the ICC has considered issuing a warrant for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's arrest, leading to GOP senators threatening the court with sanctions. 

The United Nations General Assembly may vote as early as Friday to give Palestine the benefits of UN membership. Will Biden follow federal law requiring him to defund the U.N.?

Former Deputy National Security Advisor to then-President Donald Trump, Victoria Coates, predicted that Palestine would get U.N. membership benefits. 

"There's a draft resolution going around," Coates said on the Tuesday edition of the "Just the News, No Noise" TV show. "This would be for the full assembly, not for the Security Council. So the United Nations doesn't have a veto option on this one. It is almost certain to pass [and] it gives the Palestinians all of the so-called 'privileges' of membership in the United Nations."

Coates said that even if Palestine just has the privileges of a membership, there is still a statute where the U.S. could cut off funding from the U.N.

"If this happens on Friday, my nightmare scenario is if the United States actually supports this," she said. "The president has said he's considering it, but either way we need to cut off funding for the U.N."

The State Department is pressing the president to withhold ammunition and funding from Israel that Congress -- with significant Democrat help -- just approved. Will Biden hand House Speaker Mike Johnson a bipartisan hammer?

Former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, said that the only way Israel can prevail is if the U.S. keeps sending supplies. 

"That is simple, and that is continued supply of vital ammunition....what I call the diplomatic Iron Dome, which is ensuring that we are protected from ICC and Security Council actions, and to give us the ability to pressure Hamas through acting militarily in the last readout of Hamas leadership and Rafah," Oren said on the "John Solomon Reports" podcast. "We will do [the] utmost as we always do to minimize civilian casualties."

Speaker Johnson called on Biden to stop holding up aid to Israel after he said he received an on-the-ground report that the administration halted "a shipload of munitions and precision weapons, which are to be used to help protect civilians and Rafah."

"This is not the will of Congress. This is an underhanded attempt to withhold aid without facing accountability. It's undermining what Congress intended," he said.

Oren said that Congress has made a commitment to help Israel and the commitment must be upheld. 

"Congress has made a commitment to Israel," he said. "It's called 'Qualitative Military Edge' when the United States Congress commits to ensure that Israel can defend itself by itself against any Middle East adversary, or any combination of at least adversaries," he said. "It's very difficult to uphold our Qualitative Military Edge if you're withholding or delaying the supply of vital munitions during a war."

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