White House attempted to hide arms shipments for Israeli genocide

On Wednesday, the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal reported that the Biden administration has worked to hide weapons transfers for use in Gaza by splitting them up into over 100 separate transactions falling below a minimum threshold for reporting to Congress.

Smoke and debris rise following an explosion in the Gaza Strip as seen from southern Israel, Wednesday, March 6, 2024. [AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg]

The exposure of the Biden administration’s surreptitious arms transfers to Israel makes clear that it is a key participant in the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people carried out by Israel that has already killed more than 35,000 people.

To date, the Biden administration has only made public two sales of weapons to Israel since the start of the genocide: a $106 million shipment of tank ammunition and $147.5 million worth of components for artillery shells.

However, this was accompanied by over 100 smaller packages of weapons, which fall below the minimum threshold required for congressional reporting.

The secret weapons shipments include, “thousands of precision-guided munitions, small-diameter bombs, bunker busters, small arms, and other lethal aid,” the Washington Post reported.

In its article, the Wall Street Journal notes, “The U.S.-supplied arms since the beginning of the Gaza war include at least 23,000 precision-guided weapons, including Hellfire air-to-ground missiles, drones, and Joint Direct Attack Munition kits, which turn unguided bombs into ‘smart’ bombs, along with other similar weapons.”

In defense of the Biden administration’s actions, State Department spokesman Matt Miller told the Washington Post the administration “followed the procedures Congress itself has specified to keep members well-informed and regularly briefs members even when formal notification is not a legal requirement.”

This statement is effectively an admission that the Biden administration explicitly structured its arms transfers to Israel to get around the very congressional oversight measures he described.

Critically, when asked by the Washington Post to state the total value of weapons transferred by the United States to Israel since October 7, Miller refused to answer.

In other words, the actual level of involvement of the United States in the Gaza genocide is a secret from the American population.

The United States provides more than $3.3 billion in military funding to Israel every year, more than any other recipient of US foreign aid. The Biden administration has called on Congress to provide an additional $17.6 billion in standalone military aid.

The Post cited Jeremy Konyndyk, a former senior Biden administration official and current president of Refugees International, as observing, “The U.S. cannot maintain that, on the one hand, Israel is a sovereign state that’s making its own decisions and we’re not going to second-guess them, and, on the other hand, transfer this level of armament in such a short time and somehow act as if we are not directly involved.”

In reality, the Biden administration’s efforts to publicly distance itself from the Gaza genocide are completely false.

Earlier this month, US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby was asked whether the United States will reduce its military aid to Israel if it assaults the southernmost city of Rafah without taking into consideration “what happens to civilians.”

To this, Kirby replied, “We will continue to support Israel. They have a right to defend themselves against Hamas, and we will continue to make sure they have the tools and capabilities to do that.”

To drive this point home, Politico reported on Tuesday, based on statements by three US officials, that “The Biden administration is not planning to punish Israel if it launches a military campaign in Rafah without ensuring civilian safety.”

Politico continued, “No reprimand plans are in the works, meaning Israeli forces could enter the city and harm civilians without facing American consequences.”

In November, Kirby reiterated that there were no “red lines” regarding the killing of civilians by Israel. “That is still the case,” Kirby said. “It’s also true that the airstrikes continue, and it’s also true that civilians are dying in those airstrikes.”

The revelations of routine US weapons transfers come amid daily reports of new Israeli war crimes in Gaza. On Wednesday, Gaza’s health ministry said that two more people have died of starvation and malnutrition, bringing the total to 20. The United Nations warned that “malnutrition rates among pregnant and breastfeeding women have surged, posing significant health risks to both mothers and newborns.”

In a visit to Gaza earlier this week, the World Health Organization (WHO) found, according to WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, “severe levels of malnutrition, children dying of starvation, serious shortages of fuel, food, and medical supplies, hospital buildings destroyed. Kamal Adwan Hospital is the only pediatric hospital in the north of Gaza, and is overwhelmed with patients. The lack of food resulted in the deaths of 10 children. The lack of electricity poses a serious threat to patient care, especially in critical areas like the intensive care unit and the neonatal unit.”