Anti-War Protesters Interrupt Antony Blinken as He Demands More Funding for Israel: “Ceasefire Now”
President Joe Biden is, yet again, facing backlash for his stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict. During the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing held on October 31 for the Biden administration's national security funding request, protesters called for an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, disrupting Secretary of State Antony Blinken's address, CBS News reported.
Before being led away, one woman could be heard saying, "People are not animals!" Another woman yelled, "Cease-fire now!" In the chamber, there were also silent demonstrators holding posters calling for an end to US financing for Israel and a cease-fire, along with hands painted red to symbolize blood. The demonstrators belonged to a group known as CODEPINK.
The anti-war organization claims that some of its members, including peace campaigner David Barrows and 29-year U.S. Army veteran and former diplomat Col. Ann Wright, were detained by the government as a result of their protest. In fact, 'approximately 12 people' were detained for 'illegally protesting' within the Senate office building, according to U.S. Capitol Police.
Anti-war protestors disrupt US Secretary of State's senate hearing demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.— TRT World (@trtworld) October 31, 2023
Antony Blinken was trying to get support for the White House's $106 billion funding request for Ukraine and Israel's war on Palestine pic.twitter.com/2TgjMJ05ku
Despite the interruptions, Blinken continued to detail the Biden administration's need for assistance. $106 billion in additional cash has been requested by the administration; this money will be utilized in Israel, Ukraine, and other countries. In his testimony, Blinken expressed his belief that the help would demonstrate 'enduring support' for the respective countries.
Of the total $106 billion, Blinken shared, Israel will receive a total of $14 billion; $3.7 billion would go toward Israel's 'security needs,' which include strengthening 'air and missile defense systems.' He stated that an additional $50 billion of the funds "will be spent through American businesses, strengthen our domestic defense industrial base, and replenish U.S. military stocks."
The United States' backing of Israel has been under criticism in the past several weeks. Following the horrific terror assaults on October 7, Israel and Hamas have been exchanging missile fire, and the Israelis are currently launching a land invasion of Gaza. The Gaza Health Ministry announced that since October 7, thousands of people have died in the region, including over 3,500 children who perished in the strikes, reported WION. Many US citizens are protesting the US's involvement in the conflict, alleging extreme human rights abuses by Israel against women and children.
In a world exclusive, @QueenRania of Jordan spoke with me about the ongoing bombing of Gaza, civilian deaths, the massacres of October 7, and what she calls “a glaring double standard” in the west’s reaction to all this. Watch our full conversation. pic.twitter.com/68QUO3Vez9— Christiane Amanpour (@amanpour) October 24, 2023
In his speech, Blinken addressed the issue, stating that both he and Biden have emphasized to Israel the necessity to protect civilians, particularly according to war guidelines. "As President Biden has made clear from the outset, while Israel has the right — and indeed, the obligation — to defend itself, the way it does so matters," Blinken said. "In our discussions with the Israeli Government, the President and I have both stressed the need for Israel to operate by the law of war and by international humanitarian law and to take all possible measures to avoid civilian casualties."
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