‘A strong Israel is vital to the United States’: 94 former US military generals, admirals sign letter supporting Jewish state

The letter comes amid growing pressure on Biden to continue to enact more policies critical of Israel.

By Jack Elbaum, The Algemeiner

More than 90 retired US military generals and admirals have signed a new letter released this week in support of Israel and a strong US-Israel relationship amid heightened tensions between the Biden administration and the Jewish state.

Organized by the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA), the letter focused on the adverse consequences of weakening the US-Israel alliance.

“Given our experience as retired American military leaders,” the letter reads, “we are very concerned about the security impacts of increasingly strained US-Israel ties as Israel becomes a growing source of domestic division. We therefore feel compelled to declare that a strong Israel is vital to the United States national security, and it is imperative that America unequivocally stand by this indispensable ally.”

In recent months, the relationship between Israel’s government and the US under President Joe Biden has become strained due to disagreements over whether the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) should launch a large-scale offensive in the Gaza city of Rafah, the fact that the US has primarily put pressure to achieve a hostage and ceasefire deal on Israel rather than Hamas, and — most importantly — the Biden administration holding up weapons shipments to the Jewish state.

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Threatening sanctions on an IDF unit and sanctioning certain settlers in the West Bank have exacerbated tensions further.

Now, according to recent comments from senior US officials, there is growing doubt in the Biden administration over whether it is possible for Israel to achieve “total victory” against Hamas, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu often describes his country’s war goals.

Apart from the weakening relationship diplomatically, the war has also been incredibly divisive among US voters. While most people have indicated the Israel-Hamas war is not an issue that will determine the candidate they vote for, large rallies, congressional hearings, and pro-Hamas encampments on college campuses have ignited a heated national debate.

These tensions are concerning because they put into jeopardy Israel and the US’s mutually beneficial relationship, the letter says. “Our militaries work hand in glove, sharing intelligence and military lessons, and co-developing cutting-edge defense technologies,” the retired military leaders argue.

“More than any other American ally, Israel has always sought to defend itself by itself,” they note. “Still, US forces recently helped defend Israel against an Iranian onslaught. Israel’s military and intelligence services have also often protected US soldiers and citizens and provided critical intelligence.”

The letter continues: “America must support Israel as it restores its security, shattered on Oct. 7, against Iran and its terrorist proxies in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen that all seek to destroy the Jewish state. These forces are also enemies of the United States and everything we stand for.”

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Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group that rules Gaza, receives significant military and financial support from Iran.

A key reason to support Israel, the letter argues, is that these are the enemies of not only Israel but also the West more broadly: “Against these barbaric enemies, Israel stands on the front lines of the fight for civilization, the lone stable, democratic American ally in a critical, yet tumultuous, region. Israel is a visceral part of the West with its liberal democracy, ethnically diverse population, and support for individual rights.”

The letter comes amid growing pressure on Biden to continue to enact more policies critical of Israel in response to the IDF’s response to Hamas’ Oct. 7 invasion of southern Israel, where Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists murdered 1,200 people and abducted over 250 others as hostages. In March, almost 70 former US officials and diplomats wrote a letter urging Biden to take a harder line on Israel, arguing in part that the Israeli military campaign was a disproportionate overreaction.

Israel has said it seeks to free the hostages taken to Gaza and to incapacitate Hamas to the point that it can no longer pose a threat to the Israeli people from the neighboring Palestinian enclave.

Despite the current political environment, the new letter coordinated by JINSA aims to “reaffirm our friendship and bond with the State of Israel — and urge all Americans to stand by our close friend and partner.”