Biden ‘pathologically obsessed’ with boycott of Israel: Republicans threaten State Department nominees

“The new guidance as written constitutes an antisemitic boycott of Israel,” 15 senators said.

By World Israel News Staff

Fifteen U.S. Senators, led by Sen. Ted Cruz, have threatened to stall the approval of State Department nominees if the Biden administration not walk back the “antisemitic boycott of Israel.”

The threat was in response to a directive from the State Department that bans U.S. funding for scientific and technological cooperation in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, or the Golan Heights.

The Senators, who include GOP presidential primary candidate Sen. Tim Scott, Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Jim Risch, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton, warned that “without a reversal in these trends Congressional oversight and the expeditious vetting of nominees would become intractable.”

Should the Republicans follow through with their threat, the approval process of nominees, which is already reliant on a slim majority, would be rendered virtually unachievable.

The Binational Science Foundation, Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation, and Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund agreements with Israel were modified by the Trump administration in 2020 to remove territorial limitations.

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These agreements have large endowments that provide grants to American and Israeli academics and companies for research and technology.

Last month, however, the Biden administration ruled that all U.S.-Israel government-funded cooperation in these areas must be restricted to pre-1967 Israel.

The senators noted in their letter that the State Department’s own Special Envoy To Monitor and Combat Antisemitism was excluded from deliberations over this guidance and did not clear it.”

They further argued that this guidance “puts Americans’ safety, security, and prosperity at risk because it politicizes and undermines cooperation on science and technology, including in areas such as defense and medicine where also our Israeli allies have proven themselves critical partners.”

When the guidance was introduced last month, a State Department spokesperson clarified that it was “simply reflective of the longstanding US position, reaffirmed by this Administration, that the ultimate disposition of the geographic areas which came under the administration of Israel after June 5, 1967 is a final status matter and that we are working towards a negotiated two-state solution in which Israel lives in peace and security alongside a viable Palestinian state. This is essentially reverting through US policy to longstanding pre-2020 geographic limitations on US support for the activities of the binational foundations.”

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Cruz criticized the Biden administration for its stance, stating, “Joe Biden and Biden administration officials… [are] pathologically obsessed with undermining Israel. Since day one of their administration, they have launched campaigns against our Israeli allies…This new boycott of Israeli Jews is yet another example…The Biden administration defends funding scientific research in Wuhan with the Chinese Communist Party, but they’re discriminating against and banning cooperation with Jews based on where they live.”