Republican Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn said America must make it clear that it stands with Israel as a “New Axis of Evil” takes shape. She said the axis includes Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran and noted that Hamas is funded and backed by the Iranian regime. The Senator also condemned President Biden for reversing Trump-era policy that cut funding to the Palestinian leaders of Hamas – a designated terrorist organization. Blackburn added that the administration has not only restarted funding to Palestine but increased it.
“Our adversaries need to fear us,” she said, adding that our allies need to know that we are allies and America will be true to its word and stand firmly in defense of its friends.
Blackburn’s criticisms of Biden echo those of fellow GOP heavyweights, many of whom blame the President and his foreign policy for the horrific attack on October 7 when Hamas militants crossed the heavily fortified Israeli border and slaughtered more than 1,000 civilians.
GOP frontrunner Donald Trump immediately pointed the finger at President Biden for appeasing Iran and unfreezing $6 billion and making it available to Iran’s leaders in exchange for releasing American prisoners. The federal government insists, however, that the cash has not been spent, and Iran denies any involvement in the attack.
Republican Presidential candidates have similarly criticized the Biden administration, but former Vice President Mike Pence took a unique stance and told his fellow conservatives that the war against Israel is a reminder that America must stand with allies, including Ukraine, and warned against weakening enthusiasm for the Ukrainian cause.
To combat a reduction in support for Ukraine, reports suggest that the Biden administration intends to combine funding and weapons provisions for Israel with similar aid to Ukraine in a single bill, thereby helping to attract GOP support that might have been lacking for aid to Ukraine.
Some Republicans say they will resist that effort and demand the two causes are discussed separately.