We Should Discuss Conditioning Aid Israel Needs to Deter Iran, Hezbollah

On Wednesday’s broadcast of NewsNation’s “The Hill,” House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) said that Israel needs to have weapons to deter Iran and Hezbollah and help keep the conflict in the Middle East from spreading, but “we need to negotiate” if we should condition aid to Israel.

Smith said that “Iran and Hezbollah, in different parts, also threaten Israel, and giving them the ability to deter those threats is part of how we stop the war from spreading.”

Later, after the discussion turned to selling F-15s to Israel, Smith stated that he supports the sale and “Iran and Hezbollah are desperately trying to destroy Israel from the other side. And a lot of the weapons that we give to them are to give Israel the ability to deter that threat. Hezbollah is vastly more well-armed than Hamas was. And Iran certainly is. Fighters like this and other military equipment [are] to deter Hezbollah from making that attack.”

Host Blake Burman then cut in to ask, “Should the aid have any conditions, as you see it?”

Smith answered, “Look, I think we need to continue to press and push Israel to stop expanding settlements in the West Bank and to build a path forward for self-governance and ultimately a state for the Palestinian people. I think the Biden administration has been doing that. I think they should and then move forward. Conditioning it is difficult. Is that going to advance that? That’s something we need to negotiate.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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