Eyes are on the Biden administration as the situation appears to be deteriorating in Israel to see what, if anything, U.S. leaders will do to defend the long-time ally.
While there was no immediate indication from the White House, U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced a bill on Monday that would target anti-Israel terror organizations including Hezbollah.
“Trying to make it more difficult”
The proposed legislation would effectively crop such group’s ability to tap into the U.S. banking system.
Known as the “Hezbollah Money Laundering Prevention Act of 2021,” the bill seeks to impose restrictions on the group Blackburn believes is at least partially responsible for some of the unrest currently being reported in Israel.
“What this would do is clamp down on their ability to have access to the U.S. banking system,” she said in support of the proposal.
She went on to declare that supporters of the bill are “just trying to make it more difficult” for Hezbollah “to have access to those funds” and “to launder those dollars.”
Should the bill ultimately succeed, it would focus primarily on certain areas of Lebanon known for laundering U.S. money for groups like Hezbollah.
“See this as a message”
Among other penalties, the legislation would allow the federal government to levy sanctions against various individuals and groups known for supporting anti-Israel groups. Blackburn noted that the bill represents “the toughest sanctions on Hezbollah ever proposed by Congress, which could result in a lack of resources needed to continue their terrorist agenda in that region and abroad.”
The Tennessee Republican said she hopes such organizations “are paying attention” and “see this as a message that the United States of America” will “stand with Israel” and “are not going to take actions or allow actions to continue that are going to embolden our enemies.”
Videos emerged this week across social media platforms showing Israel’s so-called Iron Dome defense system activating on several occasions as it successfully intercepted rockets being fired into populated areas of Israel.
Aside from the incoming rockets, Palestinians have also engaged in violent protests with Israeli police following a court order to evict families Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem.
Blackburn has also emphasized the importance of determining where the funding for these terrorist groups is originating, but only time will tell if her proposed bill gains the traction pro-Israel Republicans believe it deserves.