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Members of Congress from Michigan sign letter urging pause in arms shipments to Israel

Members of Congress from Michigan urge Biden to stop sending weapons to Israel
Members of Congress from Michigan urge Biden to stop sending weapons to Israel 02:12

(CBS DETROIT) - About seven months into the conflict between Israel and Hamas, three members of Congress from Michigan have signed a letter calling on President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken to pause sending more weapons to Israel. 

The letter dated last week was signed by Michigan Democrats Rashida Tlaib, Debbie Dingell and Dan Kildee, alongside 40 other lawmakers from across the country. 

 "...We strongly urge you to reconsider your recent decision to authorize the transfer of a new arms package to Israel and to withhold this and any future offensive arms transfers until a full investigation into the airstrike is completed," the lawmakers wrote. 

Palestinian advocates tell CBS News Detroit they would welcome even just a pause in the arms shipments. 

"We are thankful to every little effort, every little step that move in the direction to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinians and to put an end or hold or a stop even for a day," said Imad Hamad, the director of the American Human Rights Council based in Dearborn. "Even for an hour, even for a week, is welcome. Because every minute counts."

Lawmakers went on in their letter to say that if the airstrike that killed World Central Kitchen aid workers is "...found to have violated U.S. or international law, we urge you to continue withholding these transfers until those responsible are held accountable."

In response, the Jewish Community Relations Council sent CBS News Detroit a statement:

"The United States and Israel's other key allies must not lose sight of this broader picture. While there may be differences of opinion on strategy and tactics, all nations with shared values - especially the United States, which has repeatedly asserted the necessity of freeing all hostages and defeating Hamas - should and must remain by Israel's side."

Hamad said he understands that changing policy is not something that can be done overnight.   

"We understand the nature of the alliance between the US and Israel," he said. "However, there is a serious obligation here. They talk about protecting the civilians and urging for more humanitarian aid. But yet they supply all kinds of weapons for Israel to be able to continue its genocidal war."

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