A move to freeze military aid to Lebanon is fostering a rare bipartisan atmosphere in Washington.
U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) announced a "hold" on $100 million earmarked for Lebanon's army Monday in response to last week's violence on the Israel-Lebanon border that started with the shooting of an Israeli officer.
U.S. aid is meant to "enhance our safety and that of our allies," she said, calling last week's violence an "outrageous incident."
Even before the violence, U.S. Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), placed his own hold on the military aid, the Jerusalem Post reports. He wants more information about Hizballah's relationship with the Lebanese Armed Forces:
"Until we know more about this incident and the nature of [Hizballah] influence on the LAF – and can assure that the LAF is a responsible actor – I cannot in good conscience allow the United States to continue sending weapons to Lebanon."
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) issued a statement echoing the concerns. U.S. aid, he said, is meant to help Lebanese military "serve as a check" on Hizballah's power:
"For the past few years, the US and the international community looked the other way as the lines between [Hizballah] and the Lebanese military and government became blurred."
In a separate editorial, the Post faults the U.S. and Europe for failing to support Lebanon's March 14 Alliance in its power struggle against Hizballah and Syria.