House accepts $ 1 billion for Israeli defense


WASHINGTON – The overwhelming majority in the House on Thursday passed a bill providing $ 1 billion for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system as Democrats prepare to quash Republicans’ criticism that their party was reluctant to support Israel.

Democrats initially sought to enshrine Iron Dome funding into legislation this week to fund the government after September 30, but withdrew it after some caucus members objected.

Management moved quickly to provide assistance instead in a separate, stand-alone bill. It was carried by a vote of 420-9.

“This bill demonstrates the commitment of Congress to our friend and ally Israel is bipartisan and rock-solid,” said Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Democratic chair of the House Appropriations Committee.

Democrats overwhelmingly backed the measure, but the need for parliamentary maneuvering underscored a sticking point in Congress over Israel – where a few progressive Democrats have challenged the scope of US aid to the longtime ally.

The United States began financially supporting Israel’s development of the Iron Dome system about a decade ago and has provided around $ 1.6 billion for its production and maintenance, according to the Congressional Research Service. The system is designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets fired at Israel.

“Thank you to the members of the United States House of Representatives, Democrats and Republicans, for their unwavering support for Israel and their commitment to its security,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement. “Those who attempt to challenge this support have received a timeless response.”

In a 2016 memorandum of understanding with Israel, the United States pledged to replenish the Iron Dome and that the money provided by the United States be “limited to a fully defensive system,” DeLauro said. .

Minority parliamentary leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Accused Democrats by withdrawing $ 1 billion from the previous bill of sending a message to the world that they “are no longer on the side of the people of Canada. ‘Israel in its mission to defend itself against terrorist attacks. “

Democrats strongly rejected attempts by the GOP to portray them as anti-Israel. “There are a few who will not support this, but the overwhelming majority of this Congress – not in a partisan way, but in the American way – will support the defense of the democratic state of Israel,” the President said. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. , D-Md.

Representative Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., A daughter of Palestinian immigrant parents, was the only lawmaker to speak out against the funding. She said Congress should also talk about the Palestinian need for security against Israeli attacks.

Tlaib said the money represented an “absurd and unjustifiable” increase in funding for the Iron Dome. She also called Israel an “apartheid regime”, drawing strong condemnation from Representative Ted Deutch, D-Fla.

He rejected this description and said the characterization was “consistent with those who advocate the dismantling of the only Jewish state in the world.”

His criticism also gave Republicans an opening.

Representative Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., Said “They [Democrats] to have a minority voice in the majority party which is anti-Israel, which is anti-Semitic and, as Americans, we can never stand it. “

The bill will need to be approved by the Senate before it can be enacted.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.