WASHINGTON – Israel on Thursday approved অর্থ 1 billion in new funding for its Iron Dome missile defense system, following a debate that has sparked bitter divisions among Democrats over U.S. policy among its closest allies.
The vote was 490 to 9 to help Israel replace the missile interceptors used during the fierce fighting in May between the destructive rocket and missile war with the Palestinians.
But it only happened when a group of progressive Democrats who accused Israel of human rights abuses against the Palestinians threatened to shut down the government in exchange for money. Democratic leaders were forced to pass it out of law to fund the government beyond the Sept. 30 deadline, which was passed in parliament on Tuesday and approved the Iron Dome funding separately.
Liberal plots were leveled at centrist and Jewish lawmakers, who said they were shocked and surprised by the refusal of their colleagues to fund a defensive measure to protect Israeli citizens.
Democrat Rep. Alyssa Slotkin of Michigan said, “Whatever your views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, use a method that saves the lives of thousands, not hundreds, of political minds.”
The most recent concern was the long-running conflict between the party’s strong progressive wing, which has called for an end to Israel’s unconditional aid, and other Democrats who have maintained strong support for Israel’s right to self-defense. And the country is not willing to pass for the treatment of Palestinians.
“We must stop violating Israel’s human rights and enabling a racist government,” Michigan Democrat Rep. Rashida Talaib announced Wednesday night that she would vote against the bill.
Minnesota Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar argued Thursday that “the United States should no longer continue to fund Israel without addressing the underlying problem of occupation.”
“It’s not about a country,” Mrs. Omar said. “If human rights really dictate our foreign policy, then we have to act like this everywhere. Otherwise our words become hollow. ”
The episode highlights how vulnerable the Democrats ’harmful majority in the House is-and how any split can threaten the power of party leaders to garner the minimum number of votes needed to pass a bill.
Eight Democrats, as well as one Republican, Thomas Massey, a Kentucky representative, eventually opposed the move. Two Democrat delegates, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Hank Johnson of Georgia, cast their ballots.
On Thursday, their comments drew strong reactions from some of their colleagues, who argued that the law was limited to supporting the full defense system. They noted that during the height of the war in May, the iron dome blocked more than 100 percent of Hamas-launched rockets that would otherwise have landed in civilian populated areas.
In an angry speech on the House floor, Florida Democrat Rep. Ted Deutsch said he “would not allow one of my colleagues to stand on the floor of the House of Representatives and would not allow the Jewish democratic state of Israel to be identified as a racist state.”
“Falsely identifying the state of Israel is consistent with those who support the dissolution of a Jewish state in the world,” he said. “When there is no place on the map of a Jewish state, it is anti-Semitic, and I reject it.”
The party is determined to stand by one of the country’s closest allies, Maryland’s Rep. Stanny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat who lobbied for help, ignoring the drama over a phone call to Israeli Foreign Minister Yar Lapid, calling it a “technical delay.” Reiterates its commitment to ensure assistance. “
“After the previous government neglected Congress and the Democratic Party and caused considerable damage to Israeli-US relations, we are rebuilding the relationship of trust with Congress today,” Mr. Lapid wrote on Twitter, confirming the call.
Other party leaders, including California Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Connecticut Representative Rosa Delauro, rose in support of the law on Thursday, arguing that passing additional funding is important for the protection of Israeli citizens and should be noted that it was an extension of a 2016 agreement by former President Barack Obama.
But looking at the opportunity to snatch Jewish voters from the Democratic Party, House Republicans have sparked the controversy as a violation of Israel. They said the refusal to pass progressive funding as part of a broader government spending bill was a missed opportunity to support Israel, even though Republicans opposed the spending bill together.
“By blocking funding to replenish the Iron Dome, Democrats have decided to give up the opportunity to stand with Israel and its citizens,” said Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalis, No. 2 Republican.