There’s been a bit of turbulence in America’s relationship with Israel since the President announced his intentions to pull U.S. forces out of Syria in the near future. (Whether that’s actually going to happen remains an open question this week.) Seemingly in response to jittery allies in Israel, GOP leaders in the Senate put together a “mega package” of legislation designed to address those concerns and help out our Israeli allies. The bills would address attempts to boycott Israel and shore up security for both Israel and Jordan.
No sooner had the legislative package been announced than Democrats “pounced” to say they would block consideration of the measures. That’s going to set the stage for the new members to put their cards on the table in terms of support for Israel. (Free Beacon)
With Congress open, top GOP Senate leaders had scheduled a vote Tuesday to move forward on what congressional insiders describe as a “mega” pro-Israel bill, including measures addressing Israel and Jordan’s security and addressing boycotts of Israel, amid uncertainty generated by the Trump administration’s new policy to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria.
Top Democrats signaled Sunday they would not allow consideration of the legislation. Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D., Md.), Ben Cardin (D., Md.), and Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) all came out against a vote on the pro-Israel legislation.
The opposition comes amid a new class of Democrats in Congress fiercely opposed to Israel and the Jewish people.
This may prove to be a good test of precisely how much influence the new crop of “Democratic superstar freshmen” actually have. That will be particularly true if the legislation shows up for a vote in the House. You may recall that Ilhan Omar, who replaced Keith Ellison, lied about her support for the BDS movement on the campaign trail and then immediately showed her true colors after winning her election. She’s far from the only one. This new crop of socialists has been very down on Israel and Jews in general. I’m sure the last thing the Democratic leadership wants is to have them all pinned down with a vote on this topic right out of the gate.
This should also serve as a test of Chuck Schumer’s leadership. Keep in mind that Schumer came out and bluntly described the BDS movement as antisemitism when he addressed the AIPAC Conference last year. Does he really want to kick off 2019 with his own caucus shooting down a legislative package specifically designed to support the Jewish people and one of our closest allies? Far from it, I’m sure.
You can be sure that Israel will be watching the results of this fiasco closely. And if the Democrats manage to sink the proposal, or even if it passes and some of their new “superstars” are put on record as voting against it, that’s an albatross the Democrats will have hanging around their necks for some time to come.