Do tell. Precisely which of Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s colleagues in the House Democratic caucus have a problem defending Jews from rocket attacks? I mean, I think we all know, but getting confirmation would be … illuminating, no?
Earlier this afternoon, The Hill reported that Democrats had nixed a billion-dollar sale to Israel for its Iron Dome system, an entirely defensive weapon that knocks missiles down before they hit their targets. Those get fired from Gaza and Lebanon primarily, and the missiles target civilian populations (via Jeff Dunetz, who has quite a bit more to say on this):
House Democrats will remove a provision originally included in a bill that would have helped boost Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system in order to keep the federal government funded through Dec. 3.
Democratic leaders are removing the provision from the bill, which was unveiled Tuesday morning, after some progressives objected, according to sources familiar with the last-minute snag.
“Some progressives objected”? Which progressives objected to the US resupplying the defense of Jews in Israel? John McCormack tried to get an answer from progressive leader Jayapal, who avoided specificity:
Asked why she objects to Iron Dome funding in CR, @RepJayapal says: “There’s no reason for us to fund that right now, and members in our caucus have a problem with it, and so we don’t need it.”
— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) September 21, 2021
Well, actually there is a reason to fund it now, which is that Israel has had to deplete its supplies recently. Hamas touched off a war this summer, again, and Hezbollah fired rockets at Israel last month. Both took their toll on Iron Dome supplies, and Israel wants to purchase them from the US to make sure their system remains ready to respond to more attacks. Clearly some Democrats don’t want Israel to defend itself, and it would be instructive to get a clear answer as to who any why.
Fellow progressive Rosa DeLauro tried to paper over the embarrassment, but leading moderate Josh Gottheimer made his displeasure known:
A spokesperson for House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said that funding for the Iron Dome “will be included in the final, bipartisan and bicameral” defense funding bill later this year.
Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), a leading centrist, expressed frustration that the Iron Dome funding was being removed but stopped short of threatening to vote against the bill.
“The Iron Dome protects innocent civilians in Israel from terrorist attacks and some of my colleagues have now blocked funding it,” Gottheimer tweeted. “We must stand by our historic ally — the only democracy in the Middle East.”
Indeed. It’s likely that the Senate will force that funding back in on this round anyway, and that will make this a rather stupid and embarrassing stunt on the part of progressives. Why not fund it now, rather than later, if it will get funded anyway? The only achievement unlocked in this stunt is to make the entire House Democratic caucus complicit the anti-Semitism of a few of its members.
So again — who are these Democrats who would prefer to leave Jews defenseless in the Middle East? Maybe Joe Biden can get to the bottom of that, considering that he declared our support for Israel’s security “unequivocal” in his speech at the UN just a couple of hours before progressive Democrats made it look pretty darned equivocal. So for that matter does whatever intestinal fortitude resides within the Biden administration and Democratic leadership. Isn’t it grand to see our standing with our allies improve in the Biden era?
Pres. Biden says U.S. support "for an independent Jewish state is unequivocal" & believes "a two-state solution is the best way to ensure Israel's future as a Jewish democratic state, living in peace alongside a viable, sovereign, and democratic Palestinian state.” pic.twitter.com/naamicSY2n
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 21, 2021