There is of course a principled stand one could take against foreign aid in general, or against sending more money overseas at a time when the U.S. is facing historic debt. But progressives are not making any sort of consistent argument against foreign aid and have zero concern for the national debt. If current plans being pushed by progressives pass, then Democrats will have authorized $6 trillion in new spending within the first year of Joe Biden’s presidency. That’s 6,000 times $1 billion.
Nor can the position be justified as an effort to “end the occupation,” as this was not about depriving Israel of funding for offensive weapons. Stripping funding for Iron Dome only makes sense if the goal is to help Hamas become more efficient at killing civilians. And progressives were so adamant about depriving Israel of this funding to protect its population that they were willing to shut down the government if the provision was not removed.
House majority leader Steny Hoyer, 82, is the classic Democratic elder pretending that nothing has changed when it comes to his party and Israel. In a desperate attempt to convince the media that there was nothing to see here, Hoyer scrambled to promise that Iron Dome would be taken care of because there would be a stand-alone vote on funding it. But that elides an important issue. The reason that it will easily pass as a stand-alone measure is that Republicans will be near unanimous (if not unanimous) in supporting Israel. But the fact that Democrats need Republicans to help fund Iron Dome shows how much the party has shifted. If the situations were reversed, and Republicans were in the majority, there would never be any need to rely on Democrats to get pro-Israel legislation across the finish line. Any such legislation would pass easily.