Video: Keith Ellison explains his vote against Iron Dome

You may recall that on Friday, in what would have been a Christmas Miracle were it not several months early, Congress actually got something done. It was the passage of a bill approving $225M in funding for Israel’s Iron Dome defensive missile system. It was quite the bipartisan effort in retrospect, garnering an overwhelming 395 votes in the House with only eight in opposition. One of those eight was Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, and as The Corner reports, he went out on the weekend gab circuit to explain why he didn’t support the measure.

“Because a cease-fire is what we should prioritize now,” he said when asked to explain his vote on Meet the Press. “A cease-fire protects civilians on both sides — it doesn’t just say, ‘We’re only concerned about people on one side.’”

He pointed to the devastation he witnessed during his trips to Gaza.

Let’s go to the brief video, and then we’ll carry on below that.

I’m going to take a shot in the dark here and say that Ellison saw some “logic” in saying that voting against Iron Dome funding was a way of supporting a cease fire. Mind you, this is only a guess, but I suppose he meant that if large numbers of Israeli civilians began dying because the rockets raining down on them started getting through, Netanyahu?would be more interested in a cease fire? Was that it?

I thought we might gain some clue to his thinking on this by reading his recent editorial in the Washington Post where he called for a cease fire… under certain conditions. But in that piece, he claims that he supports the cessation of rockets firing from Gaza into Israel, with no mention of making it easier for them to make it through to their targets. We may never have an explanation for this seeming disconnect.

In a rather comic side-bar to this story, the UN has criticized Israel for (wait for it) … not sharing its Iron Dome technology with Hamas. I’d normally write something snarky here, but words fail me.

On a related topic, there have clearly been some serious technological advancements made. While there is no “good news” in reporting on the actual battle taking place, the performance of Iron Dome is certainly impressive. I’m not sure what the success rate is when compared to the earlier editions of the Patriot missile battery, or if the speed and maximum range have changed significantly, but it’s definitely good at the job it does. There’s a short description of the Patriot here and Iron Dome here.