Leading Dems had to rein in their left flank's attempt to block military aid to Israel

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

This story seemed to largely fly under the radar this week but it’s worth keeping an eye on. While the United Nations has been trying to pressure the United States to throw Israel under the bus, The Israelis were facing a smaller battle on another front right in Washington. It turns out that Rep. Gregory Meeks (D., N.Y.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC), had been quietly moving to place a hold on nearly a billion dollars worth of military arms that were being sold to Israel. Meeks was reportedly responding to pressure from “the squad” and some other anti-Israel, far-left members. And they might have gotten away with it too, were it not for the intervention of Steny Hoyer, the second-highest-ranking Democrat in the House and a consistent defender of Israel. But that hasn’t stopped the flow of anti-Israel chatter coming from AOC and her friends. (Free Beacon)

Democratic leaders convinced their colleagues on Tuesday to drop an effort championed by the party’s left flank that would have delayed U.S. military assistance to Israel as the country battles Iranian-backed terrorist groups.

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D., Md.), the House’s second-highest-ranking Democrat, told reporters that after pressure from leadership, Rep. Gregory Meeks (D., N.Y.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC), abandoned efforts to delay over $735 million in arms sales to Israel. The Jewish state has used such weaponry during the past two weeks to battle Hamas terrorists as they fire thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians. Hoyer is one of the party’s most vocal pro-Israel voices.

Meeks’s bid was widely seen as part of a larger effort by Democratic leaders to placate far-left House members who continue to bash Israel and accuse the country of terrorism for conducting defensive operations. Chief among these anti-Israel voices are Reps. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.), Cori Bush (D., Mo.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), and Mark Pocan (D., Wis.). These lawmakers have called for aid to Israel be cut off and sanctions on the Jewish state for striking Palestinian terrorist groups. Omar and Tlaib, who have expressed increasing frustration with their party’s pro-Israel stalwarts, took to social media this week and last to blast the Biden administration and fellow Democrats for issuing statements in defense of Israel.

The leftists trying to pressure Meeks include some of the more familiar faces we see on the wrong side of this debate. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Cori Bush, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Mark Pocan were all noted for their activities on this issue. They weren’t just opposing the arms sale. They’ve all additionally been calling for actual sanctions on Israel and asking for the US to support UN resolutions of condemnation of the Jewish state.

The one person who has been noticeably silent for the most part is Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. He’s traditionally been one of Israel’s biggest supporters in the upper chamber, but since the rockets began flying, Schumer has only put out a single statement (on Monday) saying that he “agreed” with the statements released by some other Senators who spoke out in support of our ally. So why has he been holding his tongue?

If I had to take a guess, I would say that the Democrats are still desperate to find a way to ram Joe Biden’s agenda through, but their margins are so slender in both chambers that they can’t afford to peel off many (or in some cases any) of their own team. Schumer is probably aware that if he ticks off “the squad” and the rest of the far left too much, their legislative priorities could be toast. So rather than releasing bold statements in support of Israel, he’ll just bite his tongue and try to keep his head down.

In the meantime, we’re seeing more and more liberal activist groups taking to the streets and to social media, calling for our government to abandon Isreal. And it’s not just getting out of control here in America. In the London suburb of Hendon, a woman with her 4-year-old child in the back seat had her vehicle rammed by a convoy of cars draped in Palestinian flags. She and the child thankfully escaped mostly unharmed, but it certainly put her family on edge.

A mother has spoken of the terrifying moment her car was rammed by a vehicle draped with a Palestinian flag moments after leaving her home in Hendon.

The Jewish victim, who asked not to be named, was traveling to a friend’s home with her four-year-old strapped in at the back when the incident happened on Sunday afternoon. It’s understood he was wearing a bright blue kippah and she was playing Jewish music.

She said: “As I came to the top of the road I noticed two cars with huge Palestinian flags on their bonnet. I turned right and both cars started to chase me down the road and rammed into the back of my car.

This is just unbelievable. Most of us are aware that there has been antisemitism coursing through both our country and Europe for most of recorded history. But in the modern era, it’s at least been more confined to harsh language than physical violence than it was in the past. That doesn’t seem to be the trend today, sadly. Be safe out there folks.