Photo Credit: Avi Ohayon GPO
US President Joe Biden meets with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the White House in Washington DC, USA, August 27, 2021.

I was shocked.  When the one billion dollar funding for Israel’s Iron Dome defense system was dropped from Congress’s comprehensive spending bill because of the threat by some House Democrats  of voting against it – I could not believe it. It was only 9 Democrats. But there was fear that without their vote, the bill would not pass. So that provision was dropped like a lead balloon.

I thought that this is a new low for the Democratic Party. Israel no longer enjoyed universal support in congress. That support now existed only among Republicans.


The truth is however that there still is bipartisan support. After the vote on the budget, a stand-alone bill was introduced that will fund Iron Dome. It was  passed overwhelmingly. But there were 9 House members that voted against it From Newsweek:

The Democrats who voted against the funding were: Cori Bush of Missouri; André Carson of Indiana; Jesús (Chewy) García of Illinois; Raúl Grijalva of Arizona; Marie Newman of Illinois; Ilhan Omar of Minnesota; Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts; and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

They were joined by Republican Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky. He appeared to explain his vote on Twitter by pointing to his position opposing foreign aid.

Two members voted “present”— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Henry Johnson of Georgia, both Democrats.

The vote was 420 to 9.  That is a whoppingly lopsided margin. It’s nice to know that Israel still enjoys bipartisan support. It also makes clear that 9 members of the House (or possibly 11 – if you count those who voted present) are antisemitic regardless of any protestation to the contrary. There can be no other explanation for their vote. Iron Dome is strictly a missile defense system designed to shoot down rockets shot at Israel. Hamas sent what seemed like an endless number of rockets indiscriminately into Israel the last time they attacked. Without caring a whit where they would land; who they would kill; and how many.

Had Israel not had Iron Dome, there would have been an immense number of casualties, some of whom would have been Palestinian. To vote against a strictly defensive system that saved so many lives can only be explained by an innate hatred of the state. Or sheer stupidity. Or both.

This should be obvious to all fair minded people. No matter what part of the political spectrum one’s sympathies may lie. Even if they buy in totally to the Palestinian narrative – opposing a strictly defensive system can only mean that they don’t care if innocent Israelis get hurt. That they just want to hurt the Jewish state. Can there be any other explanation? They can try to offer one. But anyone with even a modicum of intelligence will see it for the lie that it is.

This does not mean that all of the 420 House members that voted in favor of it are on the same page.  There are for example a variety of views about what Israel should do about making peace with Palestinians.  Such as giving Palestinians their own state on the West Bank (the 2 state solution). Or considering settlements an impediment to peace. Or support restoring the Iran nuclear deal.

But that does not make them anti Israel. It just makes them naïve.  I’m pretty sure that most Democrats disagree with Israel on those issues. They think Israel will be better served if they would follow their advice on these issues. But the fact that they voted to fund Iron Dome with taxpayer money tells you that they do not want Israel to be destroyed. They also understand Israel’s strategic value to the US as a valuable source of intelligence..

I am glad that the other major political party to sees the aforementioned issues the same way Israel does. Which is the same way I do. No longer are Republicans the blue blood antisemities of old that could not care less about the Jewish state – many of them being closet antisemites. Republicans are no longer like that. Almost all of them are enthusiastic supporters of Israel and her polices. But at the same time it’s good to know that despite the Democrats naiveté, at the end of the day – unlike the abovementioned 8 Democratic House members (and one Republican) – they will have Israel’s back.

{Reposted from the author’s blog}


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Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at [email protected].