The Senate passed a pro Israel/anti BDS bill on Tuesday. It passed 77-23. “Take note of the 23 and remember them election day,” said a local Brooklyn activist, who warned the fight against anti-Semitism is far from over.
The list of U.S. Senators who voted against the bill included only one member of the GOP: Rand Paul, and an independent, Bernie Sanders. The other 21 opposing senators were Democrats.
Those who voted against the measure also included five U.S. senators who have announced their intentions to run for president in 2020: Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders. (The full list of those who voted against the bill follows this article.)
The ‘Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act’ rolls four bills – plus an amendment introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) warning the president against withdrawing American troops from Syria precipitously – into one.
The bipartisan legislation, if passed by the U.S. House of Israel and signed by President Donald Trump, will impose fresh sanctions on Syria, boost security cooperation with Israel and Jordan, and will also empower state and local governments to ban state and local contractors who participate in boycotts against the State of Israel.
The McConnell amendment urges the administration to certify certain conditions have been met “for the enduring defeat of al Qaeda and ISIS before initiating any significant withdrawal of United States forces from Syria or Afghanistan,” according to The Hill. In addition, the resolution was adjusted to clarify that it should not be “constructed as a declaration of war or an authorization of the use of military force.”
Organizations such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and Christians United for Israel (CUFI) applauded the bill’s passage, which authorizes $38 billion in military aid to Israel over the next decade that was approved during the Obama administration.
“AIPAC applauds the U.S. Senate for adopting the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act (S.1), which contains critical pro-Israel provisions,” said the organization in a statement. “These provisions — contained in one of the first major bipartisan bills adopted by the Senate this year — pledge security assistance to Israel and clarify that state and local governments have the right to counter boycotts of Israel.”
“This was a clarifying vote for millions of pro-Israel Americans. CUFI extends its thanks and gratitude to the overwhelming majority of senators of both parties who voted in favor of this legislation,” said CUFI founder and chairman Pastor John Hagee.
“At the same time, we are dismayed with the extremists who went on the record in opposition to the military aid package to Israel and common-sense steps to combat the vile and anti-Semitic BDS movement,” continued Hagee, a strong supporter of the Jewish State. “Despite their determined efforts, this bill is moving forward. And we look forward to its steady advancement toward President Trump’s desk.”
The senators who voted against the bill included:
Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Chris Murphy (D-CT)
Tom Carper (D-DE)
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Jack Reed (D-RI)
Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Dick Durbin (D-IL)
Tom Udall (D-NM)
Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Tammy Baldwin (D-WS)
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
Brian Schatz (D-HI)
Rand Paul (R-KY)