Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and progressives successfully stripped an Israeli defense provision from a short-term government funding bill. The House later passed a separate measure with much larger bipartisan support.
On Thursday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a standalone bill that provided $1 billion in funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.
- A provision funding the defensive system was removed from the short-term government funding bill earlier this week after objections from progressive members of the House Democratic caucus.
- Vocal bipartisan support for funding Israel’s defense system came in the 420-9 approval, with eight Democrats and one Republican voting against the measure. Two Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, voted present.
- Still, progressives in Congress complained about the bill, saying Israel has committed human rights violations.
- Israel thanked the United States for its continued support and passage of the bill, which will “replace missile interceptors” used earlier this year when Israel came under rocket attack in May.
- CNN highlighted how easily the bill passed the House, citing a number of Democratic House members who were “frustrated when the provision was stripped from the original bill.”
- The New York Times’ opinion columnist Bret Stephens bemoaned that the small cadre of progressive who vocally objected to Israel’s self-defense will not pay “any serious reputational cost for this supremely foul piece of political grandstanding.”
- The New York Daily News lambasted progressive House members in their reporting, calling them a “small claque of far-left House Democrats” whose stunt “backfired” when huge bipartisan support passed the bill.
- RedState highlighted the verbal lashing Reps Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar received from their Democratic colleagues after calling Israel an “apartheid state.”
- National Review’s Jim Geraghty theorized the Squad’s sudden concern over the funding of Israel’s Iron Dome could be a symbolic fight in reaction to what they sense could be a big defeat or capitulation in the infrastructure bills.
- Stephen Daisley wrote in The Spectator that AOC and her fellow progressives are a new kind of Israel-haters, who are more overtly hostile to “a purely defensive anti-missile system that reduces the number of Israeli children blown up”.
This story is much like Wile E. Coyote setting up a trap for the Roadrunner, and succumbing to the trap himself. AOC and the squad were actually handed a more embarrassing defeat than if they had simply left the provision alone in the funding bill.
© Dallas Gerber, 2021