The new House, with a new Speaker, has finally done something: passing its first resolution. It’s a resolution supporting Israel in its war against Hamas. A bit from the NY Times:
The House voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to pass a resolution declaring solidarity with Israel, pledging to give its government whatever security assistance it needs to fight and win its war with Hamas.
The vote, 412 to 10, was the first piece of legislation considered under Speaker Mike Johnson, Republican of Louisiana. He was elected to the post on Wednesday after three tumultuous weeks in which G.O.P. members struggled to replace Representative Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California, following his ouster.
Nine Democrats and one Republican opposed the resolution. Six Democrats voted present, even though five of them had previously co-sponsored the resolution.
The vote reflected the sweeping, bipartisan support that lawmakers have voiced for Israel’s efforts to rout Hamas from the Gaza Strip, which it seized control of in 2007, in retaliation for its attacks of Oct. 7 that killed more than 1,400 civilians and soldiers.
But it also reflected the defiance of a small but determined minority of House Democrats who have called for a cease-fire, arguing that Israel’s bombing campaign of Gaza has caused the deaths of too many Palestinians. The Hamas-run Gazan health ministry says Israeli strikes have killed more than 6,500 people, a number that could not be independently verified.
You can see the full resolution here, and here’s the “resolved” part:
The resolution was adopted, 412-10, with nine Democrats and one Republican opposed. Six Democrats voted present.
Can you guess the Democrats who were opposed? I guessed five of them. Here’s from Axios:
Details: The resolution, which was first reported by Axios, is led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Mike McCaul (R-Texas) and Ranking Member Greg Meeks (D-N.Y.).
- It affirms the U.S.’s “commitment to Israel’s security, including through security assistance” and calls on all countries to “unequivocally condemn Hamas’ brutal war.”
- It also condemns Iran’s “support for terrorist groups and proxies, including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad” and calls for “full enforcement” of sanctions on Iran.
And the vote:
- Just nine Democrats voted against the measure: Reps. Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), Cori Bush (Mo.), Jamaal Bowman (N.Y.), André Carson (Ind.), Al Green (Texas), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Summer Lee (Pa.), Delia Ramirez (Ill.) and Ilham Omar (Minn.).
- Another half dozen Democrats, including Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (Wash.), voted “present,” while Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) voted against the measure.
The Republican who voted “no” is Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky
The reasons for the squad’s opposition: Israel’s “disproportionate response” in killing civilians, which is not condemned in the bill. Such a claim neglects the deaths of Palestinians caused by Hamas’s using them as human shields and asking them to stay in place (and be killed), and also neglects the future deaths of Israeli civilians if Hamas is allowed to stay in place. If Hamas is to be eliminated, it has to be done through a ground war or air attack, and if you think that aim is okay, what other suggestions do you have? And if you think Hamas can’t be eliminated that way, how is Israel to defend itself?
What the nine “nay” Democrats really want, I think, is for Israel to withdraw, not invade, and go back to business as usual. They are okay with Hamas staying in place (how else is it to be eliminated?), and some, I suspect, favor the elimination of Israel. This is because at least Tlaib, AOC, Bush, and Omar are in favor of BDS, whose real aim is to eliminate Israel, while Bush has made comments (now withdrawn) calling Israel a “racist state“. In my heart, I believe that all the “progressives” would be happy if Israel were gone, and that some, like Omar and Tlaib are anti-Semitic.