September 23, 2021
Naomi Grant, Director of Communications
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Washington, DC – September 23, 2021) EMET condemns Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) for refusing to vote for a bill to continue funding the U.S. government that included funding for Israel’s Iron Dome. EMET especially condemns Defense Appropriation Subcommittee Chair Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MI) for jeopardizing Israel’s national security by insisting on the removal, as Israel’s national security is vital for America’s. It is reprehensible for representatives to hold hostage such an important bill over aid for one of America’s most important allies.
The Iron Dome is simply a defensive system. It does not send missiles into Gaza. It is not designed, in any way, shape or form, to kill, to maim or to injure Palestinians or anyone else. It intercepts the missiles that terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) send directly into the neighborhoods of Israeli civilians. Because of the Iron Dome, Israel successfully blocked over 90% of these rockets. This funding was merely meant to restore the capabilities of the Iron Dome that were depleted in the war in May because of Hamas’s and PIJ’s aggressive, unprovoked and wanton rocket attacks on Israeli cities.
Never before has military aid to Israel been stalled by Congress members. These six radical representatives would clearly rather shut down the U.S. government than help Israel defend itself against unwarranted acts of aggression. What is most distressing is that the House leadership has allowed itself to be manipulated by what we hope does not reflect the mainstream opinions of the Democratic party.
EMET applauds the courage of moderate Democrats such as Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) who spoke out against her colleagues, saying that the Iron Dome issue “is not a genuine concern over the system, but rather the desire to attack something – anything – related to the State of Israel.”
We at EMET look forward to working with moderate Democrats to help them restore support for Israel within their party and discourage increasingly common fringe ideology.
Said Sarah Stern, EMET Founder and President, “The Democratic party is clearly at war within itself. We have known and worked with wonderful, moderate Democrats for decades. Yet, we remain profoundly troubled over the great influence of a few radical members of the Democratic party on the party leadership.
“We remain eminently grateful that courageous members of the democratic party, such as Rep. Elissa Slotkin, called this out for what it is: an attempt to attack anything related to Israel. The fact that they have chosen to attack funding for the Iron Dome, which is a defensive and not offensive system speaks volumes of the “Squad’s” unbounded hatred towards the Jewish state. It is extremely troubling that the radical views of a few members successfully convinced House leadership to hold up a bill denying Israel its right to defend its citizens against wanton terrorist attacks, even if it meant shutting down the federal government.
“We hope that most Democrats eventually return to their more moderate roots and find the courage that Rep. Slotkin clearly exhibited, enabling her to speak truth to power. We are looking forward to the time when more Democrats will speak out and distinguish between terrorist groups and a democratic ally of the United States, between offensive action and defensive action to protect the lives of one’s own citizens and between good and evil.”
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