Lies, Dang Lies, and the Republicans

The GOP is lying about Democrats’ position on Israel — again. 

Earlier in May, while debating HR 3237, which would provide 1.9 billion dollars in “emergency supplemental appropriations” as response to the January 6 insurrection to better provide resources to Capitol police, Tony Gonzalez using a motion to recommit, tried to put an amendment into the bill that would allow Israel to access $500 million for Iron Dome purposes. 

This was voted down on a party line with all Democrats voting against it. It has literally nothing to do with increasing spending to protect the capitol or to properly give resources to personnel protecting the capitol. It is also disturbing that the GOP believes in connecting spending on American policing to Israeli defense. True friends of the Jewish community and Israel would understand that these issues must be kept separate, to protect diaspora communities from antisemitic conspiracy theories made physically manifest and to make it clear that our priorities on Israel are solely foreign policy focused. 

Motions to Recommit are nuisance procedural votes, and the purpose of calling for it is to annoy or extract maximum political damage to the opposing party– it’s a minority party’s last stand to make a point about a bill or to introduce “poison pill” amendments that would make voting in favor of a bill impossible for a bill’s supporters to do. 

This comes on the heels of another distortion of facts about what happened with Representative Mast’s bill about “funding terrorism”. The House was in deliberations about HR 275 (Condemning the horrific shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 16, 2021), and reaffirming the House of Representatives commitment to combating hate, bigotry, and violence against the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community.  Two procedural votes must occur before the bill can be sent on for final passage. During this time, any member can raise an objection about the bill under consideration to attempt to send it back to committee. Representative Mast raised an objection that his bill,  Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act, should be considered. Had he succeeded, he would not have gotten the bill to the floor for a vote. He would however, have succeeded in bringing the AAPI hate crimes bill back to committee. This is reprehensible behavior, to say the least. 

It is very similar to the situation last fall where Republicans attempted to insert a poison pill amendment about antisemitism and religious discrimination in HR 2574. If you looked at their social media and press releases prior to the vote, it was very obvious the GOP wanted to kill this bill. Steny Hoyer, a stalwart friend of the Jewish community and Israel, advised his caucus to vote no on this motion to recommit. In the end, the language about antisemitism the GOP wanted was included, but the GOP voted against the bill as a whole. 

It’s time the Jewish and pro-Israel community clamped down on obvious bad faith tactics to politicize the US-Israel relationship, especially in a sensitive moment for the diaspora. By all means, allow Israel to access funds to replenish Iron Dome. It’s a miracle and saves lives. But make sure it’s going through the appropriate channels, and make it clear we support Israel as a matter of foreign, and not bad faith domestic policy.