Pro-Israel orgs appeal to US Senate to replenish Iron Dome

“We ask that you urgently move forward the supplemental appropriations funding to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system,” the organizations wrote in a letter.

Jewish Community Leader Susan Stern, Dr. Rabbi Aaron Glatt, US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and second gentleman Doug Emhoff light menorah candles during a celebration of Hanukkah at the White House in Washington, US, December 1, 2021. (photo credit: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE)
Jewish Community Leader Susan Stern, Dr. Rabbi Aaron Glatt, US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and second gentleman Doug Emhoff light menorah candles during a celebration of Hanukkah at the White House in Washington, US, December 1, 2021.
(photo credit: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE)

WASHINGTON – Several pro-Israel organizations sent a letter on Tuesday to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), urging them to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system. Among the organizations that signed the letter were Christians United for Israel, the Jewish Federations of North America, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, Hadassah, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Union for Reform Judaism, and the Anti-Defamation League.

“We ask that you urgently move forward the supplemental appropriations funding to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system,” the organizations wrote in the letter. “Withholding funding for our closest ally while terrorists continue to threaten their people puts Israel in grave danger, increases the likelihood of innocent Palestinian and Israelis being harmed in another round of conflict, and hurts American standing and national security interests,” they added.
In September, the House of Representatives approved a stand-alone bill to provide Israel with $1 billion for replenishing the anti-missile system. The vote passed with an overwhelming majority: 420 members voted in favor of the bill, and only nine voted against it.
In the Senate, however, Republican Sen. Rand Paul from Kentucky blocked several attempts to fast-track the bill by unanimous consent. Paul said that while he supports the Iron Dome, he thinks “it should be paid for.”“I think the American taxpayer dollars that pay for it should come from money that could go to the Taliban,” said Paul last October. He suggested taking the funds from some $6b. that was designated for the Afghan government. “That money, I think, could be spent on the Taliban, if we do not rescind that money.”
The organizations wrote in their letter, “One person’s objection should not undermine the overwhelming bipartisan will of the Senate nor stand in the way of ensuring Israel has the tools necessary to keep its people safe.“While we understand the supplemental Iron Dome funding would likely be included in a final omnibus spending package, the delay and even the prospects of a second continuing resolution undermine Israel’s security when the need to replenish this defensive system is urgent. The stakes are high,” the letter reads. “Failure to act could embolden Hamas or Hezbollah and imperil innocent lives on the ground. We urge you to find a path forward to pass the funding to replenish Iron Dome supply as quickly as possible.”
 Iron Dome (credit: MINISTRY OF DEFENSE SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE) Iron Dome (credit: MINISTRY OF DEFENSE SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE)
CUFI Action Fund Chairwoman Sandra Parker said, “Support for Israel’s Iron Dome system is non-negotiable. To delay replenishing this system is to deny Israel the means to defend itself, and empower terrorists, from Hamas to Hezbollah. The Senate should move forward with this bipartisan legislation with all deliberate speed. Fringe politicians cannot hold US foreign policy hostage.”  
Elana Broitman, SVP of public affairs for the Jewish Federations, said, “We saw how crucial Iron Dome was when it intercepted 90% of the 4,000 rockets Hamas fired at Israel in May, saving lives and keeping the conflict from escalating further. “The Iron Dome has overwhelmingly strong bipartisan support, and the supplemental funding should not be delayed any further.”