Bad vibes in the US House of Representatives

When Warren, a left-winger herself, in the wake of the killing of Qasem Soleimani rightly called him a great mass murderer she was immediately raked over the coals.

A PLANE FLIES across the sky beside the US Capitol dome in Washington last week.  (photo credit: TOM BRENNER/REUTERS)
A PLANE FLIES across the sky beside the US Capitol dome in Washington last week.
(photo credit: TOM BRENNER/REUTERS)
After eight months of debates and delays, a few weeks ago, the Democratic majority in the United States House of Representatives finally managed to pass Resolution 326 affirming the “unconditional” continuation of security aid to Israel totaling $38 billion over 10 years, based on the agreement first passed in 1998 and subsequently renewed with a few changes under the Obama administration. The word “unconditional” was added in order to thwart the efforts of the anti-Israel, BDS-supporting (boycott, divestment and sanctions) and inherently antisemitic squad in the House to make security aid conditional upon Israeli political concessions to the Palestinians.
Great! But unfortunately, in order to placate the anti-Israel faction, the Democratic House leadership also agreed to call the resolution “House support for United States efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a negotiated two-state solution,” adding the “clarification”: “Whereas the United States has long sought a just and stable future for the Palestinians, and an end to the occupation, including opposing settlement activity and moves toward unilateral annexation in Palestinian territory.” (The constant Palestinian refusal to compromise is not mentioned, nor is Palestinian terror.)
Despite the inclusion of this clause, anti-Israel and antisemitic House members Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley voted against the resolution anyway, the reason being that they are not only opposed to security aid to Israel, but to the very existence of the State of Israel itself as set forth by the two-state formula. As a result, the capitulation of most of the Democratic leadership watered down the primary goal of the resolution’s sponsors, namely to support security aid to Israel.
The importance and timeliness of the resolution was underscored by the fact that some of the Democratic presidential candidates, including senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, announced that if elected they would make security aid to Israel conditional upon ending settlements and an Israeli agreement to the establishment of a Palestinian state. Given the incendiary situation in the Middle East whose dangerous complexities and threats IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi described last week without mincing words, only an out-of-touch or biased person, even if in principle favoring political separation from the Palestinians, could support the creation of a Palestinian state right now.
AS LONG-TIME US peace negotiator Dennis Ross said in a lecture last week, the political anarchy in the Palestinian leadership and the overall unsettled situation in the Middle East make it clear that Palestinian statehood, though in his view desirable in principle, is not an option anytime soon.
By the way, it’s not only on matters relating to Israel that the leftist squad (which the media for some reason calls “progressive”) tries to run matters its way. For instance, when Warren, a left-winger herself, in the wake of the killing of Qasem Soleimani rightly called him a great mass murderer who was responsible for scores of dead, including hundreds of Americans, she was immediately raked over the coals.
Most of the Republican members of the House of Representatives voted against the resolution, realizing that while the original resolution did have advantages, the addition of the above irrelevant and misleading clause undermined its usefulness. Though the resolution is not binding on Congress or the administration, and only expresses “the sense of the House,” it nevertheless creates a certain political atmosphere. Its adulterated wording may send a negative message clearly unintended by the sponsors and the largely pro-Israel Democratic Party and its leaders, detrimentally affecting other matters relating to the Middle East in general and Israel in particular. Thus the initiatives in the House and Senate to step up what they refer to as “oversight of Trump’s actions in Iran and the Middle East,” could also have unintended negative implications for Israel.
As expected, the resolution caused controversy in the Jewish community. To no-one’s surprise, the left-wing organization J Street supported it, while AIPAC, representing the largest spectrum of opinions of Israel supporters, preferred not to take an official stand. Only the “Jewish Democratic Council of America,” an organization representing primarily the left-leaning part of Jewish Democrats, announced its unconditional support, and stressed the need to prevent the “possibility of unilateral annexation of the West Bank by Israel.”
Other voices, not only from the Right, raised concerns that the wording of the resolution limits Israel’s ability to conduct peace negotiations without preconditions, and interferes in Israel’s political freedom. These internal disagreements among American Jews further underscore the dangers to Israel and to American Jews from a breakdown of Jewish unity, especially in light of the increase in antisemitism from both the violent Right and the aggressive Left, of which the recent incident in Monsey, New York, and the antisemitic flyers in Vermont, Senator Bernie Sanders’s home state, should serve as reminders.