An ongoing debate about the U.S.’s funding of Israel’s iron dome has turned Democrats against the Squad, as members are again called out for what critics call anti-semitism.
On the House floor this week, several Democrats took squad member Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. to task.
“I cannot allow one of my colleagues to stand on the floor of the House of Representatives and label the Jewish democratic state of Israel an apartheid state,” said Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla.
“I reject it,” he said. “We can have an opportunity to debate lots of issues on the House floor. But to falsely characterize the state of Israel is consistent with those, let’s be clear, it’s consistent with those who advocate for the dismantling of the one Jewish state in the world. And when there is no place on the map for one Jewish state, that’s anti-Semitism.”
The Squad’s members delayed funding for the iron dome in a short-term federal spending bill earlier this week, a move sparked concern among officials representing our ally Israel.
“Today, I spoke with @YairLapid, Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, to discuss my strong support for Iron Dome funding,” said House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md. “I reiterated my commitment to ensuring Israel receives this needed aid & reaffirmed the importance of bipartisan support for Israel.This evening, I announced on the Floor that the House will consider legislation this week to fully fund Iron Dome. We will act to ensure Israel has the ability to defend itself, and I expect strong, bipartisan support for this effort.”
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid welcomed the update.
“Thank you for your friendship and your unwavering support for Israel’s security,” Lapid said.
Members of the squad have been in hot water with their own party for months on this issue. Several House Democrats blasted Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., over the summer after she compared the violent terrorist group Hamas with Israel.
“Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided,” a group of Democrats said in a joint statement. “Ignoring the differences between democracies governed by the rule of law and contemptible organizations that engage in terrorism at best discredits one’s intended argument and at worst reflects deep-seated prejudice. The United States and Israel are imperfect and, like all democracies, at times deserving of critique, but false equivalencies give cover to terrorist groups. We urge Congresswoman Omar to clarify her words placing the US and Israel in the same category as Hamas and the Taliban.”