Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ‘apologizes’ for not shooting down Iron Dome funding

AOC’s apology slammed the bill’s substance and the party leadership’s “deeply unjust” process to pass it without explicitly explaining her abstention.

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

After unexpectedly abstaining from a House vote to fund Israel’s Iron Dome, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) issued on Friday an apology and an explanation for her tears on the House floor.

It was Ocasio-Cortez who spearheaded an effort by progressive Democrats to threaten to vote down a federal spending bill if it contained funds for Israel’s Iron Dome.

Failure to pass a federal spending bill by Sept. 30 would have forced a government shutdown. Republicans opposed the bill’s raising of the government debt ceiling — — the maximum amount of money the government can cumulatively borrow through the issuing of bonds. The spending bill would not have passed without support from the liberal wing of the Democratic party, often known as the Squad.

After passing the spending bill without the $1 billion earmarked for Iron Dome, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md) pushed through a separate bill for the missile defense system the next day. It passed the House by an overwhelming 420-9.

Rather than vote against the funds, Ocasio-Cortez instead voted “present.” Afterwards, she was caught on video crying on the House floor.

Friday’s apology slammed the bill’s substance and what she called party leadership’s “reckless,” “rushed” and “deeply unjust” process to pass it. But it didn’t explicitly explain why she abstained.

“Yes, I wept,” she wrote. “I wept at the complete lack of care for the human beings that are impacted by these decisions, I wept at an institution choosing a path of maximum volatility and minimum consideration for its own political convenience.”

She slammed U.S. “unconditional aid” for Israel for “far too long” while “doing nothing to address or raise the persistent human rights abuses against the Palestinian people, and that this imbalance of power must be centered in any honest conversation about Israel and Palestine – in addition to the many other governments we militarily fund with a pattern of human rights abuses.”

Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, which was developed with funding from the Obama administration, intercepted thousands of rockets fired at Israeli residential areas by Hamas terrorists last spring. During Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s recent visit to Washington, President Joe Biden committed the US to replenish Israel’s stock of interceptor rockets.

Critics denounced Ocasio-Cortez’s tears as hypocritical. Michael Dickson tweeted, “.@AOC didn’t cry for Afik, 4, murdered by a Hamas rocket at his kindergarten. Not for Yuval, 4 & Dorit, 2, killed by a terrorist rocket while playing in the street – or for countless others. She cried on finding out that the Squad failed to defund that protection for other kids.”

The Iron Dome funding bill now moves to the Senate.