Congress votes 412-1 affirming Israel’s right to exist, one Republican votes ‘no’

The single ‘nay’ came from Thomas Massie (R-KY); Rashida Tlaib voted ‘present.’

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The House of Representatives resoundingly approved Tuesday 412-1 a resolution reaffirming Israel’s right to exist, with a lone Republican standing against it and Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib voting “present.”

House Resolution 888, introduced by New York Rep. Mike Lawler, also “recognizes that denying Israel’s right to exist is a form of antisemitism; rejects calls for Israel’s destruction; and condemns the Hamas-led attack on Israel.”

On October 7, the terror organization that rules the Gaza Strip invaded over 20 communities, massacring 1,200 people, including infants and the elderly, and took over 240 hostage.

Over 80 have been released so far, the majority in a deal worked out that for every Israeli freed, Israel would release three Palestinian terrorist prisoners, most of them minors and females.

The dissenter, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, said his reason for voting “no” was “because it equates anti-Zionism with antisemitism. Antisemitism is deplorable, but expanding it to include criticism of Israel is not helpful.”

The text gives a short review of the history of oppression of the Jewish people, including the Holocaust, and the necessity of Israel’s continuity to protect the people whom, it says, “are native to the Land of Israel.” It says nothing about criticism of the Jewish state.

It also makes no mention of the Palestinians, which is what Tlaib took exception to, as she explained in a statement.

The progressive lawmaker, who is part of the so-called Squad of Democrats well-known for their antipathy to Israel, said that she voted “present” during the roll call on the Congressional statement because it “ignores the existence of the Palestinian people” and “brings us no closer to peaceful coexistence.”

A second Squad member, Cori Bush of Missouri, did not vote at all.

Other Squad members voted for the resolution, even if they were not happy with it.

“It seems like we vote on some form of this resolution every single week,” said Jamaal Bowman (D-NY).

“Do Palestinians have a right to exist? Is someone going to write that resolution? And when it’s written, are we going to vote on it, or are we going to continue to have one conversation without the other?”

Right before the vote, the House had unanimously passed a resolution condemning Hamas and demanding the release of all the hostages being held in the Gaza Strip.

On November 2, the House passed a resolution condemning antisemitism and pro-Hamas demonstrations on college campuses, and urged university administrations to ensure the basic rights of their Jewish faculty and students. That vote had many more “no” votes, but still passed overwhelmingly, 396-23.

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In late October, Congress approved a resolution called “Standing with Israel as it defends itself against the barbaric war launched by Hamas and other terrorists.” Only ten legislators voted against it, including Massie and seven of the eight Squad members.