The U.S. House of Representatives voted 420 to nine in favor of sending $1 billion in funding for Israel’s Iron Dome defense system.
By Atara Beck, World Israel News
The House Democratic leadership on Tuesday nixed funding for the defense system from its government spending and debt ceiling hike bill after a group of progressive lawmakers threatened to block the legislation unless the military aid was withdrawn.
“It’s very important to point out that for the pro-Palestinian congress members, this victory is very Pyrrhic because while Iron Dome probably saves hundreds of Israeli lives, it saves thousands of Palestinian lives,” former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren stated to the press after the initial decision on Tuesday to block the funding. He – and other analysts – explained that without the Iron Dome to protect Israeli civilians from rocket barrages from Gaza, the IDF would be forced to enter the Strip, resulting in huge loss of life among the local Palestinians.
On Thursday, however, the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly — 420 to nine — in favor of a stand-alone bill to send the $1 billion in funding for the Iron Dome. The bill is now headed to the Senate.
The nine lawmakers opposed to the funding are: Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Cori Bush, Andre Carson, Marie Newman, Jesus Garcia, Raul Grivalva and Tom Massie. All are Democrats except for Massie, a Republican.
“Iron Dome is a purely defensive system designed to safeguard all civilians living in Israel,” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi stated ahead of Thursday’s vote.
“The system was co-developed by the United States and Israel and has saved thousands of lives. Passage of this bill reflects a great unity in Congress on a bipartisan and bicameral basis for Israel’s security.
“Assistance to Israel is vital because Israel’s security is imperative for America’s security. I urge a strong bipartisan vote for the security of the people of Israel and for this legislation,” she said.
“Thank you to the members of the US House of Representatives, Democrats and Republicans alike, for the overwhelming support for Israel and for the commitment to its security,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett stated after Thursday’s vote.
“Whoever tries to challenge this support received an unequivocal answer today. The people of Israel thank the American people and their representatives for their steadfast friendship.”