Politics Tensions Flare on U.S. House Floor Over Israel Defense Funding
Israel Suggests Developing Gaza Infrastructure so Hamas Will Ease Military Buildup
"The policy Israel has pursued up until now hasn't substantially changed the situation," Israel Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said.Foreign Minister Yair Lapid suggested Sunday that Israel will work toward international investment in Gaza's infrastructure in exchange for pressure on the militant group Hamas to recede.
An effort to allocate $1 billion toward Israel's Iron Dome defense system prompted a heated debate on the U.S. House floor on Thursday, with multiple Republican members lobbing accusations of anti-Semitism.
Representative Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat and the only Palestinian American member of, told her colleagues in a fiery floor speech that she would be voting against the measure because of her views on Israel.
Israel Joins the Arab Club, With U.S. Sponsorship | Opinion
The integration of the Jewish state into CENTCOM is a historic opportunity to expand the Abraham Accords into the security realm.CENTCOM got its name because the Middle East is literally located in the middle of everything. Israel is the most central point in that centrally located region, sharing as it does a maritime boundary with a European country (Cyprus) and a border with an African country (Egypt), as well as boasting Asian neighbors such as Jordan. In the wake of the Abraham Accords and the resultant burgeoning economic and cultural ties among the signatories, the timing is now ideal to develop a similar regional security relationship.
"I will not support an effort to enable and support war crimes, human rights abuses and violence," she said. "The Israeli government is an apartheid regime."
Shortly after Tlaib's argument against the bill, Representative Chuck Fleischmann, a Tennessee Republican, sharply rebuked Tlaib, gesturing toward the Democratic side of the chamber.
"The truth has finally come out on the floor of the House in the United States of America," he said. "We heard right now from my colleague across the aisle, a shocking statement—she opposes this because they have a vocal minority in the majority party that is anti-Israel, that is anti-Semitic and as Americans, we can never stand for that."
Representative Ted Deutch, a Florida Republican, ditched his prepared remarks also to respond directly to Tlaib's speech.
Liberal Democrats force House to cut Israel defense funding from critical spending package
Opposition from liberal House Democrats forced party leaders to cancel $1 billion in funding for Israel's Iron Dome defense system.House Democrats plan to bring up a stopgap government funding bill on Tuesday that will include additional emergency funding for states and Afghan refugees. The measure was also slated to include $1 billion to replenish Israel's Iron Dome, which is the country's main air defense system against incoming rocket and missile attacks.
"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," he said. "To falsely characterize the state of Israel is consistent with those who, let's be clear, it's consistent with those who advocate for the dismantling of the one Jewish state in the world."
"When there is no place on the map for one Jewish state, that's anti-Semitism and I reject that," Deutch added.
During a May conflict, Hamas terrorists launched hundreds of rockets at Israel. Most were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system.
The latest legislation, meant to replenish the Iron Dome's missiles after those violent clashes in the region, is expected to overwhelmingly pass with bipartisan support. Tlaib was the only member to speak out against it Thursday and one of just nine members who voted against moving the measure forward.
House Democrats propose $1B bill for Israel's Iron Dome after defunding backlash
The top House Democrat on the Appropriations Committee introduced stand-alone legislation on Wednesday that would provide $1 billion for Israel's Iron Dome air defense system — just one day after House Democrats nixed the provision from a government spending bill amid pushback from progressives. © Provided by Washington Examiner “The United States’ commitment to the security of our friend and ally Israel is ironclad. Replenishing interceptors used to protect Israel from attacks is our legal and moral responsibility,” House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro said in a statement.
The Israel defense funding became a flashpoint for Houseearlier this week as the Democrat-led chamber attempted to advance a stop-gap spending measure meant to fund the government through early December and prevent a federal shutdown next week.
Tlaib and progressive allies said they wouldn't vote for the larger spending plan unless the Iron Dome funding was stripped. The move was the latest signal of division among Democrats over the United States' treatment of Israel., especially in the House, have repeatedly accused far-left Democrats who oppose support for Israel of anti-Semitism.
During Thursday's debate on the stand-alone Israel bill, several Democrats spoke emphatically in support of the U.S. ally.
"Support for Israel has traditionally, and must always be, a bipartisan issue," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, said on the floor. "That's because we overwhelmingly recognize the fundamental right of the Jewish people to live independently in their ancestral homeland and to do so in peace and in security."
House passes $1B for Israel's Iron Dome after progressive dustup
The funding was stripped from a stopgap funding bill and scheduled for its own vote after liberals protested.Moderate Democrats had pushed for a standalone vote on the Iron Dome funding, which totals $1 billion, amid an uproar over leadership’s decision to strip it from a stopgap spending bill aimed at averting a government shutdown at the end of the month.
NATO troops patrol Kosovo-Serbia border after truck blockade .
JARINJE, Kosovo (AP) — Soldiers with a NATO-led peacekeeping mission are keeping watch at the Kosovo-Serbia border after the two countries reached a deal to deescalate tensions triggered by a dispute over vehicle license plates. Kosovo Force troops from the United States, Italy and Poland were seen patrolling Saturday as ethnic Serbs removed the trucks they had used to block the road to two border crossings while protesting the Kosovo government's decision not to allow vehicles with Serbian license plates into the country.