WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has overwhelming passed legislation to provide funding for Israel’s missile defense system. The bill approved Thursday would provide $1 billion for the Iron Dome system, which is designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets fired into Israel. The vote was 420-9.
Democratic Rep. Rosa DeLauro said the bill “demonstrates Congress’s commitment to our friend and ally Israel is bipartisan and ironclad."
Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, who is the daughter of Palestinian immigrant parents, was the only lawmaker to speak against the bill. She called the funding increase “absurd and unjustifiable.”
The bill now heads to the Senate.
With anti-Israel Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-New York) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) leading the way, progressive Democrats on Tuesday were able to force the party's leadership in the House to remove about $1 billion in funding for Israel's Iron Dome system. That defensive weapon system has been very effective in stopping terrorists' missiles from striking civilian targets across Israel.
The revision came after Democrats on the far Left refused to vote for a broader government stopgap funding bill in which the Iron Dome funding was included. Yesterday, however, the Democratic leader of the House Appropriations Committee introduced separate legislation that would restore the funding.
While funding for Iron Dome will likely get passed in the coming months (see sidebar with update), there's still concern in Israel about the U.S. commitment to protecting the Jewish State. Jan Markell, founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries, argues that God has used that weapon system to protect Israel for many years.
"There's just an increasing anti-Semitic … fervor going on around the world – and America is no exception to all of that," she shares.
"… This is a very, very dangerous. If we're going to start marginalizing our best Middle East ally, in fact threatening her very existence …, then we're risking the Genesis 12:3 curse on our nation."
In his speech before the United Nations Tuesday, President Joe Biden stated his administration's commitment to Israel's security "is without question" and its support for an independent Jewish state "is unequivocal." But contrasting this administration with its predecessor, the ministry leader admits she isn't confident Biden will work to get the funding for the Iron Dome restored as he has promised.
"Donald Trump [was] the most pro-Israel president in her 73 years – and that was preceded by the Obama-Biden administration, the most anti-Israel; and now that is what is going forth here again," Markell laments. "I have zero confidence that [President Biden] will remain Israel's friend as was Donald Trump."
Reuters reports that the bill introduced on Wednesday by Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-Connecticut) provides $1 billion to replace missile interceptors that Israel used during a conflict in May to destroy most of the 4,300-plus rockets fired from Gaza. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) had stated on Tuesday evening he would bring the Iron Dome bill to the House floor later this week.