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US lawmakers who opposed or abstained on Iron Dome funding explain their vote

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25.09.2021

The Iron Dome Supplemental Appropriations Act passed overwhelmingly in the US House on Thursday, with 420 members voting in favor.

But there was a small minority of 11 lawmakers who chose to vote differently. Eight Democrats and one Republican voted against the HR 5323, while two more Democrats voted “present,” effectively abstaining.

Most of the 11 have subsequently explained their vote publicly or responded to requests on the matter with prepared statements.

Many of the opposing members cited what they saw as rushed and ignored procedures, while a smaller number pointed to what they described as Israeli human rights violations. Others expressed discomfort with the high cost of the funding — $1 billion — as many Americans struggle to recover financially from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Tlaib was the only opponent to the Iron Dome funding bill who participated in the floor debate that preceded Thursday’s vote.

“I will not support an effort to enable war crimes and human rights abuses and violence. We cannot be talking only about Israelis’ need for safety at a time when Palestinians are living under a violent apartheid system, and are dying from what Human Rights Watch has said are war crimes,” she said.

“The bill claims to be, quote, a ‘replenishment’ for weapons apartheid Israel used in a crisis it manufactured when it attacked worshipers at one of the most holiest Islamic locations, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, committing again numerous war crimes,” Tlaib claimed, making no mention of Hamas rocket-fire or what Israel Police said were the violent protests on the Temple Mount that led them to enter the mosque compound ahead of the May Gaza war.

Iron Dome, notably, is a defensive system used to protect civilians from rocket attacks by terror groups.

Squad member Rashida Tlaib on her opposition to Iron Dome funding:

"I will not support an effort to enable and support war crimes." pic.twitter.com/1zmquvohHD

— The First (@TheFirstonTV) September 23, 2021

“Israel is an apartheid regime — [these are] not my words, but the words of Human Rights Watch and the words of Israel’s own human rights organization B’Tselem,” she said. “I urge my colleagues to please stand with me in supporting human rights for all.”

After her remarks, Republican Congressman Chuck Fleischmann and Democrat Ted Deutch rose one after the other to accuse Tlaib of antisemitism.

“To advocate for the dismantling of the one Jewish state in the world, when there’s no place on the map for one Jewish state, that’s antisemitism and I reject that,” Deutch said in a fiery counter-address.

On Friday, Tlaib issued another response, tweeting, “All the bipartisan attacks launched at me for speaking a factual truth about........

© The Times of Israel


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