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AIPAC raps ‘extremists in Congress’ after Iron Dome funding struck from bill

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22.09.2021

American Jewish groups on Tuesday condemned the removal of a $1 billion allocation for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system from a US budget bill.

The move came at the urging of progressives in Congress. The funds are widely expected to be approved, but at a later date. A Congressional aide, speaking to The Times of Israel on condition of anonymity, insisted that the Iron Dome funding would eventually be approved, but instead would be attached to the 2022 Defense Appropriations Bill.

The measure nonetheless drew fierce criticism from some pro-Israel activists and from Republicans.

“Extremists in Congress are playing politics with Israeli & Palestinian lives. Calling to remove funding for a lifesaving defensive system is an affront to our values, risks further conflict, and is counter to the commitment made by Biden & supported by Congressional leadership,” said the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in a statement.

“It’s simple: Iron Dome saves lives. Blocking funding for Iron Dome helps terrorists kill civilians,” it added.

The Republican Jewish Coalition also condemned the move.

“House Democrats should be ashamed of themselves. By cowardly caving to the Israel-hating wing of their party and blocking vital assistance to support our ally Israel, House Democrats have emboldened the likes of Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to continue dragging their party even further to the radical Left,” said RJC National Chairman Senator Norm Coleman, calling it “disgraceful.”

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Tuesday night spoke with US House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. During the phone call, Lapid was reassured that the move was a “technical delay” related to discussions over the US debt ceiling and that the defense funding would be approved at a later date, the foreign minister said in a statement.

Hoyer underlined his commitment to Israel’s security, emphasizing that it was a view shared by the White House and Democrat House and Senate leaders, while pledging that the Iron Dome funding would soon be allocated, the Foreign Ministry said.

“Minister Lapid thanked Majority Leader Hoyer for his commitment and stressed the need to approve the request as quickly as possible to ensure Israel’s security needs,” his office said.

Israeli officials, speaking to Axios on condition of anonymity, blamed the development on the........

© The Times of Israel


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