As Hamas continues its bombardment of Israel, Republican senators are daring the Democrats to stand with the radical element of their party — or offering them a way to show their support to Israel.
In a Friday news release, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio — joined by Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Ted Cruz of Texas and Bill Hagerty of Tennessee — announced a bill to resupply Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, which protects the Jewish state against missiles fired against it.
“Iranian-backed terrorists have launched thousands of rockets targeting innocent civilians in Israel. In addition, their hate for Israel has also resulted in misfires that have killed their own people in Gaza,” Rubio said in the release.
“Israel’s Iron Dome has saved countless lives, and we should ensure that it is fully funded and Israel has what it needs to continue to defend itself.”
The bill, introduced by Hagerty, would transfer all money given as aid to the Palestinian Authority in Gaza to support the Iron Dome.
The suffering in Gaza is terrible
And Hamas is entirely to blame for it
They launch over 2000 rockets into #Israel fully aware of what the response will be
And they deliberately operate in civilian areas to maximize casualties & stir up condemnation of #Israel
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 17, 2021
In April, Reuters first reported that the administration of President Joe Biden planned to restore up to $235 billion in funding to the Palestinians, the bulk of which would be distributed through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.
According to The New York Times, $150 billion had already been committed to UNRWA by the administration before the unrest started. The funding had been paused in 2018 under the administration of former President Donald Trump.
The United States is currently committing funds to UNRWA for Gaza on an emergency basis. As The Times reported, the Biden administration plans to use the funding as a carrot to induce Hamas to abandon its rocket arsenal.
However, Hagerty, Cotton, Cruz and Rubio would divert all money being given by the Biden administration to the Palestinians and instead use it to bolster the Iron Dome, Israel’s missile defense system that’s so successful The Washington Post has blamed it for the conflict because it’s too good.
“With Hamas and other Iranian-backed Palestinian terrorists continuing to launch indiscriminate rocket attacks against Israel, Americans have seen the images of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense systems repeatedly intercepting rockets and saving the lives of countless civilians,” Hagerty said.
“My legislation requires the Biden Administration to halt U.S. foreign assistance from going to Gaza and other Hamas-dominated areas and instead to redirect these resources to help Israel resupply its live-saving Iron Dome interceptors. The United States should unequivocally support the right of Israel to defend itself from terrorists.”
“The United States must ensure Israel continues to have the resources it needs to protect Israeli citizens and to defeat its terrorist enemies,” Cotton said. “U.S. assistance headed to areas under Hamas control should be redirected to Israel to resupply the Iron Dome.”
“Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists have fired over 4,000 rockets into Israel. Our Israeli allies have an obligation to defend their people, and we have an obligation to stand with them as they do so. President Biden should swiftly replenish the Iron Dome missiles,” Cruz added. “I am proud to join Sen. Hagerty on this critical legislation urging President Biden to lead with clarity on this issue and not moral relativism or appeasement.”
The problem is that Biden also has to deal with Democrats such as Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who tweeted this in the midst of Hamas’ bombardment of Israel:
Israeli air strikes killing civilians in Gaza is an act of terrorism.
Palestinians deserve protection.
Unlike Israel, missile defense programs, such as Iron Dome, don’t exist to protect Palestinian civilians.
It’s unconscionable to not condemn these attacks on the week of Eid. https://t.co/vWWQfMqBkT
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) May 10, 2021
A House measure introduced by Texas Republican Rep. Tony Gonzales to provide Israel with emergency funding for the Iron Dome was defeated 218-209 largely along party lines, The Washington Free Beacon reported Thursday.
For right now, the Democrats are leaning into the ceasefire between the Israelis and Hamas, reached on Thursday.
“The announced ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is welcome news, and we thank the Biden Administration for its extensive engagement and diplomacy,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, according to The Jerusalem Post.
“America remains committed to supporting the security of Israel, our friend and ally. We believe it is critical for the security of Israel for Israelis and Palestinians to both be able to live in peace,” she added.
“Now, with this essential ceasefire, it is incumbent upon leaders in the region to respect Israeli and Palestinian lives and strive for a lasting peace.”
Yet, the Democrats don’t seem to realize that lasting peace won’t come if the Palestinian Authority is given billions in aid right after the missile attacks on Israel stopped. Any disarmament is temporary; Iran, which has alighted upon Hamas as its chosen proxy of the moment, will be more than willing to resupply the terrorist group with the necessary armaments once the Democrats’ attention is diverted by something shiny — a new infrastructure plan, say.
A lasting peace involves security for the Israelis, and that starts with funding the Iron Dome.
If the Biden administration and the Democrats are serious about their rhetoric, they should pass this bill posthaste.
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