The last item Congress voted on before going on vacation for five weeks was a $225 million appropriation to “replenish” Israel’s Iron Dome system.
That makes sense. The system is protecting Israelis from rocket assault, Of course we want to replenish Israel’s arsenal?
The answer is simple. No replenishment was necessary now. Nor will the vote speed up the resupply which was in the pipeline anyway.
According to my sources on Capitol Hill, several of whom spoke to the Pentagon, the sole reason for the vote was to enable AIPAC and its House and Senate cutouts to demonstrate their support for the war.
One Democratic House aide put it like this:
“It’s crazy. We represent a minority district that is hurting in every way you can imagine. But it’s Israel we appropriate extra money for on the last day before recess! I’ll tell you. As a Jew working for a minority member, it is just so f—ing embarrassing. Only 8 House members voted no but a lot more than that were thoroughly pissed. When does the groveling stop? “
A Republican Senate aide said,
“The worst part was having to vote for this at a time when we are all so upset by the killing in Gaza. It’s as if AIPAC knows how angry we are so the whole Senate has to take their test. They will make us cast a totally symbolic vote, just to show who’s in charge. It’s so telling that the only issue we come together with Democrats is on an AIPAC vote. We don’t even come together on our wars, when our soldiers are in the field. The senator (her boss) was sick about it.”
The bottom line is that the lobby and senior senators (Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Chuck Schumer, Mitch McConnell and Barbara Boxer) and House members (Steny Hoyer, Nita Lowey, Steve Israel) put on a show to demonstrate to President Obama that, dead kids or no dead kids, they stood with Netanyahu.
They wanted to send a message. It was that no matter how unnecessary the vote was, and no matter how much their constituents might be in pain over Gaza, they will always stand with the Israeli government. Although they (Democrats in particular) will compromise on other issues that directly affect the United States–minimum wage, climate change, health policy, immigration–there is one thing they will never compromise on: AIPAC’s agenda.
What a shameful bunch. Playing games as children and young Israeli soldiers die in a terrible war. All to prove loyalty to AIPAC.