A resolution declaring allyship with Israel amid its current genocide of Gaza passed the House with overwhelming support on Wednesday, only hours before the Palestinian death toll surged to more than 7,000 people.
Only a handful of Democrats voted against the resolution, which pledges that the U.S. will provide Israel with whatever assistance it needs as it seeks to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from Gaza through an indiscriminate bombing campaign and total siege of the region.
The resolution — the first piece of legislation brought by newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) — passed 412 to 10, with nine Democrats voting “no”: Representatives Jamaal Bowman (New York), Cori Bush (Missouri), André Carson (Indiana), Al Green (Texas), Summer Lee (Pennsylvania), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York), Ilhan Omar (Minnesota), Delia Ramirez (Illinois) and Rashida Tlaib (Michigan). One Republican, Rep. Thomas Massie (Kentucky), also voted “no.”
An additional six Democrats voted “present”: Representatives Greg Casar (Texas), Joaquin Castro (Texas), Jesús “Chuy” García (Illinois), Pramila Jayapal (Washington), Ayanna Pressley (Massachusetts) and Nydia Velázquez (New York).
Progressives have condemned the resolution, saying that it only paves the way for more violence and citing its failure to acknowledge that Israel has killed more than 7,000 Palestinians since October 7. The lawmakers say that the House should instead pass their legislation calling for an immediate ceasefire, led by Bush, Tlaib, Carson, Lee and Ramirez, with 17 cosponsors in total.
“Do not confuse my vote against this one-sided resolution with a lack of empathy for all those who are grieving. I voted against this resolution because it is a deeply incomplete and biased account of what is happening in Israel and Palestine, and what has been happening for decades,” said Tlaib, the only Palestinian American in Congress, in a statement.
“This resolution is not a serious examination of the root causes of the violence we are witnessing and doubles down on decades of failed policy,” Tlaib continued. “Achieving a just and lasting peace where Israelis and Palestinians have equal rights and freedoms, and where no person lives in fear for their safety, requires ending the blockade, occupation, and dehumanizing system of apartheid.”
The resolution never once mentions the thousands of bombs that Israel has unleashed on Gaza in the past three weeks, the thousands of Palestinians killed, or the devastating effects of Israel’s blockade of water and electricity. Instead, it asserts that Israelis have the “right to self-defense” while also saying that “rudimentary, civilian” materials that Hamas purportedly used in its attack, like bulldozers, should be barred from entry into Gaza — appearing to cheer on Israel’s blockade of humanitarian assistance into the region.
The use of this equipment “demonstrat[es] the importance of fully enforcing tight controls on what materials go into the Gaza Strip, including through thorough vetting of assistance,” the resolution says.
The language of the resolution “explicitly and intentionally fails to mourn Palestinians while simultaneously green-lighting more death and violence,” Bush said in a statement. “As more people die every hour, it is shameful that this resolution fails to acknowledge the responsibility of Congress and the entire United States government to do everything in its power to prevent further atrocities.”
The overwhelming support for the resolution in the House reflects the staunch support for Israel that U.S. politicians harbor, seemingly without question. Just on Wednesday, President Joe Biden said in a press conference that he has “no notion that Palestinians are telling the truth about how many people are killed,” adding that the targeting of civilians — a war crime — is “the price of waging a war.”
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