One day after Democrats removed the $1 billion funding provision for Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system, House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., announced that a stand-alone $1 billion bill for the Iron Dome has been introduced Wednesday.
“The United States’ commitment to the security of our friend and ally Israel is ironclad,” DeLauro wrote in a statement, The Hill reported. “Replenishing interceptors used to protect Israel from attacks is our legal and moral responsibility.
“While this funding would ordinarily be included in a year-end spending package, we are advancing this legislation now to demonstrate Congress’ bipartisan commitment to Israel’s security as part of a Middle East with lasting peace.”
The funding was planned to go toward replacing Israel’s missile interceptors after Israel was attacked by Hamas missile strikes earlier this year, but it was stripped out a continuing resolution to keep the federal government running because Democrats feared pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel progressives might not support the bill, according to the report.
The Iron Dome funding was part of a 10-year memorandum of understanding signed under the Obama administration in 2016. It stipulates that the U.S. is committed to providing at least $3.8 billion in security assistance every year.
Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., tweeted her disappointment that Democrats would turn their back on a past commitment to Israel’s defense:
- “I understand that some House Democrats object to funding for the Iron Dome in Israel. Just to level-set, a few facts:”
- “Iron Dome is a purely *defensive* system — it protects civilians when hundreds of rockets are shot at population centers. Whatever your views on the Israeli-Pal conflict, using a system that just saved hundreds, if not thousands, of lives as a political chit is problematic.”
- “Iron Dome, like other missile defense systems, was co-developed by the US and Israel. The research that went into the design of this system is shared between our two countries and can be used to protect our bases abroad, in addition to Israeli civilians in their homes.”
- “Continued financial support of Iron Dome was part of the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding negotiated by President Obama. This isn’t new funding, or unusual funding, or a precipitous increase in funding.”
- “All of this is publicly-available information. So to target Iron Dome now means the issue isn’t a genuine concern over the system, but rather the desire to attack something – anything – related to the State of Israel; it’s devoid of substance and irresponsible.”
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