A Historic Division Among American Jewish Community

The House Democrats were able to pressure for suspending aid to the Israeli Iron Dome Defense System from the government spending bill, in what activists hailed as “an unprecedented moment for Palestinian rights”. The holdup in the House of Representatives, worth $1 billion, resulted in division among the American Jewish Community, an unprecedented politicization of Israel in the US.

Two Jewish progressive groups were trying to block the funding worth $ 1 billion in addition to the $ 3.8 billion in military aid that Israel already gets from the US government. Israel is the largest historical recipient of US foreign assistance.

The two Jewish groups, Jewish Voice for Peace Action and If Not Now, are pushing for blocking the funding of Israel.

“Israel is also the only country that receives U.S. military funding without any country-specific human rights conditions – even though the Israeli military’s grave violations of human rights are documented by every major human rights organization in the world, as well as by our own State Department. Moreover, Congress already funds the Iron Dome. In fact, since 2011, the U.S. has provided $1.7 billion for the Iron Dome and is already committed to continuing these funds through 2028” JVP Action says.

Beth Miller, Jewish Voice for Peace Action Senior government affairs manager criticized those who voted for the funding. He said, “Today’s vote was an infuriating display of anti-Palestinian racism. Israel is an apartheid state, carrying out a belligerent military occupation, and it’s currently under investigation for war crimes by the International Criminal Court.”

He added, “Why did almost every single member of the House just agree to send another $1 billion check to the Israeli government? Every member who voted for this should be deeply ashamed of themselves.”

“Today, politicians are going to go on the record about whether they care about Palestinian human life in Gaza or not. Let’s make sure to remember who believes in these human rights and who is willing to give them up for weapons sales” If Not Now Jewish group says.

On the other hand, liberal Zionists expressed their refusal to the holdup of funding the Iron Dome Defense System.

These conflicting viewpoints among the American Jewish community prove for the first time the division among them as well as the politicization of Israeli politics in the United States.

It also proves the raising awareness of the Palestinian cause among American Jews and Palestinian suffering under the Israeli occupation.

According to the Jewish Electorate Institute Poll, 25% of all Jews now believe that Israel is an apartheid state, 34% think that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is similar to racism in the United States, and 22% think that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians.

Not only that, but such a move also showed the divisions between House Republicans and House Democrats. Kevin McCarthy, The Republican leader and representative of California at the House of Representatives, said, “Democrats just pulled funding from the Iron Dome-the missile defense system that has saved countless lives in Israel from Hamas’ rocket attacks. While Dems capitulate to the antisemitic influence of their radical members, Republicans will always stand with Israel.”

The support of the Iron Dome system, whether by Republicans, American Jewish Groups, or liberals Zionists, shows the extent of their contradiction and their racial fanaticism to Israel.

If the iron dome is important to defend the lives in Israel, then Palestinian lives also must be protected and defended against Israeli bombings, attacks, and ethnic cleansing, because humanity does not know the differentiation between people based on race, religion, color…etc.

“If you oppose Iron Dome funding, say the critics, you support the killing of Israeli civilians. So if you don’t support an Iron Dome for Palestinians too, does that mean you support the killing of Palestinian civilians?.” Said Mehdi Hasan, a political journalist, and broadcaster.

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