House Resolution To Denounce Antisemitism Passes

House Resolution To Denounce Antisemitism Passes

( – Tensions between Israel and Palestine have been high for three-quarters of a century, since Israel announced its independence in 1948, sparking the Arab-Israeli War. In the decades since, the two sides have failed to come to an agreement over disputed land. The conflict has also led to divisions in Congress. However, the House recently passed a resolution denouncing antisemitism.

Congressional Resolutions

Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX) introduced the resolution, comprised of three points, including that, “Israel is not a racist or apartheid state,” the country will always have support from the US, and “Congress rejects all forms of antisemitism and xenophobia.” On Tuesday, July 18, the House overwhelmingly voted to pass the resolution with 412 votes yea, nine votes nay, and one vote present. Those who voted against the measure included Democrats, such as Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Ayanna Pressley (MA), Rashida Tlaib (MI), and Ilhan Omar (MN).

On July 18, Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) also introduced a similar resolution in the Senate. As of the time of writing, it had yet to go before members for a vote, but it’s likely to have a similar outcome.

What Sparked the Resolution?

In a press release on his website, Pfluger spoke to the fact that Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Omar, and Tlaib have made “repeated comments denigrating Israel,” an action he deems “unacceptable and disgusting.”

His comments refer to a recent statement where on Saturday, July 15, Jayapal referred to Israel as a “racist state” before later saying it was the government, notably Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government, that are racist, not the country. However, the White House quickly affirmed Washington’s commitment to Israel, noting that President Joe Biden objected to Jayapal’s remarks.

As such, Pfluger wanted to ensure that American citizens were aware of where “their Representatives stand” on the issue of support of both Israel and America’s Jewish communities. Many of his colleagues, including Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) and David Kustoff (R-TN), backed Pfluger. Scalise thanked him for introducing the resolution, which he said was “critical,” particularly with Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s recent visit to the United States.

Herzog was in Washington on Tuesday to meet with Biden, despite the notable tensions between the two countries. The president has expressed unease with Netanyahu and some of the government members, calling them “the most extremist” administration he’s seen in almost 40 years, according to The New York Times.

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