Reprinted here with permission from our friends at the new “Jewish Nashville Uncensored” blog.
3,000-plus rockets targeting Israeli civilians was more than enough for U.S. House Republican supporters of Israel to attempt an expedited vote sanction U.S. designated terrorist groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and governments like Iran which support them.
It wasn’t enough, however, for Tennessee Democrats Rep. Jim Cooper and Steve Cohen to break with Democrats and instead, voted* to block bringing Florida Rep. Brian Mast’s Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act (H.R.261) bipartisanreauthorization bill to the House floor.
Tennessee Republicans DesJarlais, Rose, Kustoff and Burchett were all co-sponsors of Mast’s bill.
In a very narrow 217-209 vote on Tuesday, May 18th, all Democrats, including Cooper and Cohen, voted to block the move despite the same bill passing unanimously in the House in 2019 although the Senate failed to take up the bill at that time. With the House blocking the bill’s consideration, Rep. Mast, committed to standing with Israel, brought the bill back this session, stating:
“Hamas preaches the destruction of Israel and death to everything we hold dear in the United States. The recent attacks again show why we must cut off their financial support. But today 200 House Democrats backtracked on their previous support for this bill, and in doing so sent a clear message to the world that they stand with Radical Islamic terrorists like Hamas instead of with our ally Israel.”
Prior to the vote, Minority leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy made clear the importance of once again passing this bill – “[s]upport for Israel should remain a proud, bipartisan, but most of all, clear policy principle in Congress. As our greatest ally in the Middle East faces the most intense siege in 7 years, the House should make it clear to the world that we stand united in support of Israel.”
Today’s media out-of-control anti-Israel bias willingly adopted and spread the propaganda justifying Hamas’ attacks and villainizing Israel’s defense of its citizens – the same propaganda spread by Imam Bahloul in his recent Tennesseean oped. It’s the same propaganda used by Geraldo Rivera to condemn Israel in the name of Palestinian children in Gaza.
However, where are the voices of outrage for Israeli citizens terrorized by indiscriminately fired Hamas rockets? Who protects and speaks for Jewish children in Israel like the three little Fogel children, 11 year old Yoav, 4 year old Elad and their infant sister Hadas, who were murdered in their beds by Palestinian terrorists? The three boys kidnapped and murdered by Hamas? Hallel Yaffa Ariel?
CNN refused to call these acts of savagery terrorism even though the IDF had already said it was “an act of Palestinian terror.”
If this had happened in our country or our state, would our defense be more measured than Israel’s government? Would Nashville’s rabbis and imams who signed onto the “we may be opponents we need not be enemies” letter to the Observer in 2014 continue to stand by a slogan which trivializes Hamas’ vow to wipe the Jewish state off the map and BLM’s commitment to “dismantle the Zionist project”?
Opponents play games. Enemies, like Hamas, want to kill Jews. If the end goal is to destroy the Jewish homeland and kill all the Jews, what difference does it make whether you are an enemy or an opponent?
No amount or degree of appeasement and funding from the U.S. will convince Hamas and its fellow jihadists to abandon their raison d’etre. Since 1994, U.S. funding to the Palestinians has totaled more than $5 billion dollars “and has been a key part of U.S. policy to encourage an Israeli-Palestinian peace process, improve life for West Bank and Gaza residents, and (since 2007) strengthen the allegedly moderate West Bank-based PA vis-à-vis Hamas in Gaza. U.S. contributions to UNRWA through global humanitarian accounts since 1950 have totaled more than $6 billion.”
Predictably, the Biden administration is pledging billions to rebuild Gaza. Inquiring minds want to know: does this include the miles of tunnels and thousands of missiles that Israel destroyed? And much of the funding will Hamas control?
Viewed from this vantage point, Rep. Mast’s bill is not only timely, but overdue
Rep. Cooper is the June guest for lunch with the rabbi.
We suspect Cooper will have prepared a pat justification for his vote to block sanctioning Hamas and that no one will be permitted to question his explanation. “Progressive” Odessa Kelly has already announced her 2022 primary challenge for Cooper’s seat putting pressure on him to up his own progressive bona fides even if it means refusing to acknowledge the fact that Hamas is a terrorist organization that ought to be condemned by anyone with a functioning moral compass.
Kelly was recruited and is being supported by the Justice Democrats organization which operates out of an address in Knoxville. This is the group which successfully installed and then expanded the anti-Semitic squad in Congress.
Tennessee’s 5th Congressional district voters who are committed to standing with Israel, there are options – Quincy McKnight and Robby Starbuck. While McKnight to date has been silent, Starbuck didn’t hesitate to remind his twitter followers that Hamas is a designated terrorist organization and in a recent podcast, demonstrated a fundamental understanding of the need for the U.S. to assist Israel in remaining safe and secure. Those who care about Israel and its six million Jews should take note of who stands with her when it counts.
*confirmed by the GOP Whip’s office, roll call 146 where the vote was 217-209, is the procedural vote which dealt with Rep. Mast’s bill.