It was once axiomatic that United States support for Israel was ironclad and crossed over the aisle that election after election, term after term, almost every member of Congress appreciated just how important Israel was and how essential it was to support Israel.
Support for Israel was in America’s best interest. Support for Israel was the right thing to do.
But that was then. Now, things have changed.
U.S. support for Israel is no longer unwavering, it is no longer a congressional given.
The National Defense Authorization Act, better known as the NDAA, is about to be passed by Congress. It is the allocation of monies for the defense department.
In the NDAA is an allocation for a $735 million sale of two types of Boeing missiles to Israel. The missiles are a replacement for the bombs used by Israel in May, in the course of the 11-day war with Gaza.
These are surgical strike weapons and they have proved extremely effective.
The bill will pass, but…
At the last minute, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Detroit, Michigan, and Mark Pocan of Kenosha, Wisconsin submitted an amendment to the act. They are asking for a total suspension of all arms sales to Israel for one year.
In real terms, this amendment will never be approved. It was submitted too late, and the House Rules Committee would not have passed it anyway.
The Rules Committee is the powerhouse of the House. It is in this committee that drafts are set before going to the House for a vote.
If the Committee is against a proposal, there is no chance of the proposal going anywhere.
But that’s not the essential point here.
The essential point is that these three members of Congress, and others whose names are not attached to the amendment, want to stop military aid to Israel.
These representatives argue that it is illegal for U.S. military aid—and for that matter any aid—to go to Israel. They claim that Israel is killing innocent Palestinians.
Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, they’ve got it backwards.
It is the terrorists of Gaza, firing rockets into Israel, that are targeting innocents. Indiscriminately, they point and shoot their rockets and wherever they land, they land.
Of course, should the rockets kill people and damage population centers, all the better. But they have no specific targets and their only goal is to kill as many Israelis as possible.
Actually, their rockets are incredibly inaccurate. So much so, that over 20% of them never make it out of Gaza — they fall and kill and injure Gazans. Six-hundred, eighty errant rockets, another 280 ended up in the sea.
During those 11 days in May, their own rockets killed 91 Gazans. Dozens others were injured. An electricity relay station was destroyed. And then they had the gall to demand that Israel’s electric company repair their station, the station that they had destroyed.
I would call that chutzpah, Hamas style.
Israel is defending itself. Hamas, and now Palestinian Islamic Jihad, do not make it easy. Both terrorist groups fire their rockets from civilian centers.
And even from media centers.
Before an Israeli strike, Israel drops leaflets and SMS messages alerting people and encouraging them to leave the intended target.
In one case I witnessed, Israel called the security desk of a building and asked how long it would take to evacuate the building. The response was two to three hours. In two hours Israel called back to ascertain that the building was indeed empty of civilians.
Journalists covering the war from the Gaza side were so secure in Israel’s accuracy, that they positioned themselves on a roof across the street from the building and set up their cameras to film Israel bombing the building. Across the street!
The bombs came, there was a small cloud, the building imploded. There was a much larger cloud as the dust settled and all that remained was a heap of dirt.
Nothing else was damaged. No person was injured. Just dust.
The building housed two media groups and a Hamas computer office. Those computers needed to be destroyed.
Everyone does not have to agree with Israel, everyone need not support Israel on every issue. But to think that Israel is wrong in defending herself or to think that she is not doing enough to prevent the deaths of Gazans — Gazans who are used as human shields by their own Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists is warped thinking.
As members of Congress move away from support of Israel, I wonder, how can anyone with a heart and conscience really support Hamas.
Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern" a weekly TV program and "My Chopp" a daily radio spot. A dynamic speaker, he specializes in analyzing world events and evaluating their relevance and impact. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. Read Micah Halpern's Reports — More Here.
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