JCRC Applauds Near Unanimous Approval of Iron Dome Funding in U.S. House of Representatives
JCRC expresses outrage over Rep. Ilhan Omar’s unconscionable “No” vote, believes future relationship with the Representative to be impossible
September 23, 2021
Minneapolis, MN – Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement:
“Today, the United States House of Representatives voted by the overwhelming margin of 420 in favor, nine opposing, and two voting present to allocate $1 billion in supplemental funding for Iron Dome. We are thankful to our members (nine out of ten) from Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota who voted in favor of replenishing this extremely effective and purely defensive anti-missile weapons system. Such bipartisan support is the foundation for the strong relationship between our country and Israel.
“We are particularly grateful to Representative Dean Phillips who once again showed tremendous leadership by playing a key role in bringing this stand-alone vote on Iron Dome to the House floor today. We also want to acknowledge the support of Chair Betty McCollum, with whom we’ve had our differences, whose defense appropriations subcommittee contained the full supplemental funding for Iron Dome in the current defense bill and who herself voted in favor of the stand-alone bill. We are also thankful to Representative Tom Emmer who helped ensure that every House Republican, except one, voted in favor.
“As much as we would like to solely accentuate the positive, we must also express our outrage at Representative Ilhan Omar’s unconscionable decision to deny Israel the means to defend itself against Iranian funded terrorism from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah.
“Prior to today’s vote we urged all of the members from Minnesota and the Dakotas to vote yes for the reasons stated here. The JCRC was hardly alone in our advocacy as groups from across the ideological spectrum, including AIPAC, AJC, J-Street, and Americans for Peace Now, all urged members of Congress to vote to ensure that Israel has the non-lethal, but highly effective means to defend itself against unyielding terrorism.
“In our direct communications with the Representative Omar’s office, we not only highlighted these justifications for funding Iron Dome but stated very clearly that it would be impossible for the Representative to have any sort of relationship with the vast majority of American Jews who believe that Israelis deserve the right to live in peace and security (irrespective of whether we agree or disagree with every position taken by its democratically elected government). That the Representative chose to turn her back on much of the Jewish community and instead provide comfort to those who champion the destruction of Israel is sadly as appalling as it is not surprising.
“As we said yesterday, we appreciate that there are many nuances to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and it is often very, very complicated. Today’s vote, however, was as simple as it gets. Accordingly, we again thank the 90% of the members who represent Minnesota and the Dakotas who did the right thing and sided with the overwhelming majority of their colleagues in approving the supplemental funding for Iron Dome. Collectively, they demonstrated that though our politics may be bitterly divided there are still some issues, including support for Israel’s basic security, which remains bipartisan.
“Finally, we also join in the statement drafted by our JCRC and our national colleagues from communities with members who also did not vote in favor of funding Iron Dome.”
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights antisemitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.