The Squad is the name given to four far-left members of Congress, distinguished particularly by their anti-Israel views and votes. Toward the end of September, three of the four squadrettes – Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alanna Pressley – helped to block a budget bill because it contained an aid item they opposed: $1 billion for Israel to replenish its store of Iron Dome missiles, which had been depleted during the 11-day war with Hamas this past May. Their efforts ultimately did not succeed, because two days after they held up the budget bill until the Iron Dome funding was stripped from it, a stand-alone bill providing that Iron Dome funding was passed, overwhelmingly, by a vote of 420 to 9.
A report on the Squad’s efforts, ultimately unsuccessful, to block funding for Israel’s missile defense system, is here: “The Squad keeps the dream of dead Jews alive,” by Clifford D. May, Israel Hayom, September 30, 2021:
In case you missed it: Last Wednesday [Sept. 22] members of the “Squad,” far-left House Democrats including Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Alexandra [sic] Ocasio-Cortez, blocked a bill to keep the federal government operating until it was stripped of funds to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome.
Actually it was Ayanna Pressley, the fourth member of the Squad, who voted “No,” while Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez voted “Present,” then dissolved in tears, apparently overcome by having to vote, or so some claim, against her beliefs so as to not alienate Jewish voters in New York should she, as expected, run for the Senate.
To be clear: The Iron Dome is not a weapon. It is a shield. It intercepts and destroys short-range missiles before they can reach their intended victims.
Developed through a blossoming partnership that produces next-generation military technology for Israeli and US warfighters, this miracle of engineering is now used to protect American troops as well.
Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system intercepts incoming rockets. The missiles do not kill people; they prevent people – the civilians who are targeted by Hamas — from being killed. That is their sole function. The missiles Israel needs to replenish those spent in the May war, the missiles that the Squad and its willing collaborators — Jamal Bowman (D-NY), Pramila Jayarpal (D-WA), Cori Bush (D-MO), André Carson (D-IN), Marie Newman (D-IL), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Chuy Garcia (D-IL), and Thomas Massie (R-KY) (Massie is an odd man out in this group, for he is not anti-Israel but was concerned about the expense) — all voted against, are purely defensive.
The Iron Dome also defends Israelis who are not Jews. Say a missile strikes an Israeli hospital. Those inside will likely include Israeli Arabs, Muslims, Christians, Druze and other minorities. They may be doctors, nurses, or patients, because Israel has no laws separating by race, ethnicity, or religion.
In other words, Israel is not an apartheid state, although that’s the slander you now incessantly hear from the Squad and others intent on demonizing, delegitimizing and, ultimately, destroying Israel.
Clifford May points out that both the medical personnel, and the patients, in an Israeli hospital, include not just Jews, but also Muslims, Christians, and Druze. There is no apartheid in the medical system.
What he might have added, had he had more space, was that there is no apartheid anywhere in Israel. In this so-called “apartheid state,” Arabs sit in the Knesset, serve on the Supreme Court, go abroad as ambassadors for their country. The chairman of the largest bank in Israel, Bank Leumi, is an Arab. Jews and Arabs study together in universities and technical institutes. Jews and Arabs work together In factories and offices. Jews and Arabs receive medical care in the same hospitals, where they are treated by both Jewish and Arab medical personnel. Jews and Arabs play on the same sports teams and in the same orchestras. Jews and Arabs own businesses – from high-tech start-ups to restaurants – together. The only difference in treatment is that Jews must, while Arabs may, join the IDF.
The Squad needs to be read the riot act – and the paragraph just above – so as to shame it into silence, if such is possible with such shameless liars, on the subject of Israel’s so-called “apartheid.”
The Iron Dome saves the lives of Gazans, too, because, without this missile defense system, Israelis would not sit quietly as Hamas, which rules Gaza, rained death on them. They’d counterattack hard and fast, which would make it difficult to minimize civilian casualties to the extraordinary extent Israelis have managed in past conflicts.
The Iron Dome defense system keeps Israeli casualties low. If the Squad were to have had its way, and the $1 billion funding to replenish Israel’s stock of interceptors had not passed, the result would not only have been more Israeli civilians dead, but more Palestinians in Gaza would be dead as well, for Israel would have to launch more deadly attacks, with less warning time, to try to destroy as many of the rockets and rocket launchers as possible. Since both the 15,000 rockets Hamas possesses, and its rocket launchers, are deliberately hidden inside or beside civilian buildings, including schools, hospitals, apartment buildings, Israel would have no choice but to hit these buildings where weapons are hidden.
Clifford May further notes:
And since Hamas routinely employs Palestinians as human shields – an egregious violation of American and international law but beneficial for its public relations efforts – Gaza would soon resemble Syria, Yemen and Libya (countries from which, incidentally, millennia-old Jewish communities have been “cleansed”).
Returning to the apartheid slander: It’s a twist on the “Zionism is racism” resolution first promulgated by Israel-haters at the United Nations General Assembly in 1975. Repealed overwhelmingly in 1991, it was revived at a UN conference in Durban in 2001.
Zionism implies nothing more than the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in part of their ancient homeland. And, as anyone who has walked down a street in Jerusalem knows, Israelis come in all colors, including black Jews from Africa and brown Jews from India and Pakistan.
Last week, the United Nations sponsored another Durban conference. Three dozen nations boycotted rather than participate in one more festival of Israel-bashing and anti-Semitism. Many of the nations that did attend are egregious abusers of fundamental human rights.
38 nations boycotted the Durban IV horror, more than twice the number of countries – 14 – that boycotted Durban III in 2009. These were Albania, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Moldova, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, UK, US and Uruguay. The European Union also did not participate or speak at the commemoration.
Many of the boycotters were among the most important states: the U.S., Canada, Australia, the U.K. France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden. One wonders whether, with so many states having boycotted Durban IV, will there be a Durban V?
The UN General Assembly was in session last week, too, and among those speaking was the newly appointed foreign minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hossein Amir Abdollahian. He utilized both new and old slanders, saying he was “honored to announce that my nation’s willpower is dedicated to the total elimination of all forms of racial discrimination, including apartheid and Zionism.” In other words, Tehran’s goal is the “elimination” of Israel. Its nuclear weapons development program is the means envisioned to realize that goal.
Like Tehran, Hamas is not coy about its genocidal goals. “Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors,” the Hamas Charter proclaims. “Muslims will fight the Jews,” and even those Jews who “hide behind rocks and trees” will not escape, because the rocks and trees “will cry: Muslim: There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!”
May might have noted that the prediction quoted by Hamas, about Jews in the end times vainly trying to avoid being killed by hiding behind rocks and trees that then give them away, is one of the best-known hadith, the fons et origo of the anti-Jewish genocidal impulse that is to be found in the immutable texts of Islam, and it cannot be removed, or changed. That hadith will last as long as Islam itself.
Claims that Hamas has moderated over recent years are untrue. “We support the eradication of Israel through armed jihad and struggle,” Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar said in May. “This is our doctrine.”
Here’s the rest of the story that unfolded last week: On Thursday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer brought Iron Dome up as a standalone bill. There were 290 [sic for 420] votes in favor and nine opposed – eight from members of the Squad plus one Republican (who says he opposes all foreign aid). Just before the vote closed, Ocasio-Cortez changed from “nay” to “present” – and then broke into tears.
One plausible explanation: She plans to run for the Senate and calculates that many New York voters may prefer not to be represented by an ideologue eager to help terrorists murder Jews and kill off the Jewish state.
Perhaps she’ll counter that she favors a two-state solution. Fine, but it’s impossible to imagine Hamas or the Palestinian Authority (which rules the West Bank) accepting such a compromise until and unless they conclude that the dream of exterminating Israel is unattainable. People such as Abdollahian and Ocasio-Cortez keep that dream alive.
By the way, The New York Times asserted that she’d been diverted from her “principles” by “influential lobbyists and rabbis.” Those darn lobbyists and rabbis!
Yes, who were all those sinister “rabbis,” no doubt black-clothed haredim, whom the New York Times claims were threatening poor helpless Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, emailing or telephoning threats, or perhaps even visiting her in the Rayburn House Office Building to make those threats in person, that she’d better vote for the replenishing of Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile missiles – “or else.” Most likely their numbers and power to intimidate have been exaggerated, or even made up out of whole cloth. But it’s the kind of story that the New York Times, that has so often been caught spreading misinformation about Israel, or attacking Jewish organizations that support Israel, of course would have no compunction about publishing.