Ayanna Pressley Votes To Defund Israel’s National Defense

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2021/09/24/ayanna-pressley-votes-to-defund-israels-national-defense/

U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-Dorchester) stood apart from her colleagues in the Massachusetts Congressional delegation on Thursday.

She was the only one of the nine Massachusetts members of the U.S. House of Representatives to vote against providing Israel with $1 billion for its missile defense system known as the Iron Dome.

The Iron Dome Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 5323) passed overwhelmingly; 420 members of the House of Representatives voted in favor of it while 9 voted against it, and 2, including U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), voted present.

U.S. Representative Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky) was the only Republican to vote against the measure; he is a libertarian-minded Republican who opposes foreign aid to any country.

Why did Pressley vote the way she did? She says it’s not because she doesn’t support Israel. Instead, she said, she doesn’t think the proposal should have come up for a vote when the United States has many other problems to address at this time.

“If we can’t move with urgency on critical domestic spending in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, there’s no reason we should move this way on military spending,” Pressley told The Boston Globe.

Massachusetts Republican Party chairman Jim Lyons ripped Pressley in an email message sent to the MassGOP’s email list.

“When the Democrats aren’t voting to defund police departments, they’re voting to defund a treasured ally’s ability to defend itself from terrorist attacks,” Lyons said in the written statement.

The missiles the Israeli government wants to defend against primarily come from the Gaza Strip, which Hamas controls.

Foreign aid to Israel splits both left and right. Some liberals support funding Israel, calling it the only democracy in the Middle East and describing it as a key ally of the United States that needs and deserves financial support. Many conservatives use similar arguments.

On the Left, some opponents of aiding Israel say the Israeli government treats non-Jewish residents and neighbors poorly.

On the Right, some conservatives who oppose foreign aid to Israel argue that Israel doesn’t need money from the United States, noting that it is a relatively wealthy country with a lower national-debt-to-Gross Domestic Product ratio than the United States and that its government offers paid maternity leave, heavily subsidized public college, and universal health care that provides many women with publicly-funded abortions.


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