The American Jewish Congress greets the passing of House Resolution 326 (H. Res. 326). We applaud the efforts of the House Leadership, especially Speaker Pelosi, to shepherd this resolution through, and we applaud Democrats for reiterating their commitment to the bipartisan consensus on the U.S. - Israel relationship. As movement in some quarters of the democratic party push for changes to the party platform that would condition military aid to Israel, today’s amendments position the House and the democratic party with the overwhelming majority of the American People.
Today's resolution reaffirms the central role that the two-state solution plays to affirming peace between Israelis and Palestinians. While we do not agree with every provision in the resolution, the amendments brought forth by Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL-22), Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-5), and Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY-23) serve as strong repudiations of the proposal by some elected officials and presidential candidates to condition security aid to Israel. The amendments reiterate the commitment to the 10-year Memorandum of Understanding of 2016 between the United States and Israel, and the continuation of the critical security assistance as signed and without new conditions.
Jack Rosen, President of the American Jewish Congress, greeted today’s vote in the U.S. House of Representatives and emphasized the importance of these amendments: “I want to thank Speaker Pelosi, the 192 democrat co-sponsors, and the 226 bipartisan legislators who voted for this important resolution. I want to also thank Representatives Reed, Gottheimer, and Deutch, for their tireless work in support of the Amendments to the resolution.
“With the heat of the ongoing primary campaign towards the 2020 presidential race, some candidates have espoused radical positions in terms of reshaping the relationship of the United States with Israel, one of its most important allies. Senator Bernie Sanders shockingly embraced the talking points of radical anti-Israel progressives and said that he supported conditioning aid to Israel, going as far as to suggest that part of the security aid to Israel should instead go to Hamas-controlled Gaza. At the same time, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Pete Buttigieg disturbingly stated that they were open to considering conditioning aid.
“Today’s resolution and particularly the bipartisan amendments show once again that efforts to politicize the alliance with Israel and calls to condition U.S. security assistance to Israel will be met by a bipartisan Congressional response. These calls go against the overwhelming bicameral majority in Congress and the unquestionable bipartisan support for Israel.”
Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY-23), whose leadership was pivotal in the bipartisan effort to reiterate the strong support of the United States towards Israel through the proposed amendments commented:
“Israel is an unwavering ally to the United States and a critical partner in our combined effort to ensure Middle East stability. We should not let the dysfunctional state of extremist politics at home get in the way of critical defense funding for Israel. We hope the inclusion of this amendment in the text of this resolution will show both the American people and the world we care about Israel, and we want to ensure they have fair access to the resources they need to defend themselves from the constant barrage of threats they face on a daily basis.”
Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-5), a true friend of Israel and whose leadership contributed towards strengthening the resolution with the aid-related amendments stated: “This vote officially puts to rest the splinter view of adding new conditions on aid to Israel and reinforces our historic commitment to preserving a two-state solution. We know that this aid helps save countless lives, and we know the United States is better off when Israel is fully equipped to defend itself.
The American Jewish Congress will continue to work towards strengthening the United States-Israel relationship and will continue to fight against all efforts aiming to question the unbreakable bond between the U.S. and the Jewish state.