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update deskU.S.-Israel Relations

In rebuke to Jayapal, US House passes pro-Israel resolution

Israel is "not a racist or apartheid state," the measure approved 412-9 reads.

The U.S. Capitol in Washington. Photo by Orhan Cam/Shutterstock.
The U.S. Capitol in Washington. Photo by Orhan Cam/Shutterstock.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed a resolution affirming that Israel is “not a racist or apartheid state,” in a rebuke to remarks Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) made last weekend.

The resolution introduced by Rep. August Pfluger (R-Texas) was approved by a vote of 412-9, with 195 Democrats joining all Republicans in voting yes.

It also states that Congress rejects antisemitism and that the United States “will always be a staunch partner and supporter of Israel.” 

Jayapal, the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, also voted in support of the resolution.

The Democrats voting against the measure were Jamaal Bowman (N.Y.), Cori Bush (Mo.), André Carson (Ind.), Summer Lee (Pa.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Delia Ramirez (Ill.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.).

As protesters with Palestinian flags disrupted a keynote speech by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) at the Netroots Nation conference in Chicago on Saturday attended by several members of Congress, Jayapal sought to placate the Israel critics.

“I want you to know that we have been fighting to make it clear that Israel is a racist state!” she said.

She has since walked back her comments, claiming that they were directed at the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and not the Jewish state.

Rep. David Kustoff (R-Tenn.) and Rep. Max Miller (R-Ohio) co-sponsored the resolution, which was supported by House leadership. 

“Israel is the United States’ strongest partner in the Middle East,” Pfluger said ahead of the vote. “Representatives Pramila Jayapal’s, Rashida Tlaib’s and Ilhan Omar’s repeated comments denigrating Israel are unacceptable and disgusting. I am proud to introduce this resolution ensuring all Americans know where their representatives stand when it comes to supporting Israel and our Jewish communities.”

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