Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) walked away in tears from the vote that successfully provided funding for the Iron Dome anti-missile system used to protect Israel from Hamas rockets. AOC initially opposed the funding contained in the continuing resolution (CR) bill but later changed her vote to ‘present’. The bill was aimed at suspending the debt ceiling and averting an October government shutdown. AOC appeared to cry on the House floor and was seen being comforted by her colleagues after the bill was passed by a 420-9 majority on Thursday.
(AOC cries at 0:11)
TV personality Meghan McCain was unimpressed by the display of emotion, labeling it “bad theater.”
Theatre and bad theatre at that. https://t.co/OptpGeg8DD
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) September 23, 2021
Former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel tweeted his impressions, suggesting that AOC was upset that residents of Israel would now be protected from Hamas rockets. “Why is AOC crying?” Mandel tweeted. “Because Jewish and Christian women and children won’t shake in terror as unguided rockets rain down on their homes and schools.”
The vote came after Rep. Rashida Tlaib promised that she would not support “a standalone supplemental bill of $1 billion to replenish the bombs Israel used to commit war crimes in Gaza”. In her address, Tlaib referred to Israel as “an apartheid regime.” It should be noted that the Iron Dome system is an anti-missile system that is purely defensive and no Iron Dome missiles were used against any targets in Gaza. During the 11 day conflict in May, the system was used to defend against some 4,600 projectiles that were fired at civilian centers in Israel. Iron Dome missiles intercepted 90 percent of rockets fired into Israel
“I will not support an effort to enable war crimes and human rights abuses and violence. We cannot be talking only about Israelis need for safety at a time when Palestinians are living under a violent apartheid system, and are dying from what Human Rights Watch has said are war crimes,” Tlaib said. “The bill claims to be, quote, a ‘replenishment’ for weapons apartheid Israel used in a crisis it manufactured when it attacked worshippers at one of the most holiest Islamic locations, the al-Aqsa Mosque (Temple Mount), committing again numerous war crimes.”
Foreign Affairs Chair Rep. Ted Deutch (FLA-D) and Republican Representative Chuck Fleischmann immediately responded harshly. “I cannot – cannot allow one of my colleagues to stand on the floor of the House of Representatives and label the Jewish Democratic state of Israel an apartheid state,’ Deutch said. “I reject it. If you believe in human rights, if you believe in saving lives – Israeli and Palestinian lives – I say to my colleague who just besmirched our ally, then you will support this legislation.”
“When there is no place on the map for one Jewish state – that’s anti-Semitism, and I reject that,’ Deutch said.
“They have a vocal minority in the majority party that is anti-Israel, that is anti-Semitic, and as Americans, we can never stand for that,” Fleischmann said. “As Americans, I beseech you, I reach out to the majority and I say condemn what we just heard on the House floor. Condemn terrorism. ‘You just saw something on this floor I thought I would never see. Not only as a member of this House, but as an American – let’s stand with Israel and condemn anti-Semitism.”