Bill to give Israel billions of dollars passes House, now on to Senate

Gaza - Israeli artillery firing into Gaza (Wikimedia Commons)

Alison Weir

Israel-Palestine News  /  August 1, 2021

A bill that would expend over $6.4 billion on behalf of Israel, which was advanced earlier by a House committee, has now been passed by the whole House of Representatives. The bill will next be taken up by the Senate.

The bill was passed on July 28th, in the midst of an Israeli killing spree in which Israeli soldiers shot dead four unarmed Palestinian civilians, including an 11-year-old, a teen, and a 20-year-old attending the funeral.

The day before the House vote, Human Rights Watch had issued a report documenting “apparent war crimes” by Israel in its May attack on Gazans.

Jewish News Syndicate (JNS) reports that the bill, “which was advised by numerous pro-Israel organizations, includes $3.3 billion in security assistance to Israel as one of its key provisions,” and includes an additional $3.13 billion on items “relevant to Israel” – In other words, items that are funded because they benefit Israel. The bill is H.R.4373 – Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2022.

Pro-Israel organizations AIPAC, the Democratic Majority for Israel, and J Street [!] all praised the pro-Israel provisions.

AIPAC issued a celebratory press release that thanked specific Congress members:

“We appreciate the efforts of several members who worked to include key pro-Israel provisions in the bill. In particular, we thank the leadership of State and Foreign Operations Chair Barbara Lee (D-CA), State and Foreign Operations Ranking Member Hal Rogers (R-KY), House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and House Appropriations Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-TX). In addition, Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Norma Torres (D-CA), Grace Meng (D-NY), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) all made important contributions throughout the appropriations process.”

Only three members voted in opposition to the Israel funding: Reps. Cori Bush, D-Mo., Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. (Republican members voted against the bill because of provisions unrelated to Israel, such as abortion and climate change, while explaining that they were in favor of the money to Israel.)

Another bill (H.R.4432) that would give Israel an additional half billion dollars, which was advanced earlier by a different House Committee, has not yet gone to the House floor. The funding to Israel is expected to pass easily.

If both bills are passed and signed into law by President Joe Biden, a total of approximately $20 million per day of Americans’ tax money will be expended on behalf of Israel (part of the money in direct aid; part of it on items because they benefit Israel).

Israel has received more US aid than any other country on earth – on average, 7,000 times more per capita – thanks to the Israel lobby. Experts say that Israel is not a U.S. ally and has often caused the U.S. profound harm.

For more details on the bills see this.

 Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel