Exclusive: ZOA Blasts Defunding Israel’s Iron Dome, Urges Democrats to ‘Condemn These Bigots’

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) attend a news conference to introduce legislation that would give the Department of Health and Human Services the power to impose a federal eviction moratorium in the interest of public health, on Capitol Hill, September 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Drew …
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

After House Democrats announced they will nix roughly $1 billion in funding for Israel’s Iron Dome defense system from the short-term government funding bill, Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) head Morton Klein blasted the move, calling Democrats who supported the move “overt Jew-haters” while urging the president and Democrat leaders to issue a condemnation.

The Democrats’ recent removal of a clause providing $1 billion in supplementary funding for Israel’s Iron Dome, a defense mechanism to reduce deaths from launched rockets from terrorists, came after radical progressive legislators held the party hostage by pledging to block the government funding bill if funds for the Iron Dome were included.

In response to the last-minute decision, the nation’s oldest pro-Israel organization released an exclusive statement to Breitbart News on Thursday which began by accusing “overt Jew-haters” in Congress of supporting “terrorist dictatorships” over Israel.

Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system intercepts rockets fired by Hamas from Gaza towards Israeli civilians early on May 16, 2021.(Mohammed Abed/AFP via Getty Images)

Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system intercepts rockets fired by Hamas from Gaza towards Israeli civilians early on May 16, 2021. (Mohammed Abed/AFP via Getty Images)

“It is frightening that the U.S. Congress now consists of overt Jew-haters like Reps. AOC [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez](NY), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), Mark Pocan (Wis.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Jamaal Bowman (NY), Cori Bush (Mo.), Pramila Jayapal (Wash.), Betty McCollum (Minn.) and others who are supporting the anti-American Palestinian Arab terrorist dictatorships of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority over the pro-American human rights loving democracy of Israel,” the statement begins.

Klein continues by highlighting the defensive nature of the Iron Dome which is designed to intercept short-range rockets and artillery shells before reaching civilian populated areas.

“Their opposing funding [of] Israel’s solely defensive weapon of the Iron Dome shows their ugly antisemitism has no limits,” it reads. 

The statement then claims that such moves indicate the Congressmembers’ true intentions.

“Their opposing Israel’s purchase of certain US precision weaponry that allows Israel to target only Hamas terrorists, rocket launchers, and terror tunnels while avoiding harming Arab civilians shows these Congress members’ Jew-hatred is more important to them than fighting radical Muslim terrorists,” the statement continues.

Morton Klein of Zionist Organization of America attends a hearing at the National Oversight and Government Reform Committee on moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem on Capitol Hill on November 8, 2017, in Washington, DC. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Morton Klein of Zionist Organization of America shows a sign in Arabic as he attends a hearing at the National Oversight and Government Reform Committee on moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem on Capitol Hill on November 8, 2017, in Washington, DC. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Democrat Party leaders are then condemned for their silence as they are urged to issue condemnations of those Congress members who pushed for the defunding as well as see to it that the latter face consequences.

“Just as troubling is the refusal by leaders of the Democratic Party from [President] Joe Biden to [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi and [House Majority Leader] Steny Hoyer to publicly condemn these bigots by name and punish them by removing them from every Committee on which they serve,” the statement continues.

“Their refusal is allowing the dangerous mainstreaming and legitimization of antisemitism,” it adds. 

The statement ends by accusing the media and Jewish leaders of keeping silent on the matter.

“The refusal of the media and even Jewish leaders from the ADL [Anti-Defamation League] to the rabbinic leaders to strongly condemn these Congress members by name as antisemites and demand they be punished and removed from every committee on which they serve is equally frightening,” it concludes.

Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system, whose sole purpose and capability are defensive — protecting civilian lives from indiscriminate terrorist rocket fire — has prevented the Gaza-ruling Hamas terrorist group from severely harming residential areas in recent years. 

 

An Israeli firefighter works at the site where a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, hit the central Israeli town of Holon, near Tel Aviv, Tuesday, May 11, 2021. A confrontation between Israel and Hamas sparked by weeks of tensions in contested Jerusalem escalated Tuesday as Israel unleashed new airstrikes on Gaza while militants barraged Israel with hundreds of rockets. (AP Photo/Heidi Levine)

An Israeli firefighter works at the site where a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, hit the central Israeli town of Holon, near Tel Aviv, May 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Heidi Levine)

In response to the Democratic Party’s capitulation to radical progressives, leading political figures have issued harsh statements.

On Wednesday, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) called it “very telling” that House Democrats withheld funding for a system that “saves lives” and is “there to defend [Israeli] civilians who are being attacked” by Hamas terrorists, while having little concern for the advanced weaponry that went to the Taliban, a radical Islamist terrorist organization, in recent weeks.

He said:

I think it’s very telling that this is the stand, not lighting their hair on fire with regards to billions of U.S. weapons and equipment going to the Taliban, lighting their hair on fire with regards to a state-of-the-art piece of equipment, a strategic alliance, a partnership that helps us.

A Palestinian demonstrator hurls rocks at Israeli troops during a fiery confrontation in Bethlehem, West Bank, May 20, 2021. (Hazem Bader/AFP via Getty Images)

A Palestinian demonstrator hurls rocks at Israeli troops during a fiery confrontation in Bethlehem, West Bank, May 20, 2021. (Hazem Bader/AFP via Getty Images)

“I think it’s very telling that the Democrats have folded on this,” he added.

On Sunday, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Gilad Erdan accused Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez of legitimizing terror attacks against innocent Israeli civilians.

“I would expect a Congressperson to understand that Israel is defending its citizens against Hamas, a designated terrorist organization,” tweeted Erdan. “Your amendment further legitimizes their heinous attacks against innocent civilians, as well as antisemitic lies.”

He added:

Israel and the U.S. have a strategic alliance that is critical to the security of our two countries. Israel is a world leader in the fight against terrorism, and our partnership has helped prevent terrorist attacks against American citizens many times in the past.

Even for some Democrats, including Reps. Josh Gottheimer (NJ) and Elissa Slotkin (MI), the removal of Iron Dome funding from the bill went too far.

“The Iron Dome protects innocent civilians in Israel from terrorist attacks and some of my colleagues have now blocked funding it,” Gottheimer wrote on Twitter. “We must stand by our historic ally — the only democracy in the Middle East.”

“Iron Dome is a purely *defensive* system — it protects civilians when hundreds of rockets are shot at population centers,” Slotkin tweeted. “Whatever your views on the Israeli-Pal conflict, using a system that just saved hundreds, if not thousands, of lives as a political chit is problematic.”

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans have said they will vote against the House’s legislation, signaling they will only approve a short-term government funding bill if Democrats separate it from a plan to suspend the debt ceiling through next year.

Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.

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