Members of the progressive House ‘Squad’ on Tuesday voted against a resolution affirming that Israel is not a racist or apartheid state, just days after a fellow left-wing lawmaker landed in hot water for labeling Israel that way over the weekend.
Nine Democrats voted against the measure, which ultimately passed 412-9 and saw one other Democrat, Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., vote ‘present.’
Democrats voting against the measure were Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Summer Lee of Pennsylvania, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Cori Bush of Missouri, Andre Carson of Indiana, and Delia Ramirez of Illinois.
The vote came just before Israeli President Isaac Herzog was set to address a joint meeting of Congress on Wednesday.
Tlaib, the only Palestinian-American member of Congress, tore into the resolution on the House floor ahead of the final vote.
‘We’re here again reaffirming Congress’ support for apartheid,’ Tlaib said. ‘It’s an attempt to deny the reality and to normalize violence of apartheid.’
‘This week, we’re going to hear consistently that, you know, people talking about like, ‘Oh, this is bipartisan support here.’ But don’t forget – this body, this Congress, supported the South African apartheid regime, and it was bipartisan as well.’
The resolution was introduced by Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, just as Tlaib’s fellow progressive Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., is facing blowback from both sides of the aisle for labeling Israel a ‘racist state’ over the weekend.
Pfluger equated some Democrats’ lack of support for his resolution with backing antisemitism.
‘Israel is our most important partner in the Middle East. It is critical for the U.S. Congress to send a unified message that we stand with Israel and unequivocally support our Jewish communities. I am extremely disappointed that Democrat Members refused to vote against antisemitism and affirm that Israel is not a racist state,’ Pfluger told Fox News Digital.
Jayapal, who voted for the resolution today, has since walked back her comments, though they were condemned by dozens of her fellow Democrats including House leadership and she continued to insist that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration is racist.
Herzog’s coming address has reopened fractures within the Democratic Party while also uniting Republicans in condemning left-wing hardliners’ criticism of Israel.
Both Omar and Ocasio-Cortez are expected to boycott Herzog’s speech, which would commemorate U.S.-Israeli ties on the Middle Eastern state’s 75th anniversary.