Ilhan Omar and Other Democrats Vote For More Military Aid to Israel

US material and diplomatic support are imperative to Israel's Existence in the Middle East.

israel
Image: Cliff Owen/AP Photo

In a narrow vote, the annual US Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Funding Bill, which amongst other things clears the way for Washington’s yearly $3.3 billion unconditional aid to Israel was passed earlier.

Surprisingly, Democrat representatives Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Presley, Lee Bowman Pramila Jayapal split with fellow Democrats, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Cori Bush and voted in the favour of the Bill.

“Not less than $785,300,000 [of that $3,300,000,000] shall be available for the procurement in Israel of defense articles and defense services, including research and development,” the Bill reads. The bill contains other funds for Israel, which include funds for educational programs, weapons leases, and refugee resettlement.

Earlier in April, several Democrat members of Congress including Omar and Tlaib had introduced a bill that conditioned US aid to Israel on human rights.

Also read: US Politician Bernie Sanders and Fellow Democrats Criticise US aid to Israeli Military Forces

The bill particularly put forth the demand that Israel should not be allowed to use the money of the American taxpayers in its operations to kill, torture, incarcerate, displace or perpetuate violence on Palestinians in any way.

At the beginning of May Omar had tweeted against US funding to Israel and said “we must make sure that no US tax dollars are used to fund this violence.”

Senator Ayanna Pressley too had extended solidarity to the people of Palestine and written, “I stand in solidarity with the Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem who are being forcibly removed from their homes — in the middle of a pandemic, during Ramadan. This is unacceptable”

With material and diplomatic support from the US, Israel has been advancing its military, surveillance technologies, and cyber weapons that it employs against the Palestinians to support its occupation of the country and their land.

The money provided by the US government to further its imperialist interests in the region while widely dealing in the rhetoric of human rights has been used by the right-wing Israeli government to purchase weapons to shore up its own military and intensify its historical oppression of Palestinians.

At present, Israel is one of the world’s largest arms exporters and has sold arms to militaries in Myanmar and Argentina, the Bosnian army during the Serbian genocide, South Sudan, and apartheid South Africa.

Also read: Israeli New Coalition Government launches Fresh Air-Strikes on Gaza

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