The House resolution, introduced by Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, says “the State of Israel is not a racist or apartheid state, Congress rejects all forms of antisemitism and xenophobia, and the United States will always be a staunch partner and supporter of Israel.” The measure is expected to pass with strong bipartisan support.
This resolution is a response to remarks made by Rep. Pramila Jayapal during a Saturday about today’s visit by the Israeli President, Isaac Herzog and calling Israel a racist state.
“I want you to know that we have been fighting to make it clear that Israel is a racist state,” Jayapal said on Saturday at the Netroots Nation political conference in Chicago. “That the Palestinian people deserve self-determination and autonomy. That the dream of a two-state solution is slipping away from us. That it does not even feel possible.” said Rep. Jayapal.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other Republicans called her remarks “anti-Semitic” and are expected to vote in favor of the resolution, with House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-Calif., applauding the resolution.
“I think you have seen some growing antisemitism over the years and including coming from some members of Congress. And I think it’s always important that we reiterate our strong support with our great ally Israel, and stand up to antisemitism wherever we see it,” Scalise said.
Top Democrats issued a statement over the weekend countering Jayapal’s remarks in which they declared, “Israel is not a racist state.”
“Our commitment to a safe and secure Israel as an invaluable partner, ally and beacon of democracy in the Middle East is ironclad,” House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Reps. Katherine Clark, Pete Aguilar and Ted Lieu said in a statement.
Jayapal walked the remark back in a lengthy statement on Sunday, in which she said she’s long supported the two-state solution but is opposed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s push to expand West Bank settlements.
“I do not believe the idea of Israel as a nation is racist,” Jayapal said. “I do, however, believe that Netanyahu’s extreme right-wing government has engaged in discriminatory and outright racist policies and that there are extreme racists driving that policy within the leadership of the current government.”
The White House said Monday it was “glad” she apologized for the comment.
McCarthy said Monday he believed Democrats should do more to address those within their ranks he said were making “antisemitic” remarks. He specifically singled out past statements from Jayapal and Omar as examples.
“It has got to stop,” McCarthy said. “These are all individuals in the Democratic conference, do they think Israel is an evil state? Well if they believe differently, they should take action against their own for the comments coming from their leadership within their own Democratic Party and that’s wrong.” McCarthy, who led a bipartisan trip to Israel in May, called the nation our “closest ally.”