February 8, 2024

Please Contact Your Elected Officials!

Linda Scherzer JCRC Director

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives defeated an emergency military aid package for Israel that the pro-Israel community had lobbied for in the days leading up to the vote.  The standalone bill was an attempt to separate Israel from other national security priorities, including helping Ukraine defend itself against Russia’s military aggression, and increased deterrence at the U.S,-Mexico border.

The vote for more Israel aid was 250-180, well short of the two-thirds threshold necessary for passage.

The bill called for $17.6 billion in military aid for Israel and for the replenishment of U.S. defense systems. About $4 billion would have gone to replenish Israel’s missile defense systems and $1.2 billion to counter short-range rockets and mortar threats

Members of Congress who represent  our five counties in Congressional Districts 11, 10, 7, 6 and 4 voted both for and against the bill. Those in favor were Rep. Rob Menendez (D), Josh Gottheimer (D), and Tom Kean, Jr. (R).  Those against were Representatives Mikie Sherrill (D), Donald Payne, Jr. (D), and Bonnie Watson-Coleman (D). Mikie Sherrill put out this statement after the vote.

While the bill does not represent everything that some members sought, and had a much different approach than the Senate, passing it would have sent a strong message that America – Democrats and Republicans – stands with Israel. The resources in this aid package would help ensure Israel has the Iron Dome interceptors and other defensive equipment needed to protect its citizens from the ongoing threats from Gaza, and the even greater threat posed by Hezbollah.

We urge you to continue to call and email your Members of Congress to ask that they support Israel and its right to defend itself. Tell them that a divided Congress will only strengthen Israel’s enemies and put our own military in harms way. With more than 130 hostages still in captivity, and rockets continually being fired at Israel’s towns both on the southern and northern border, the time for Congress to act is now.

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