This is what a substantive pro-Israel debate looks like

Benjy Cannon Image
Benjy Cannon
on January 6, 2017

Yesterday, on the floor of the House of Representatives, Members of Congress debated H.Res. 11, which condemned the United States’ abstention from UNSC 2334. The back and fourth was an exciting moment for our movement — it was the type of vibrant, open and honest debate about Israel and American leadership in the Middle East that we hoped to see when we were first founded. We’ve rounded up some of the highlights from the conversation in this post.

1.  Rep. Blumenauer (OR-3)

Rep. Blumenauer gave a speech in which he argued that settlements are a significant obstacle to peace and that H.Res. 11 sent the wrong message to Israel and the incoming administration. You can view his full speech below:

2. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (TX-35)

Rep. Doggett, in his speech opposing H.Res. 11, argued that ““Today’s resolution, which purports to support Israeli security, actually undermines that security. It favors going it alone with the current Israeli government in defiance of our other allies and the 14 countries that unanimously voted for this Security Council measure. Isolation, more and more isolation is not the way to protect Israel.”

His full speech is below:

3. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-9)

Rep. Schakowsky opened her speech by saying she stood on the floor as a “proud Jew” and pushed back on the notion that being pro-Israel meant supporting every decision of Israel’s government, citing decades of bipartisan policy. You can view her full speech here:

4. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (IL-4)

Rep. Gutiérrez gave an impassioned speech defending a two-state solution as a cornerstone of US policy in the Middle East. You can view it here.

5. Rep. Peter Welch (VT)

Rep. Welch opened his speech by acknowledging there is room to legitimately disagree about how best to stand with Israel. He argued that settlements pose a threat to Israel’s Jewish and democratic future. You can watch his compelling case below:

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