House of Representatives Passes The United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012
The act was sponsored by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), cosponsored by 294 other members of the house, and was approve by all but 11 members. According to The Jerusalem Post, Nine members voted “present”, while two, Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) and John Dingell (D-Mich.) voted against it.
Before the vote, several members of both parties spoke out in favor of Israel and the resolution. “We are here today to reaffirm our unequivocal support for Israel’s right to defend herself,” declared Rep. Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL). “And even beyond affirming Israel’s right to defend herself, we aim to expand Israel’s ability to protect her citizens against the dangers to which they are subjected to, day after day.”
Ros-Lehtinen also spoke in favor of a portion of the bill that addressed Israel-bashing in international organizations. “The United States must not allow Israel to be isolated and demonized in international organizations. And must work together to withdraw US participation in and funding from organizations that do so,” she said.
Ros-Lehtinen was joined in her support by Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), who praised the bill for including greater support of Israel’s iron dome defense system. He also applauded Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu for his “willingness to negotiate anywhere at any time” and encouraged the Palestinians to take the prime minister up on this offer.
Berman also stressed the importance of Israel as an American ally, saying “Mr. Speaker -Our relationship with our ally Israel is one of the most important and closest that we have with any nation in the world.” Rep. Steve Chabot (D-Ohio) echoed this sentiment, saying ““At this time of heightened danger and profound change, it is incumbent on us to do everything in our power to help to secure Israel. It is our strongest ally in the region.”
Some house members used more aggressive language. Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Ted Poe took shots at Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. “I am proud to have called publically for the arrest of the madman Ahmadinejad on charges of inciting genocide,” said Israel, as he reaffirmed his strong support for Israel. Meanwhile, Poe praised Israel for opposing Ahmadinejad, who he called “the tiny tyrant from the dessert.”
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About the Author: Miranda has a B.A. in political science and has worked over a decade as a news reporter, financial news writer and political blogger. More about Miranda