House to vote on resolution praising U.S.-Israel relationship, Abraham Accords

The vote comes as Israel celebrates the 75th anniversary of its founding

Gideon Markowicz/JINI via Xinhua

Aircraft of the Israeli Air Force Aerobatic Team fly during a training for the upcoming Israel's Independence Day in Tel Aviv, Israel, on April 17, 2023.

The House of Representatives is set to vote Tuesday evening on a resolution supporting the U.S.-Israel relationship and the Abraham Accords, in honor of the 75th anniversary of Israel’s founding.

The resolution will be the first major House vote on the U.S.-Israel relationship in the new Congress. 

The legislation, sponsored by Reps. Ann Wagner (R-MO), Kathy Manning (D-NC), Mike McCaul (R-TX) and Brad Schneider (D-IL), “encourag[es] the expansion and strengthening of the Abraham Accords” and calls to “ensure that existing agreements reap tangible security and economic benefits for the citizens of those countries and all peoples in the region.”

It recognizes the upcoming 75th anniversary of Israel’s founding and the U.S.-Israel relationship, describing the relationship as “close and robust… marked by strong people-to-people ties and close cooperation on a wide range of issues” as well as “common values and a commitment to democracy.”

It “expresses continued support” for U.S. security aid to Israel outlined in the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding, which Congress codified into law in 2020. A small number of far-left Democratic lawmakers have called for conditions, end-use restrictions or other re-examinations of U.S. aid to Israel. Two years ago, supplemental funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system passed the House with just nine votes in opposition.

The legislation also “supports Israel’s robust involvement as an active member of the community of nations.” Many supporters of the Jewish state accuse international organizations, particularly the United Nations, of unfairly targeting Israel.

In a statement regarding the introduction of this resolution, Wagner, the lead sponsor, noted both the U.S.-Israel partnership as well as the threat Israel faces from Iran and the growth of antisemitism globally.

“Israel is one of our strongest allies and closest friends, and we are committed to strengthening that vital bond. The U.S.-Israel partnership supports greater security and economic benefits for the entire region. The creation of the State of Israel was an unprecedented achievement in world history and we are unwavering in our support for our Israeli friends,” Wagner said. “We honor the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel and will continue to ensure it is able to defend itself against the reckless and dangerous Iranian regime and its proxies. As we stand united against vile expressions of hate and growing anti-Semitism worldwide, we will also work to strengthen the Abraham Accords and urge other nations to normalize relations with Israel.”

McCaul, the chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, emphasized that the U.S.-Israel relationship is “rock-solid,” “has made both countries safer and more secure” and is “built on shared values and close bonds between our peoples, governments, and private sectors,” and highlighted the Abraham Accords as a key development that benefited both countries.

Schneider said that the U.S. is “justifiably proud to be the first nation to recognize the nascent state of Israel in 1948,” likewise emphasizing the importance of “shared values” as “the bedrock of an extraordinary relationship,” and said he “look[s] forward to the potential of this partnership over the next 75 years, namely in the expansion of the Abraham Accords.”

Manning described the U.S.-Israel relationship as “extraordinary and enduring… based on our shared interests and fundamental values” and Israel as “our most important, most reliable, and only democratic ally in the region.” She said that she is “proud of the accomplishments Israel and the U.S. have achieved together, including the historic Abraham Accords” as well as “champion[ing] democracy, partner[ing] on technological achievements, increas[ing] regional security and celebrat[ing] our shared fundamental values.”

J Street, the left-wing “pro-Israel, pro-peace” group, reached out to congressional offices yesterday, describing the resolution as “problematic” while not urging any specific vote, Jewish Insider has learned. The group noted that the resolution does not mention a two-state solution or directly mention the Palestinians. JI obtained the email from an individual who received it.

In the email, J Street also states that “it is noteworthy that this resolution fails to mention Israel’s democratic crisis, the months of protests in response, and the fight for Israel’s democratic future at this moment,” referring to the Israeli government’s judicial reform proposal.

The email does not urge members to take a specific vote on the resolution but urges lawmakers who “[feel] compelled to vote for this resolution” to issue statements “reaffirm[ing] support for a two-state solution.”

J Street spokesperson Logan Bayroff told JI, “We regret that the House resolution introduced to mark Israel’s landmark 75th anniversary omits key commitments and aspirations that have been central to the US-Israel relationship for decades,” reiterating the concerns stated in the email regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the judicial reform efforts and protests.

“This anniversary should be a time — as has been the case with prior resolutions marking milestone anniversaries for Israel — when long-standing bipartisan consensus positions on Israel are reinforced, rather than excised to accommodate the Republican party’s growing rejection of them,” Bayroff continued.

AIPAC has been urging legislators to vote in favor of the resolution.

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