JCRC Calls for Congress to Unanimously Approve Iron Dome Funding

September 22, 2021 – 8:00 PM

Minneapolis, MN – Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement:

“Yesterday, in the United States House of Representatives, $1 billion in supplementary funding for Iron Dome was stripped out at the last minute from a critical government-funding bill due to opposition from progressive Democratic members, including Rep. Betty McCollum and Rep. Ilhan Omar, as well as the lack of support for the overall funding package from every House Republican. We are encouraged by Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s promise to hold a stand-alone up or down vote on the supplemental funding tomorrow.

“Americans deserve to know where their Representative stands on not just funding Iron Dome, but on the preservation of innocent life on both sides of the internationally recognized border between Israel and Gaza.

“It is worth recalling that just during this past May’s 11-day conflict, an estimated 1,500 rockets fired from Gaza were heading directly into Israeli civilian neighborhoods. Amazingly, more than 1,400 of them were knocked out of the sky by Iron Dome interceptors.

“Thousands of Israeli lives were saved because the Iron Dome worked as well as it did, thanks to the strong partnership between Israel and the United States in developing and funding this expensive and completely defensive missile defense system. An equal number of Palestinian lives were also saved because Iron Dome’s success prevented Israel from the need to physically invade Gaza to take out the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists who criminally embed themselves in Palestinian civilian neighborhoods while targeting Israeli civilians.

“Because this is a stand-alone vote on just Iron Dome there should be no political calculations as to what is and is not in the bill. And because Iron Dome is completely defensive there are no credible claims whatsoever that this system hurts anyone. All Iron Dome does is save lives.

“We appreciate that there are many nuances to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and it is often very, very complicated.  This vote, however, is as simple as it gets.

“We call upon all ten members of the Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota delegations to vote yes and stand united as Democrats and Republicans with civilians on both sides of the border. Anything less provides comfort to the terrorists who cynically and self-destructively siphon off international aid designated for the betterment of Gaza for the sole purpose of killing Israelis with increasingly sophisticated rocket attacks.”

Photo: Rescue workers on the scene where a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit Ramat Gan, killing one Israeli civilian on May 15, 2021 (Gili Yaari/Flash90 via Times of Israel)

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As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights antisemitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.