Gillibrand Announces $500M In Anti-missile Funding For Israel Into Defense Bill

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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Senate Democrats conduct a moment of silence to honor the lives of George Floyd and other victims of racial injustice in the Capitol's Emancipation Hall, June 4, 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — For Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, the announcement was routine, noting the inclusion of $500 million for Israel’s missile defense in a key defense funding bill.

But it was significant as well in its timing, demonstrating that the party’s mainstream remains committed to funding for Israel’s military at a time that some of its progressive members are calling for cuts.

“The U.S.-Israeli Cooperative Missile Defense Program is critical for the safety and protection of Israel, our close friend and ally,” Gillibrand said in an email Tuesday to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I’m proud to fight for this vital program, which will promote stability and help keep countless citizens of Israel safe from missile attacks.”

Gillibrand is the top Democrat on the Armed Service’s Committee personnel subcommittee.

This is the third year that Gillibrand, along with the senior New York senator, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, led advocacy for the missile defense funding, which goes to the Iron Dome, Arrow and David’s Sling programs. The money is written into the National Defense Authorization Act, a must-pass bill.

This week, four progressive Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are circulating a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanding that the United States cut assistance to Israel if it goes ahead with a planned annexation of parts of the West Bank. The letter has accrued about 12 signers, Haaretz reported, including Bernie Sanders, the Jewish Vermont senator who twice ran for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee has asked its activists to call their lawmakers and speak out against the letter.

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9 COMMENTS

    • She isn’t Israel’s friend she panders to moronic voters like you but when it comes down to where it counts she takes the terrorists side because that’s what the Democrat base wants, thats why she voted for the Iran deal, condemned the embassy move, and withdrew support for the anti bds bill.

    • At the same time, you have this:

      “A congressional letter organized by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and a delegation of progressive Democrats in Congress was endorsed by organizations that call for Israel’s destruction, promote boycotts of the Jewish state, endorse terrorism, and traffic in anti-Semitic rhetoric.”

      So good for Gillibrand, but it still doesn’t change the fact that her party’s leaders and most of its rank and file are vicious anti-Semites.

  1. Chicken feed….She has never been a friend of Israel…She is pandering to the ignorant who believe the democrats are Israels friend. They are anything but.

    • some are and some aren’t. what about the republicans? the white power crowd is pro-israel? dont make me laugh. the putz, i mean the president, can change posiitions in the blink of an eye. you trust him? not I.

      • Your notion that “the white power crowd” is any more than a tiny fringe is laughable. Their last gathering got, what, 50 people? As for Trump, in almost four years as president (and many before that in the public eye), have you seen him “change positions” on Jews? Whereas during that time the Democrat party has become increasingly anti-Semitic.

  2. You are deranged, so afraid that President Trump may change that you will support the openly Jew hating democrat because TDS makes one lose all reason, oh and the number of so called white supremacists who are a marginilized group pale in comparison to the hordes of anti Israel Jew hating BDSers that are the slowly becoming the majority of the Democrat party.

  3. She was the very first Senator to run to the cameras to publicly criticize Israel & the US for moving the Embassy to the Capital, Jerusalem. She said it would cause war and destruction. Really? Where is the war?

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