US ruling class solidly pro-Israel
by AP via ProletarianNews • Thursday May 02, 2002 at 01:49 PM
AP. 2 May 2002. Congress Moves Toward Israel Support.
WASHINGTON -- Congress clasped Israel in a supportive embrace on Thursday as the House and Senate moved toward separate declarations in favor of the Jewish state and a military campaign aimed at "dismantling the terrorist infrastructure" in Palestinian territory.
"Israel has been under siege ... from a systematic and deliberate campaign of suicide and homicide attacks by terrorists," said Sen. Joseph Lieberman, a leading supporter of the measure in the Senate.
"Their essence is identical to the attacks on our country of Sept. 11," said Lieberman, D-Conn.
The rhetoric was similar in the House, where the GOP leadership sent a more strongly worded measure to the floor for a vote.
Unlike the Senate bill, it mentioned Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat by name, accusing him of an "ongoing support of terror" in the wave of suicide bombings against Israelis this spring.
"There is no cycle of violence in Israel, anymore than there is a cycle of violence as we respond to terrorists that attacked the United States," said Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., the deputy GOP whip.
"There is a response to terrorism -- the kind of response that is so clearly in line with the response that we had to that cowardly attack on our country."
The House acted on a stand-alone bill advanced by Reps. Tom DeLay, of Texas, the House GOP whip, and Tom Lantos, D-Calif. Lieberman and Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., offered their proposal as an amendment to trade legislation.
Both said the United States and Israel are "now engaged in a common struggle against terrorism."
Lawmakers, eager to show solidarity with Israel, have long chafed at the silence the Bush administration asked of Congress at a time when American diplomats worked to stave off a wider outbreak of violence in the Middle East.
The House bill stated that Israel's recent military operations were "an effort to defend itself against the unspeakable horrors of ongoing terrorism and were aimed only at dismantling the terrorist infrastructure in the Palestinian areas, an obligation Arafat himself undertook but failed to carry out."
A steady stream of lawmakers spoke in favor of the bills in debates that unfolded simultaneously in the chambers at opposite end of the Capitol.
The resolution calls upon all parties to work toward peace, said Smith.
"But it does say it without equivocation, we stand with Israel on the front line in the war against terrorism," he said.
The United States would do no less than Israel has done, he said, "if terrorists came into our country, into our shopping malls, into our schools and murdered our children."
"Israel has not asked for this war any more than we asked for ours against al-Qaida and the Taliban," Lantos told the House.
"But when democracies come under terrorist attack, it is morally incumbent upon us, as the world's leading democracy, to express our solidarity. That is what this resolution does."