By a vote of 217-209, the House rejected a bid to bring a bill to the floor that would have applied sanctions against the terror group Hamas. The sanctions targeted foreign individuals and governments that assist Hamas or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Both organizations are terror groups so designated by the State Department.
The bill had been introduced by Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) and would have reauthorized the Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act. The act passed the House last session but failed to make it to the Senate floor.
“Under my bill, the United States will sanction these groups that are supporting terrorism,” Mast said in a floor speech in support of the legislation. “Or if we do not pass this bill, we will not stand together to sanction these groups that are enabling this terrorism.”
Prior to the vote, Mast’s bill drew support from prominent Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. Mast had previously penned a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Gregory Meeks to expedite a vote on the bill.
“The ongoing rocket attacks against Israeli civilians show why America must unequivocally support Israel, condemn Hamas, and sanction those who fund terrorism,” McCarthy wrote on Twitter.
The last time the bill was considered in the House, it passed unanimously. Democrats may very well have refused to bring up the measure because so many of their members are pro-Hamas and the Democratic leadership in the House didn’t want the embarrassment of betraying a close ally in the middle of a war.
Notable among Hamas sympathizers are members of “The Squad” who haven’t been shy about touting their anti-Semitism.
Footage of the event clearly showed Tlaib speaking in front of a banner promoting Neturei Karta, an extremist Jewish sect that believes Israel must be destroyed and that Jews must be prevented from governing a state until the Messiah comes.
Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar matter-of-factly defended the terror attacks on Israeli civilians and argued that Israel’s attacks on Hamas were the real terror.
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that Israel was an apartheid state and should not be considered a democracy.
Finally, Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley tweeted a video of herself claiming that Israel was in fact a military occupation of Palestine.
It should also be noted that Hamas’s number one sponsor, Iran, is sitting across the table from U.S. representatives trying to negotiate a return by the Biden administration to the nuclear agreement of 2015. If successful, Iran would be in line to get billions in frozen assets and tens of billions in sanctions relief.
How much of that money will be going to support Hamas terror activities?
Biden recognizes the danger but is so eager for a deal that he is going forward with negotiations.
Still, the Biden administration has pushed back against critics who claimed that the U.S. should stop negotiating with Iran at a time when Hamas, an Iranian ally, is firing rockets at Israel, according to the Eurasia Group note.
“Yet, the confrontation will likely increase the pressure on the administration — including from moderate Democrats — to produce a credible plan for follow-on talks with Tehran, especially regarding its support for regional proxies,” the report said.
At that point, Iran will find pressing business elsewhere and tell Americans that they’ll get back to us on that. Their terrorist proxies of Hamas, Hezbollah, and others receiving material support from Tehran is an integral part of Iran’s future plans to dominate the Middle East. They have no desire to talk about limiting their support or reining in the terrorist activities of these groups.
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