(September 23, 2021 / JNS) Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz posted messages of thanks to the United States minutes after the House of Representatives voted in favor of supplying Israel with $1 billion worth of Iron Dome interceptors on Thursday.
“Thank you to the United States House of Representatives, Democrats and Republicans as one, for the overwhelming support for Israel and the commitment to its security,” Bennett wrote on his Twitter accounts.
“Those who are trying to challenge this support received the winning answer. The people of Israel thank the American people and its representatives for the strong friendship,” he added, also posting the Israeli and American flags.
The House voted 420-9 to support the Iron Dome funding program.
The passage of the legislation came after an uproar earlier this week when the allocation for the Iron Dome program was stripped from a government funding bill after objections from several progressive Democrats. The removal of the provision caused a flood of criticism to pour in from moderate Democrats, Republicans and pro-Israel groups who were appalled and astonished that progressive lawmakers would refuse to fund a defense system that protects Israeli civilians.
Nevertheless, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer promised a swift vote on a new measure to provide funding to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome, which was spearheaded by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee.
In an official statement, Gantz said, “On behalf of Israel’s defense establishment, I would like to thank Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, chairwoman of appropriations Rosa DeLauro, ranking member of appropriations Kay Granger and members of the U.S. House of Representatives for demonstrating their commitment to Israel’s security and for backing the replenishment of interceptors for the Iron Dome missile-defense system.”
Gantz added that “U.S. support for our missile-defense system on a bipartisan basis is critical for Israel’s defense against rocket attacks conducted by terrorist groups such as Hamas in Gaza, but not only. Israel’s borders are surrounded by malign actors and terrorist groups that seek to harm our civilians and destroy the only Jewish state. We saw this clearly in May 2021 when terrorist group Hamas launched over 4,000 missiles at schools, hospitals, homes—Israeli population centers—and Iron Dome shot them down. The Iron Dome is a system designed to protect and save lives.”
Israeli Ambassador to the United States Gilad Erdan also praised lawmakers, including Democratic leadership, saying “the overwhelming bipartisan support of the Iron Dome legislation sends a clear message that America stands with Israel on fighting terror.”