The House on Tuesday passed a resolution affirming support for Israel – a direct response to Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s now walked-back comments about Israel being a “racist” state.
The bipartisan vote was 412 to 9 with nine Democrats voting against it.
The Democrats who voted against the measure were: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Summer Lee of Pennsylvania, Jamaal Bowman of New York, Cori Bush of Missouri, Andre Carson of Indiana, Delia Ramirez of Illinois and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.
In a sign that Republicans sought to put Democrats in a tough spot, Majority Leader Steve Scalise tweeted ahead of the vote: “It should be an easy vote. Will Dems stand with our ally or capitulate to the anti-Semitic radicals in their party?”
Top House Democrats rebuked the Congressional Progressive Caucus chair’s comments from this past weekend that “Israel is a racist state,” which she sought to walk back on Sunday.
“Israel is not a racist state,” House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Democratic Whip Katherine Clark, Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar and Vice Chair Ted Lieu said in a statement Sunday that did not mention the progressive leader by name.
On Tuesday, Jayapal voted for the pro-Israel resolution.
The vote to approve the resolution comes after of Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s visit to the White House Tuesday and ahead of his address to a joint meeting of Congress a day later, which some progressives have said they’ll skip, citing concerns about human rights. House progressives have been vocal about their opposition to Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the US sponsorship of Israel’s Iron Dome defense system.
Jayapal, a Washington state Democrat, said “Israel is a racist state” on Saturday while addressing pro-Palestine protesters who interrupted a panel discussion at the Netroots Nation conference in Chicago.
“As somebody who’s been in the streets and participated in a lot of demonstrations, I want you to know that we have been fighting to make it clear that Israel is a racist state, that the Palestinian people deserve self-determination and autonomy, that the dream of a two-state solution is slipping away from us, that it does not even feel possible,” she told protesters chanting “Free Palestine.”
Jayapal sought to clarify her remarks in a Sunday afternoon statement, saying that she does “not believe the idea of Israel as a nation is racist,” while offering an apology “to those who I have hurt with my words.”
This story and headline have been updated with additional developments.