It came as no surprise when senior Democrats and Israeli officials tried their best to downplay the fact that the so-called Squad of progressive legislators forced Iron Dome funding to be pulled from a bill to keep the United States government funded on Tuesday.

“It is my intention to bring to this floor a suspension bill before the end of this week that will fund fully Iron Dome. I was for that. I’m still for it, we ought to do it,” said US House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer in the aftermath. “I talked to the [Israeli] foreign minister, Mr. [Yair] Lapid, just two hours ago and assured him that bill was going to pass this House.”

After that conversation, Lapid also sought to project a sense of business as usual, saying in a statement that Hoyer had reassured him that the issue was a mere “technical delay.”

Indeed, the surprise development is a product of the state of domestic US politics and of the Democratic party, not a premeditated act against Israel by the party leadership or rank-and-file.

“It’s largely a result of the struggle within the Democratic Party over the budget in general,” said Nadav Tamir, board member at the Mitvim regional policy think tank, and J Street Israel executive director. “The progressives want a more ambitious budget in terms of social justice, while the leadership wants to pass a bill that’s more focused on infrastructure that can gather the support of some Republicans. ” READ MORE

‘Squad’ intercepted Iron Dome with perfectly timed strike on US-Israel ties

Josh Toupos

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