Top Republican to introduce resolution defending Israel against flotilla criticismBy Jordan Fabian
June 6, 2010
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said Sunday he is planning to introduce a resolution next week defending Israel against criticism it has received over its handling of the Gaza flotilla incident.
King, the ranking member on the House Homeland Security Committee, told the conservative blog contentions of his plan and criticized the Obama administration's stance on the matter. Jennifer Rubin writes:
I asked whether he was surprised that the Obama team went along with a UN resolution on the flotilla, even a watered-down one, rather than vetoing it, as past administrations have done in similar situations to hold back the tide of Israel bashing. He replied bluntly, “No.” He continued, “This is basically what we have seen from day one – [the administration] putting distance between itself and Israel.” He believes there is a conscious effort by Obama to deny Israel the “privileged status” it has enjoyed as a close, democratic ally of the United States. This is part and parcel, he explains, of the “apology tour, how Netanyahu was treated, and [asserting] the moral equivalency between housing construction in Jerusalem and Iran constructing a nuclear weapon.”
What does King intend to do when Congress returns tomorrow? He announces that he will send a “Dear Colleague” letter out on Monday, calling on all House members to join in a resolution that will be introduced in the next few days. The resolution will include “many paragraphs on Israel’s right to defend itself,” take issue with the critics of Israel, call for the U.S. to withdraw from the U.N. Human Rights Council, and demand that the administration oppose any U.N. investigation of Israel.
King is the second high-profile Republican to criticize President Barack Obama for laying low on the flotilla incident. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the president's GOP opponent in 2008, said last week that Obama had helped create the environment for the attempt to break Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Several Democratic members of Congress have also spoken out in defense of Israel's actions. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) has even called for Americans who participated in the Turkish-based flotilla to be prosecuted.
Two members of the Congressional Black Caucus, on the other hand, have called on Israel to lift its blockade of Gaza, saying that it has created a humanitarian crisis in the Hamas-controlled territory.
The White House has condemned the loss of life, but has reserved judgment on the incident until an international investigation is concluded, echoing a U.N. Security Council resolution on the matter.