Sen. Ted Cruz will introduce a resolution this week supporting the US sale of $735 million in weapons to Israel, amid Democratic efforts to block the transaction.
“Next week I’m introducing a resolution to approve the arm sales, and I’m going to fight for a vote,” Cruz (R-Texas) told Fox News in an interview Saturday. “There are a lot of Democrats in the Senate who want to play footsie, want to say, ‘Well, now, I don’t agree with that anti-Semitic language from the Squad.’
“Well, let’s vote,” he continued.
The Texas senator went on to argue that bringing his resolution to a vote would reveal if Democratic lawmakers would stand firm in support of Israel or break hard left.
“Let’s decide if you’re willing to send weapons to support Israel, or if you’re going to sashay up to the anti-Israel left, then you need to own it and I hope we’re gonna have a vote next week and decide which side of the line everyone stands on,” he said.
Cruz’s resolution will be a direct response to efforts by progressives — led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) in the House and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the Senate — to stop the sale.
Sanders’ resolution was unveiled Thursday, one day after a group of House Democrats led by AOC introduced a similar measure.
“At a moment when US-made bombs are devastating Gaza, and killing women and children, we cannot simply let another huge arms sale go through without even a Congressional debate,” Sanders, the Senate Budget Committee chairman, said in a statement.
“I believe that the United States must help lead the way to a peaceful and prosperous future for both Israelis and Palestinians. We need to take a hard look at whether the sale of these weapons is actually helping do that, or whether it is simply fueling conflict.”
Congress was notified on May 5 that the Biden administration had approved the arms sale and that lawmakers would be given a deadline of May 20 to file a resolution objecting.
Sanders just met the deadline with his Thursday filing.
In addition to AOC, Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) joined in introducing the resolution in the House on Wednesday.
“At a time when so many, including President Biden, support a ceasefire, we should not be sending ‘direct attack’ weaponry to Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu to prolong this violence,” the New York Democrat said in a statement announcing the resolution.
Israel came under attack by a barrage of rockets launched by Hamas from the Gaza Strip over the last two weeks, sending residents fleeing for shelter as air raid sirens blared across Israel’s cities.
Hamas claimed the attacks came in response to a clash between Israeli police and Palestinian worshipers at the Al-Aqsa mosque at the close of Ramadan.
Hamas, an Islamic fundamentalist offshoot of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, took Gaza in the 2007 Palestinian civil war against the less-radical leadership of the Palestinian Authority.
Israel’s Iron Dome defense system intercepted many of the rockets, with the streaks of interceptor missiles lighting up the sky.
The spasm of violence has produced some of the worst fighting between Israel and the terror group since their 2014 war.
A cease-fire was brokered just before the weekend, and was holding as of Monday morning.
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