by Josh Ruebner, National Advocacy Director, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
16 December, 2010
Yesterday the House of Representatives passed a resolution, H.Res.1765, “condemning unilateral measures to declare or recognize a Palestinian state.” At first glance, this vote appears to be yet another in a long string of resolutions shoring up unconditional Congressional support for Israeli occupation and apartheid. In reality, however, it demonstrates more a weakening—rather than a strengthening—of support for Israel on Capitol Hill at present.
“How does House passage of another anti-Palestinian resolution exhibit a slackening of Congressional support for Israel?” you might rightfully ask. Allow me to explain the paradox.
As are most “pro-Israel” resolutions, H.Res.1765 was brought to a vote under a procedure known as “suspension of the rules.” This procedure, which is supposed to be reserved for non-controversial resolutions such as the naming of a post office, prohibits the resolution from being amended and limits debate on it. In exchange for these restrictions, the resolution must get at least a 2/3 vote to pass rather than a simple majority.
However, unlike most “pro-Israel” resolutions, which often are not voted on for months after being introduced in order to give the Israel lobby time to marshal an overwhelming number of co-sponsors, H.Res.1765 was pushed through quickly with the co-sponsorship of only 53 Representatives.