U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is leading a cadre of Democrats in Israel this week where she promised an ironclad alliance between the two nations in their fight against Iran.
‘We are together in the fight against terrorism posed by Iran, both in the region and also its nuclear development. The nuclear threat by Iran is a global one. It is a threat to the world,’ the California Democrat said in a ceremony at the Knesset on Wednesday.
‘Israel’s proximity to Iran is a concern to all of us and a responsibility for all of us,’ she said.
Pelosi is joined on the trip by fellow Democrats Adam Schiff, Ted Deutch, Barbara Lee, Bill Keating, Eric Swalwell and Andy Kim, all of whom are strong supporters of Israel.
The speaker said the delegation shows the U.S.’s ‘bipartisan commitment to an unbreakable bond between Israel and the United States built on mutual security, our economic interests and our common values and commitment to democracy.’
The Democrats’ trip to Israel is part and parcel to the party in-fighting between progressives and establishment Democrats ahead of midterm elections where Republicans have a shot at making gains. Thirty Democrats have already announced they will retire rather than take on a re-election campaign.
Just over the weekend, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez suggested that Palestinian children are being put in cages by Israelis in the West Bank.
Pelosi, and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, right, attend a joint meeting with speaker of the Knesset Mickey Levy, left, at the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament in Jerusalem, Israel, Wednesday, Feb. 16
‘We are together in the fight against terrorism posed by Iran, both in the region and also its nuclear development. The nuclear threat by Iran is a global one. It is a threat to the world,’ the California Democrat said
‘Israel’s proximity to Iran is a concern to all of us and a responsibility for all of us,’ Pelosi added
Talks have been ongoing in Vienna about reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, with Iran a mere months away from gathering enough fuel to create a bomb. The U.S. unilaterally left the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2018 and impose strict sanctions on Iran that remain in place.
Israeli diplomats traveled to Vienna Tuesday to meet with negotiators involved, though Israel is not a party to the discussions.
Three U.S. negotiators have already resign in protest as they argued for a harder negotiating position. The U.S. State Department subsequently waived sanctions on Iran’s civil nuclear program in hopes that Tehran will return to the 2015 agreement.
The removal of sanctions would see the release of Iran’s frozen funds held abroad, estimated at some $29 billion about a one third of what’s held abroad by the country.
Iran would once against be allowed to trade with the rest of the world use global banking systems such as SWIFT to wire money.
Sanctions against exports of Iranian oil would also be removed. Foreign firms would once again be allowed to invest in Iran’s commodities of oil and gas, automobiles, hotels and other sectors.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claimed over the weekend that children are being put in cages by Israelis in the West Bank, as she said the media ‘censors’ Palestinian concerns.
‘With media, with all this stuff, Palestine is basically a banned word. It’s censored. We don’t talk about it. No one knows about it,’ she said at a rally in Austin, Texas. ‘Thank you for bringing it up, honestly, because we shouldn’t have to tiptoe around these things. We should be able to talk about it. And we shouldn’t allow people’s humanity to be censored.’
She pushed back on charges of anti-semitism leveled against some of Israel’s biggest critics in the House, such as Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.
‘Believing in the basic human dignity and the ability for a person to not be jailed or beaten for who they are, it does not mean that you are bigoted against any other community,’ Ocasio-Cortez said, according to Jewish Insider. ‘And we gotta call that for what it is.’
She compared the treatment of Palestinians by Israelis in the West Bank to treatment of migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border. ‘I don’t believe that a child should be in a cage on our border and I don’t believe a child should be in a cage in the West Bank.’