The US House of Representatives passed a resolution today "condemning the recent attacks against the State of Israel, holding terrorists and their state-sponsors accountable for such attacks, supporting Israel's right to defend itself."
No surprises here. Yet while the House bill echoed most of the language of Senate Resolution 534, passed Tuesday, the House measure was more robust. One Congressman who voted against the bill, Jim McDermott (D-Washington), objected to a particular clause not included in the Senate's resolution.
The House bill supports "Israel's right to take appropriate action to defend itself, including to conduct operations both in Israel and in the territory of nations which pose a threat to it."
I think McDermott is right to conclude that this amounts to the House endorsing an expansion of the Israeli campaign onto other fronts. How much one should read into that is anyone's guess.
Only 8 members of the House opposed the bill. The only Republican was a wacky libertarian type from Texas. Michigan Democrats came out strong against the measure. Detroit Reps. John Conyers Jr. and Carolyn Kilpatrick and the Dearborn area's John Dingell represent the largest Arab-American and Lebanese-American populations in the country, and they have all issued public statements on the crisis.
Here in the East Bay (CA) Pete Stark voted no, while Berkeley and Oakland's Barbara Lee abstained. We didn't get any statements.