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Update on Support for Israel in the U.S. Senate

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Ever since Hamas’ brutal attack against innocent Israelis on October 7, Concerned Women for America (CWA) has been dedicated to standing with Israel and encouraging others to do likewise in a variety of ways.

One of those ways has been the prayer vigils that Young Women for America (YWA) chapters have hosted on college campuses nationwide. These vigils featured both CWA and YWA leaders speaking out against antisemitism, the hateful ideology that we’ve seen spreading in the U.S. justifying the barbaric actions of terrorists against innocents simply because they are Jews.

Although these vigils happened at a time when Congress was in session in Washington, D.C., U.S. Senators and Congressmen were still able to participate in various ways.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) wrote a letter that was read at the Baylor University event. In it, he emphasized his support of Israel’s right to defend itself and declared that now is not the time for a ceasefire. For the University of Alabama vigil, Sen. Tuberville (R-Alabama) recorded a video thanking YWA for hosting the vigil, noting that “prayer works, so keep on praying.” While unable to attend in person, Sens. James Lankford (R-Oklahoma) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) sent representatives to speak on their behalf at the Oklahoma and Tennessee rallies. Rep. Stephanie Bice (R-Oklahoma) also had a representative attend the Oklahoma vigil.

In addition to the vigils, CWA has also worked to make the plight of the hostages more visible on Capitol Hill. Prior to November 1, only five Senate offices had any public display in support of Israel. Because we know that a far greater number have voiced their support of Israel, we started a campaign to raise that number by emailing offices and distributing posters of the hostages to those who were interested. Thanks to those efforts, over 30 Congressional offices (and counting) now have a display.

But in Congress, the most permanent way to measure support (or opposition) is via a vote. In a strategic pro-Israel maneuver, Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kansas) forced the Senate to vote on a bill that would have sent aid to Israel, and only Israel, which the House had passed earlier this month. Because Senate leadership wants to pass a bill that ties Israel, Ukraine, and border funding together, they had no intention of bringing the House-passed bill to the Senate floor.

But according to Senate rules, a member of the minority party can move to bring an item on the legislative calendar to the floor if there is no other pending business and if he has enough signatures from other Senators, which Sen. Marshall did. In order to stop the vote on the bill, the Senate had to vote to block the procedure, which was effectively a vote against sending aid to Israel.

The vote came the evening after the March for Israel in Washington, D.C., at which several legislators, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York), spoke in favor of sending Israel whatever aid they needed. Yet when the time came to put words to action, every Senate Democrat shamefully voted against standing with Israel in their time of tremendous need.

We are extremely grateful for those Senators willing to make a public stand in support of Israel, either by praying with us or hanging posters and flags outside of their offices for all to see. And we are thankful to Sen. Marshall, for forcing his peers to clearly state where their support truly lies. Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee will continue to encourage lawmakers like these to speak boldly with moral clarity and take meaningful action against antisemitism and barbarism.