U.S. Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said Wednesday that financial challenges “will not have any adverse effect on America’s determination to meet its promise to Israel.” The blunt statement by the second-highest ranked Democrat in the House of Representatives underscored recent news that subsidies to Israel remained untouched by the debt crisis.
Hoyer is currently leading a delegation of 26 US Democratic congressmen on a tour of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, funded by an affiliate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. He insisted his message was bipartisan and that a similar message will be brought to Israel next week when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) leads a Republican delegation to the country, numbering 55 congressmen.
Israel announced on Monday the approval for building 277 new homes in an illegal West Bank settlement, just days after announcing approval for thousands of new homes in Palestinian East Jerusalem and after breaking new records in the rate of demolitions of Palestinian homes and settlement construction in 2011.
Strangely, the U.S. responded to these moves on Monday by saying publicly that it was “deeply troubled” by Israel’s settlement plans, a bold statement considering all of Israel’s activities in the occupied territories are funded and sanctioned by the U.S.