Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) was the lone member of the House to vote against a resolution equating criticism of the modern state of Israel with antisemitism.
The resolution passed in a vote of 412-1-1, as Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) voted “present.” The bill states that the House “reaffirms the State of Israel has the right to exist” and “recognizes that denying Israel’s right to exist is a form of antisemitism.”
Massie explained his opposition in a post on X. “I agree with the title ‘Reaffirming the State of Israel’s Right to Exist’ and much of the language, but I’m voting No on the resolution because it equates anti-Zionism with antisemitism. Antisemitism is deplorable, but expanding it to include criticism of Israel is not helpful,” he wrote.
Tlaib said she didn’t vote in favor of the resolution because it “ignores the existence of the Palestinian people” and “brings us no closer to peaceful coexistence.” The resolution states that Jewish people are “native to the Land of Israel” without mentioning that the modern state was founded mainly by recently emigrated Jewish Europeans who drove over 700,000 native Palestinian Arabs out of the land in 1948.
Massie has voted against other Israel-related legislation, including a bill to give Israel $14.3 billion more in military aid to support its war in Gaza. For his position, Massie has been targeted by the Israel lobby.
“Why does Israel historically get more foreign aid than any other country? Because they have the most aggressive lobbyists working for them. I voted NOT to send another $14.3 billion overseas, so now they’re running ads on radio, TV, and facebook. I won’t vote to give them your $,” Massie wrote on X on November 16.