(For a more recent article on Abercrombie's votes on Israel and on terrorism, read Midweek: A Closer Look At Abercrombie’s Record.)
by Malia Zimmerman www.FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, July 25, 2006
As Israel is in the fight for its people’s very survival, Congressman Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, has refused to support America’s important ally over the terrorist group, Hezbollah.
On July 20, Abercrombie voted “No” on House Resolution 921 that his fellow Congressmen overwhelmingly approved by 410-8, and the Senate passed unanimously, which summed up by America’s Pro-Israeli Lobby, “strongly backing Israel’s right to self-defense and condemning Hezbollah and Hamas—and their sponsors Iran and Syria—for launching unprovoked acts of war against the Jewish State…and for Hezbollah to be disarmed and for the full weight of American financial, diplomatic, and economic sanctions to be imposed on Syria and Iran.”
KSSK Radio’s popular morning talk show host Michael Perry asked Abercrombie during a rare live interview on Friday why he did not back the seemingly common sense resolution.
Abercrombie said he did not want to back a resolution that “cheered” on Israel without substance. He claimed during this interview with Perry that he has been supportive of Israel with his other votes.
However, a quick check of Abercrombie’s voting record over the last few years tells a different story.
In the fringe minority, he voted against other key measures that sent a clear message that he is against America’s important ally, Israel, and instead backs the terrorists who are killing Israelis and Americans.
On May 23, 2006, when the House overwhelmingly approved the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act prohibiting U.S. aid to Hamas-led Palestinian government, Abercrombie joined 36 other House members to vote against the measure.
To put Abercrombie’s May 23rd vote in perspective, 361 House members and all U.S. senators voted for the bipartisan measure introduced by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL, and Tom Lantos, D-CA, in the House; and by Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-KY, and Joseph Biden, D-DE, in the Senate.
House Resolution 4681 and Senate Resolution 2370 generously allowed for humanitarian support for Palestine, and only called for a halt on funding the government “until it renounces violence, recognizes Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state and accepts all previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements.”
American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s President Howard Friedman and Executive Director Howard Kohr issued a joint statement after the vote: "Hamas is a terrorist organization, whose involvement in the governmental process has not altered its stated goal of destroying Israel. Instead of using these last few months to work toward better relations with the Israel, Hamas continues to reject Israel's right to exist and to endorse continued violence against the Israeli people.” They added this bill “preserves necessary humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people, while keeping American taxpayer dollars out of the hands of a government run by terrorists.”
In another instance on Feb. 15, 2006, Abercrombie was the only member of the House to vote against a straight-forward resolution saying the United States should never give financial aid to the Palestinian Authority if the party is controlled by members who are calling for Israel’s destruction. The Senate approved the measure unanimously, leaving Abercrombie to stand alone as the only person in all of the more than 535 people in the House and Senate to vote to fund the Hamas terrorists.
The Atlanta Jewish Times, which in an editorial noted Abercrombie as the only vote in opposition, explained it this way: “Hamas is a terrorist organization with the single-minded determination to destroy Israel. Any dealings with the Islamic fundamentalist group and with the Palestinian Legislative Council it now leads must be based on an understanding of that reality.”
The editorial notes the tie between Hamas and Hezbollah: “This [Hamas] is a group that now acknowledges its start-up funding came from Lebanon’s Hezbollah—which means Iran—and has no intention of changing its chilling covenant.”
One sentence of the resolution that Abercrombie opposed, which stands out: “The members of this body call upon the United States of America, the European Union, the United Nations, and all people of peace throughout the world to refuse to recognize Hamas as a legitimate party in the democratic process until it renounces and ends violence, dismantles its terrorist infrastructure, recognizes Israel’s right to exist as a nation and agrees to conduct direct negotiations with Israel to achieve a peaceful coexistence with the State of Israel.”
The Atlanta Jewish Times explains, “As long as Hamas is, well, Hamas, no one who loves Israel, no one who longs for peace and no one who despises terrorism can deal with it as just another political party.”
Voting against Israel isn’t new for Abercrombie. In 2002, he joined 22 other members of Congress in voting against a resolution that supported Israel. Richard Noah Hough, an engineer with the U.S. Army for 16 years who served in Rwanda, Bosnia and Iraq, points out another anti-Israeli position of Abercrombie that received international attention. In 2004, as ranking Democrat on the key subcommittee with jurisdiction over U.S. military land forces, Abercrombie tried to dictate what ammunition the American troops must use in the Middle East.
Citing an article in Reuters, Hough, who is betting that voters in Hawaii’s First Congressional District will support him over Abercrombie in the 2006 election, notes Abercrombie told the Department of Defense that in Iraq or Afghanistan, "by no means, under any circumstances should a round [from Israel] be utilized." Israel Military Industries Ltd. won a $70 million U.S. Army contract to manufacture small-caliber ammunition for U.S. forces in 2003.
The Israelis countered in the WorldNet Daily: "We pioneered many of the anti-terror and urban-warfare techniques that the U.S. military has no problem using in Iraq and Afghanistan…Israeli firms have created an enormous amount of military technology that enhanced the American military. And now suddenly our bullets are illegitimate?"
In a recent flurry of correspondence, several people in Hawaii’s Jewish community were asked to call Abercrombie last week to support last week’s pro-Israel legislation, but when he didn’t comply, they implied they plan to support him anyway with financial resources and votes in the 2006 election.
Marian Grey, a Hawaii Kai resident who is Jewish and involved with the local Republican Party, says if the local Jewish community is truly concerned with the survival of Israel, its members must demand respectable representation from all of its Congressional delegation members.
Critics of Abercrombie say his record shows he is one of the nation’s most “anti-Israel” and pro-terrorist members of Congress.
On several key votes, this nine-term Congressman who is on the important Committee on Armed Services, where he is Ranking Member on the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee, has backed the terrorists over America’s allies.
He says on his Congressional website, that as a member of the Armed Services Committee, “he focuses on quality of life issues affecting military personnel and their families.”
How does backing the terrorists improve the quality of life for America’s armed forces or their families?
With his poor record for freedom, for justice and for the American way, its time that Hawaii voters ask who Abercrombie really represents -- the people of Hawaii and the people of America or the terrorists who want Americans dead and America’s allies destroyed.
Malia Zimmerman edits www.HawaiiReporter.com
Related: A Closer Look At Abercrombie’s Record