Jewish advocacy groups on Monday condemned House Republicans for once again attempting to weaponize anti-Semitism to derail the Yemen War Powers resolution, which seeks to end U.S. complicity in the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
“Just as they did earlier this year, Republican leaders may again shamefully exploit concerns over bigotry against Jews to stall a totally unrelated bill that would help put an end to U.S. support for the war in Yemen,” Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of the progressive-leaning Jewish advocacy group J Street, said in a statement.
The House is expected to vote on the Yemen War Powers resolution as early as this week. If it passes the lower chamber, the bill will head to President Donald Trump’s desk.
“By tacking on ‘non-germane’ language condemning anti-Semitism, they would hand Mitch McConnell the ability to once again stall a vote on the Yemen resolution,” Ben-Ami said. “House Democrats should refuse to cooperate with such an outrageous stunt. They must see through the GOP’s cynical maneuver and reject any attempt to use language related to anti-Semitism as a tool to obstruct the passage of unrelated legislation.”
In a letter last week, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) also slammed “the growing partisan weaponization of anti-Semitism” as a ploy to kill non-related legislation.
An anonymous ADL spokesperson told HuffPost that “combating anti-Semitism should be addressed on its own terms, not used as a prop to score political points or to block important unrelated congressional business.”
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), the original House sponsor of the Yemen resolution, thanked the ADL for speaking out against the GOP’s stunt.
“I appreciate ADL’s leadership and hope that the Republicans will heed their advice and not politicize anti-Semitism in the Yemen vote,” Khanna told HuffPost.
The Jewish groups’ statements came as Republicans are reportedly planning to file a motion to recommit (MTR) when the House votes on the Yemen resolution as early as this week.
Astonishing graphic from @CNN, identifying civilian massacres in Yemen with the bomb makers – Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. This should be standard in war reporting. Searing images. https://t.co/EZqkSsAri6 pic.twitter.com/NWJvPuN7ct
— Tim Shorrock (@TimothyS) August 18, 2018
As Common Dreams reported, House Republicans used an MTR to insert language condemning anti-Semitism into the Yemen resolution earlier this year. Because the language was not related to the legislation, the House was forced to re-vote on the bill.
The Senate passed the Yemen War Powers resolution last month.
Last week, a coalition of more than 40 progressive advocacy groups urged Democrats to unite against any Republican MTRs.
“A vote in favor of the MTR is a vote to destroy the viability of the bill, prevent it from reaching the president’s desk, and prolong the conflict,” the groups wrote. “The Republicans’ weaponization of accusations of anti-Semitism is wrong. Doing so to prolong one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world is unconscionable. Democrats must not abet such a cynical effort.”
In February, House Democrats unanimously approved a Republican MTR that inserted language condemning anti-Semitism into the Yemen War Powers resolution.
The Yemen resolution passed the House, but the language denouncing anti-Semitism was deemed “non-germane” to the legislation—which is why the House must re-vote on the resolution before it reaches President Donald Trump’s desk.
If the GOP does succeed in amending the Yemen resolution through an MTR, the groups warned, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) “would then be under no obligation to bring SJRes7 back up for a vote, and the bill would die.”