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House passes resolution condemning antisemitism

The House passed a Republican-led resolution on Tuesday condemning antisemitism in the United States and globally.

A number of Democrats, however, expressed concern that the language of the GOP resolution is overly broad and would effectively define any criticism of the Israeli government or its policies as antisemitism. The vote was 311 to 14.

Ninety-two Democrats voted “present,” and 13 Democrats and one Republican voted against the resolution.

The vote comes as aid to Israel remains stalled in Congress amid Israel’s war against Hamas. There is widespread bipartisan support for aid to Israel, but the issue has become entangled with partisan disputes over other policy priorities, including the US Southern border, putting its passage in question.

Ahead of the vote, Democratic Reps. Jerry Nadler and Daniel Goldman of New York and Jamie Raskin of Maryland urged their colleagues to vote “present” on the GOP resolution, describing it as a partisan attempt to score political points and saying that a bipartisan approach is needed.

Nadler, Goldman and Raskin on Monday introduced an alternative resolution that condemns antisemitism and calls on executive branch agencies and Congress to implement the Biden administration’s national strategy to counter antisemitism.

In remarks on the House floor, Nadler pointed to language in the GOP resolution stating that “anti-Zionism is antisemitism.”

“That is either intellectually disingenuous or just factually wrong,” he said.

“The authors, if they were at all familiar with Jewish history and culture, should know about Jewish anti-Zionism that was, and is, expressly not antisemitic,” he said.

“Most anti-Zionism, particularly in this moment, has a real antisemitism problem. But we cannot fairly say that one equals the other,” he said.

In November, the GOP-controlled House passed a bill to provide $14.3 billion in aid to Israel. Democrats, however, took issue with the bill over the fact that it would enact funding cuts to the Internal Revenue Service and would not include aid to Ukraine.

Senate Republicans, on the other hand, have argued that aid for Ukraine and Israel must be paired with border policy changes, which has created a sticking point in that chamber.

Separately, two House Democrats are planning on introducing a resolution this week condemning Hamas’ use of sexual violence and rape against Israeli women.

Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel of Florida has begun drafting the resolution, a Democratic lawmaker familiar with the plans told CNN.

A source familiar with Frankel’s thinking told CNN combating rape as a weapon of war is a long-standing priority for the congresswoman and the resolution was not drafted as a response to any comments made by other members.

The move comes, however, in the wake of Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s comments to CNN’s Dana Bash that upset a number of her Democratic colleagues.

While Jayapal condemned the rape of Israeli women by Hamas and called it “horrific” on CNN’s “State of the Union,” she pointed out that over 15,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli attacks in Gaza since the start of the war and said, “I think we have to be balanced about bringing in the outrages against Palestinians.”

Jayapal released a statement Tuesday afternoon saying, “Let me be completely clear again that I unequivocally condemn Hamas’ use of rape and sexual violence as an act of war. This is horrific and across the world, we must stand with our sisters, families, and survivors of rape and sexual assault everywhere to condemn this violence and hold perpetrators accountable.”

This story and headline have been updated with additional developments.

CNN’s Annie Grayer contributed to this report.

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