In the coming days, the United States Senate will vote on a supplemental appropriations bill, and while it might sound mundane or technical, it’s a piece of legislation that is historic for Jewish communities across the country, including our own.
The bill would provide critical military aid to Israel in its existential battle against Hamas, which began a brutal war when it broke a ceasefire to attack Israel, and brutally murdered some 1,200 people. It will help protect houses of worship that have been under increased threat from domestic extremists since October 7th by increasing Nonprofit Security Grant Program funds. And it will provide lifelines and support to other democratic partners, as well as provide much-needed humanitarian aid.
This bill has been months in the making in both the House and Senate and has been revised seemingly countless times. And though it doesn’t include solutions to important and legitimate issues that have been raised in the process, including border control and spending offsets, it has still emerged with a bipartisan consensus that touches each of us.
We urge Senators Booker and Menendez as well as all Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to support this critical piece of bi-partisan legislation.
Our allies – Ukraine and Israel – have been subjected to unprovoked violent attacks on their citizens, and because the forces that perpetrated and supported these attacks are aligned against our country, this bill sends the strongest possible message of American support and resolve.
This bill also takes active steps to secure the fundamental rights of safety and security of people of all faiths when gathering for worship, not just in Monmouth and Greater Middlesex counties, but in communities across the nation.
It’s time to stop sitting on the sidelines as foreign money and domestic hate groups continue to bully and threaten public officials trying to improve and protect their own municipalities or on-campus college and high school students trying to get an education. Never mind those that dare to stand up against those who terrorize women and children, take hostages, and against the sewer of antisemitism that has grown tremendously on social media.
It is understandable that some on both sides of Congress are disappointed that other issues failed to make it into this bill, but both sides know – as the 67-27 procedural vote to advance to a final vote showed – that this is a critical moment in America’s ongoing fight for the freedom of all its citizens.
We understand why some have voted against different versions of the bill – but we need them to remember that the moment of decision is now at hand. Every vote in the United States Senate matters on this bill. The stronger the majority, the stronger the message that is sent around the world.