Washington, May 10 – The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill showing both Democrats and Republicans are firmly committed to strong ties with Israel.
The house voted 411-2 to approve the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act, in which members of both parties welcomed the chance to send the world the message that the United States stands with Israel, The Hill newspaper reported on its website.
The bill says Congress “reaffirmed the special bond between the United States and Israel, based on shared values and shared interests.”
The vote in Washington came a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strengthened his government as the opposition Kadima party crossed the floor of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. The move cancelled a call for early elections that would have cut short his government’s term by 18 months.
As a result of the renewed political stability under its parliamentary system, Israeli elections are not expected until the end of the government’s mandate in 2013.
The resolution of the Israeli predicament came as the Palestinians remained frustrated by their inability to hold long overdue elections. A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party in the West Bank called on Hamas to stop blocking Palestinian election workers in Gaza.
The Iran-backed Hamas terrorist organization seized power in Gaza from Fatah in 2007, and has remained split from the Fatah-controlled West Bank ever since. Hamas rejects the peace process and is committed to Israel’s destruction.
During a visit to Jordan, Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Zahar reiterated his rejection of Western values, saying "we don't pin serious hopes on Western countries." The Hamas government in Gaza rejected a recent reconciliation agreement with Fatah that helped cripple both the Palestinian democratic process and peace talks with Israel.