A recent vote in the United States Congress has magnified an internal division within the cadre of progressive Democratic lawmakers colloquially known as 'The Squad'. The vote, concerning Israel's right to exist and the condemnation of Hamas, highlighted differing opinions among the members of 'The Squad', who usually present a unified front on policy issues.
Clashing Opinions Among The Squad
The discord became apparent with the split vote on a resolution affirming Israel's right to exist as a democratic Jewish state and condemning the actions of Hamas. Some members of 'The Squad' supported the resolution, while others either opposed it or abstained. Notably, Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan voted present, while Republican Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky opposed the resolution.
Implications on U.S. Foreign Policy
This division mirrors the wider debate within the Democratic Party, and particularly its progressive wing, regarding the U.S. foreign policy stance on the Middle East, especially concerning Israel and Palestine. New House Speaker Mike Johnson has shown his intent to bring a separate $14.3 billion Israel aid bill to the floor, setting the stage for a potential conflict with the Senate and the White House.
Future of The Progressive Wing
The outcome of the vote and the split among 'The Squad' members could potentially impact future policy positions and the cohesion of the progressive wing of the party. With Congress having just 11 days to secure a deal on foreign aid before the year's end, the divisions over aid to Israel, changes to immigration and asylum laws, and additional help for Ukraine could intensify. The Biden administration, meanwhile, has cautioned Israel to avoid significant displacement of Palestinian civilians in southern Gaza.