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Massachusetts representatives applaud passage of Ukrainian aid, split on military support for Israel

Grace Zokovitch, Boston Herald on

Published in News & Features

Delegates from Massachusetts heralded the passage of billions in aid for Ukraine, Israel and other countries in the House on Saturday.

“The bills before us today are not perfect,” said Democratic Whip Katherine Clark argued on the House floor Saturday, who voted in support of the bills in the package. “They consider very complex and painful issues. But they are a critical step forward, and I urge my colleagues to join me in taking it.”

The package passed by the House over drawn out opposition from hard-right legislators on Saturday includes $95.3 billion in aid for Ukraine, Israel and other allies, as well as provisions imposing sanctions on Iran, Russia, China and pushing again for the sale of TikTok.

The $61 billion in aid for Ukraine passed quickly with an overwhelming vote, and the $26 billion in Israeli military aid and Gaza humanitarian aid and other bills passed by similarly significant margin.

Massachusetts delegates in the House expressed strong support for the Ukraine aid in statements and took more varying nuanced stances on the money headed for the Middle East.

“It is unconscionable that Congress would consider sending more offensive weapons and funding to the Israeli military, which for months has operated with callous disregard for human life in Gaza and perpetrated significant human rights violations,” U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley stated, noting the 34,000 Palestinians killed, millions of people in Gaza facing famine and over 100 remaining Hamas hostages.

 

Pressley voted yes on the Ukraine aid but no on the Israel and Gaza aid bill. The Boston representative said she was “deeply disappointed” in the House’s failure to add two amendments she proposed to put a one-year moratorium on the transfer of offensive weapons to the Israeli military and add further aid for countries including Haiti and Sudan.

“While I support Israel’s right to defend itself—especially following the horrific October 7th attack and I grieve deeply for those impacted—we cannot bomb our way to peace and become complicit as the Netaynahu government continues to massacre the Palestinian people,” Pressley continued.

Humanitarian aid for Gaza in the bill amounted to $9 billion of the $26 billion bill.

Protestors supporting a ceasefire in Gaza gathered outside the Massachusetts State House on Sunday, continuing the group’s weekly demonstrations.

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