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Rep. Nydia Velazquez votes ‘present’ on measure supporting Israel

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Congressmember Nydia Velazquez on Wednesday was among a small group of House members refusing to back a resolution calling on the body to “stand with Israel.”

The Meeks-McCaul resolution, H. Res 771, is titled “Standing with Israel as it Defends Itself Against the Barbaric War Launched by Hamas and Other Terrorists.” The resolution reaffirms U.S. support for the Jewish state. The measure further says the U.S. will continue to provide military funding to Israel — $3.3 billion per year through 2028 — declaring that Israel has “the right to self-defense.”

In a show of bipartisan unity, 412 members voted for the resolution. Ten voted against it. Six, including Velazquez, voted “present.” Among those voting No were several members of the Democratic “Squad,” including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Velazquez’s district is now based solely in Brooklyn. But for 20 years, before redistricting in 2012, she also represented a part of the Lower East Side.

After her vote, Velazquez released the following statement:

“H.Res 771 was introduced shortly after Hamas’s horrific attack on Israel on October 7, 2023. This unprecedented attack claimed the lives of over 1,400 Israelis, injured 5,400, and resulted in over 200 innocent Israelis being taken hostage. Hamas’s terrorist attack killed young children, destroyed families, and shook the state of Israel to its core. I initially cosponsored H.Res 771 to condemn this attack in the strongest terms and mourn the devastating loss of Israeli life.

“However, since October 7th we have also seen a humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Gaza. In the weeks since Hamas’s attack, the Israeli military has dropped thousands of bombs on Gaza, killing at least 6,546 Palestinians and injuring over 17,000 more. At the same time, Palestinians have effectively been cut off from the resources they need to live. No electricity, no food, no water, no fuel. I chose to vote Present on H.Res 771 because, while I condemn the heinous attack on Israel, I cannot vote for a measure that does not acknowledge the suffering of Palestinians and the horrific toll the war has taken on the innocent people living in Gaza. I believe that the lives of both Israeli and Palestinian civilians are precious and that is why I continue to support an immediate ceasefire.”

President Joe Biden, for one, however, has questioned the number of Palestinian casualties that Hamas has cited.

To a reporter’s question at a press conference on Oct. 25, Biden responded, “I have no confidence in the numbers that the Palestinians are using.”


  1. Tony Tony November 3, 2023

    Trump is a pathological liar and horrible human being but he would get rid of congestion pricing so I’m split. The woke left is ruining the country as much as the far right.

  2. Baam knight Baam knight November 3, 2023

    This whole situation is a mess, the budget given to these foreign militaries goes beyond the estimated price to fix the house crisis in the entirety of the USA

  3. Carol Frances Yost Carol Frances Yost November 1, 2023

    I’ll vote for Biden because he’s the only viable alternative to The Orange Coif. There may be better candidates (no, NOT Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.!), but Biden is the one who has the best chance of winning against Trump. Biden has done some good things, but he has also failed to help the immigrants as much as he promised to, and in fact he allows many of them to be deported unjustly; and he also supports Israel no matter what she does, and she has oppressed the Palestinians since Day One.

    NOTE: The US is giving $3.8 billion, not $3.3 billion annually to Israel. That goes toward oppression of the Palestinians; be sure of that. They don’t have an army, navy or air force the way Israel does; they don’t have nuclear warheads, as Israel does. In fact, they don’t have a whole lot of things that Israel has. Perhaps Hamas was able to break through because Israeli officials, in their conceit about their power, failed to be sufficiently watchful of their ultra-techno defense structure. That’s the only reason Hamas succeeded. I won’t defend Hamas, but it acted out of sheer desperation and anger, really. You’re not safe if you bully and oppress people. Israel keeps stealing more and more land. Now it’s using October 7th as an excuse to make a final push to get all of the land. You’ve heard what they said, haven’t you?–They want to send ALL Palestinians into the desert of Egypt. In tents. Meanwhile they’re killing as many as they can.

    I respect Nydia Velasquez for trying to be honest about the situation. That Resolution is horrible.

    Biden has definitely been corrected after he said he questioned the number of Palestinian casualties.

  4. Sweet Danger Sweet Danger October 30, 2023

    Voting present is COWARDLY. Vote yes or no!

  5. Mary Reinholz Mary Reinholz October 27, 2023

    Biden could lose the 2024 election for failing to address the humanitarian crisis properly in Gaza and to call for an immediate ceasefire, alienating many young Democrats and this old one.

    • Sweet Danger Sweet Danger October 30, 2023

      Well then they can’t complain when Donald Trump wins, no can they?

    • Lia Lia October 30, 2023

      For years my family has donated to and volunteered for various Democratic candidates all over the country.
      We did not completely agree with all those candidates but supported them because of massive worry about the fate of the U.S.

      I fear for my children.

      It is terrifying and incredible to think that young people would be OK with Donald Trump etc and permanent destruction of this country because Biden wasn’t perfect.

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