Rep. Thomas Massie (R., Ky.) accused a leading American pro-Israel lobbying group of acting as a foreign agent.
After Massie voted against funding Israel's Iron Dome missile-defense system last week, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee published an ad attacking him for his stance. "When Israel faced rocket attacks, Thomas Massie voted against Iron Dome," the ad read.
Massie struck back at AIPAC over the ad; "How is THIS not foreign interference in our elections?" the congressman tweeted on Monday.
How is THIS not foreign interference in our elections? pic.twitter.com/O5LSToIBUO
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) September 27, 2021
AIPAC is a bipartisan American lobbying group headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is not an Israeli government agent. The organization has more than 100,000 members in the United States.
Critics accused Massie of evoking the anti-Semitic "dual loyalty" trope, in which American Jews are cast as holding loyalty to Israel over the United States. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) drew controversy in 2019 for advancing the trope after she bemoaned "the political influence in this country that says it is OK to push for allegiance to a foreign country [Israel]."
Massie was the only House Republican to vote against funding the Iron Dome. The congressman said concern over the country's debt guided his vote.
"My position of 'no foreign aid' might sound extreme to some," Massie said, "but I think it’s extreme to bankrupt our country and put future generations of Americans in hock to our [creditors]."
Massie joined Omar and other Democratic members of the progressive "Squad" in opposing funds for the missile-defense system. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) took to the House floor last week to denounce the measure, calling it a replenishment of "weapons apartheid Israel used in a crisis it manufactured."
Israel used the Iron Dome system in its May conflict with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad to counter thousands of rockets fired by the terrorists in Gaza. The system intercepted 90 percent of rockets fired during the conflict, the Israeli military said, but Hamas rockets still managed to kill 12 civilians in Israel.