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-The Congressional push to give Israel an extra $1 billion in military aid for the anti-missile Iron Dome System continues to be held up by GOP Senator Rand Paul, who supports the Iron Dome funding but wants the US to divert reconstruction aid to Afghanistan to pay for it. But Jewish Insider reports that Senate Democrats have a plan to get Israel the funding even if Paul continues to slow down the process. Democrats aim to include the funding as part of the annual bill funding the Pentagon, which typically passes Congress with overwhelming majorities. The fight over Iron Dome funding began in the House, when a small number of progressives objected to handing Israel $1 billion in military funding on top of the $3.8 billion Israel already gets from the US. Once it passed the House, the bill moved to the Senate, where it’s likely that every US Senator will support it, including Bernie Sanders, the most prominent critic of Israeli human rights abuses in the body. As Jewish Currents first reported, Sanders promised his support in exchange for assurances from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer that the US will give Gaza more humanitarian relief.
-A Texas judge is pushing for an appeals court to grant Randy Halprin, an incarcerated person facing execution, a new trial because of the original judge’s antisemitic bias against Halprin, who is Jewish. Halprin was convicted of murder and sentenced to death because of his role in a prison escape and robbery that led to the death of a police officer. The judge overseeing the trial, Vickers Cunningham, made repeated antisemitic remarks about Halprin and about Jews. For more on Halprin’s case, read Rebecca Pierce’s and Isaac Brosilow’s 2019 essay in Jewish Currents, arguing that Halprin’s predicament reveals that “Jewish prisoners like Halprin are still vulnerable under a system designed to incarcerate and kill using the logic of white Christian supremacy.”