(CNSNews.com) – Citing a biblical warning of divine judgment on nations that try to partition the land God gave to the Jewish people, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) on Thursday voted against a bipartisan measure supportive of Israel, because it contained favorable references to a “two-state solution.”
“I can’t vote for the resolution when we are advocating what Joel 3 say will bring judgment down upon our nation for trying to partition Israel,” Gohmert said on the floor of the House of Representatives.
In a 342-80 vote, the House passed a non-binding measure disapproving of last month’s U.N. Security Council resolution, which condemned Israeli presence in territory – including the holiest site in Judaism – claimed by the Palestinians for a future independent state. The Obama administration’s decision to abstain and allow resolution 2334 to pass has drawn strong criticism from supporters of Israel.
Thursday’s House resolution, H.Res.11, won strong bipartisan support, but Gohmert was one of four Republicans to vote against it.
Explaining his decision to oppose the measure, Gohmert noted that it contained four references of support for the “two-state solution” – a widely-held but not universally accepted view that peace in the Middle East can only come on the basis of an independent Palestinian state alongside an Israel that has ceded “land for peace.”
Gohmert said a two-state solution would mean Israel relinquishing Hebron, which he said was the capital of the kingdom of Israel for seven years before King David moved his seat to Jerusalem some 3,000 years ago (as recorded in 2 Samuel 5.)
“Hebron is in what was the ‘Promised Land.’ David ruled from there for the first seven years he was king over Israel. Hebron is part of the two-state solution, going to the Palestinians,” he said.
“How do the Palestinians deserve the land that was given [to the Jews] as the ‘Promised Land’ 1,600 years before Mohammed even existed?” Gohmert asked.
“I can’t vote for the resolution when we are advocating what Joel 3 say will bring judgment down upon our nation for trying to partition Israel,” he said. “Can’t do it.”
The Old Testament chapter cited by Gohmert prophesies that, after God has brought back His exiled people to their land He will judge all nations for scattering them and for dividing His land.
In a statement later Thursday, Gohmert said the House should simply have condemned the Security Council resolution, “but instead our bill included language the U.S. should not support.”
“In four places the resolution demanded a ‘two-state solution’ which would require the dividing of Israel,” he said. “Even beyond the governmental and foreign policy concerns, the vote has eternal consequences for anyone who believes in the Bible. Since I have taken an oath to defend and protect the United States, I cannot support my nation’s demanding Israel give up land that was promised to and occupied by the children of Israel thousands of years ago.”
Gohmert was not alone in questioning the references in H.Res.11 to the two-state solution.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said on the House floor he wished there had been an opportunity for a debate on the issue.
“I’d like to have had a debate on the one-state solution versus the two-state solution, because I believe that the two-state solution has run its course and we need to pack up our tools and ship those off to the side and start all over again with a new look.”
King said he would like to have a seen a House measure that did not just reject Security Council resolution 2334, but also “said to the Trump administration, ‘Let’s start this fresh, with a new look, rather than being bound by implication to a two-state solution.’”
King indicated that his objection would not preclude him voting in support of H.Res.11.
Later Thursday, however, King introduced a resolution of his own that rejects the two-state solution which, he said, “has failed to result in a secure environment for either Israel, a free country, or the Palestinians, who are led by Islamists and autocrats.”
King said his resolution encourages Israel to pursue “its own course in direct negotiations with the Palestinians, instead of Washington dictating terms upon Jerusalem.”
Aside from Gohmert, the other three Republican “nay” votes for H.Res.11 came from libertarian Reps. Justin Amash (Mich.), Walter Jones (N.C.) and John Duncan (Tenn.).
Among the 76 Democrats who voted against the measure were Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) – even though she had earlier criticized the Security Council resolution, saying it did not advance the goal of a two-state solution – and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), a contender in the race to head the Democratic National Committee, and one of two Muslims in Congress.