by Bill Motchan in the St. Louis Jewish Light
A Missouri House of Representatives committee on Feb. 6 held a hearing on a pro-Israel resolution. Nearly 120 supporters of the resolution attended the hearing, including 100 students from Epstein Hebrew Academy and Torah Prep.
The resolution, known as HCR30, expresses support for Israel and recognizes its special relationship with the United States. It was introduced by Rep. Dean Plocher, R-St. Louis County, who is also the speaker of the house. Plocher began by introducing the resolution and stating that “Missouri’s ties to Israel go back a long time and I’m proud of that.”
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During the hearing, the Special Committee on Public Policy offered citizens the opportunity to share testimony, alternating pro and against the resolution. The first witness to speak was Jill Noble, a resident of Clay County, who noted that the Israeli flag was first flown at the 1904 World’s Fair.
Brian Herstig, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, offered testimony and said, “Over 70 Missouri companies have benefitted from doing business in Israel. Thank you for reaffirming the special relationship between Missouri and Israel.”
Unlike bills, resolutions are not laws. They are expressions of the sentiments of lawmakers and must be passed by both the House and the Senate. There are currently 44 co-sponsors of the resolution. The hearing before the public policy committee was one step toward the final adoption of the resolution.
The wording of the resolution was the result of collaboration between Plocher, the resolution sponsor, and Rabbi Ze’ev Smason, chairman of the Coalition for Jewish Values in Missouri. Before the hearing, Smason noted that the show of support by the Jewish day school students was “a very powerful statement.”
Originally published in the St. Louis Jewish Light