In perhaps the most radical vote of Neil Abercrombie‘s two decades in congress, the Democratic candidate for governor was the only member of the U.S. House to vote against a resolution denying U.S. funding to a Palestinian government controlled by Hamas, a terrorist group.

The merits of the vote aside, it shows a politician willing to take positions outside the mainstream of both his party and the government’s official foreign policy.

The Resolution, pictured below, passed the Senate with House concurrence on Feb. 15, 2006, by a vote of 418 to 1. There were 13 representatives who didn’t vote and Abercrombie was the only “nay.”

It was drafted as a U.S. response to the 2006 Palestinian legislative council elections, held on Jan. 25 of that year, where Hamas won 74 of the the 132 available seats.

The election gave Hamas, a party that has said it is committed to the destruction of Israel, a majority stake, besting the Fatah party’s 45 seats and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine party’s three seats.

So why was Abercrombie the only member of congress to vote against the resolution?

According to his spokesperson, Laurie Au, “Neil Abercrombie opposed resolutions that expressed support for a particular political party or politician in the Israeli — Palestinian conflict.”

Au told Civil Beat in an e-mail that, “Neil supports Israel’s right to exist and defend itself; he supports the close friendship that exists between the United States and Israel; and he has publicly and repeatedly condemned acts of terror and expressions of anti-Semitism. Neil did not vote in favor of every House resolution expressing an opinion on Israel because, in some instances, he believed specific language in those resolutions could have had unintended negative effects on the efforts of the Department of Defense or the State Department.”

Apparently, not a single other member of congress felt the same way.

Josh Block, a spokesman for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), an influential pro-Israel lobby group in the United States, said the vote was, at the very least, strange.

“It is extremely unusual to be the only person to vote against a measure that would prevent American taxpayer money from going to support or legitimize a government run by Hamas terrorists,” Block said.

Block did, however, allow that perhaps it was just a mistake on Abercrombie’s part.

“Maybe he just pushed the wrong button?”

If so, he has not retracted.

Asked by Civil Beat this month whether there was any vote he regretted during his time in Congress, Abercrombie made no mention of the Hamas vote and instead cited his vote for the 1999 repeal of the Glass–Steagall Act on banking reforms.

Learn more about Abercrombie’s Shades of Red, on topics such as the military, the estate tax and same-sex marriage.

Learn about Aiona’s Shades of Blue, on topics such as the Akaka Bill, the homeless, clean energy and sustainability and healthy lifestyles.

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