Jan 19, 2012

Israel: How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways…

Why do most conservatives (though they are by no means ideologically alone) seem to be so infatuated with Israel? It's more than just an ally-of-the-US kind of relationship to them. It's almost like a father-son thing, though I'm not sure Israel would characterize it that way (or want it to be). But every time I turn around there's always so much talk of protecting Israel militarily, donating aid, supporting their policies and goals at every opportunity, and above all demonizing anyone who even considers maybe not giving them such a cherished status anymore.

A major complaint I've heard from self-described Republicans against Ron Paul (besides the principles-compromising admission of “Romney’s more electable”) is that he would “throw Israel to the wolves”…

Wow. Sounds harsh! Let’s see what he actually says:

"They can take care of themselves," Paul, who has called for reduced U.S. foreign aid generally, said at the time. "Why do we have this automatic commitment that we're going to send our kids and send our money endlessly to Israel?"

"We give $3 billion to Israel and $12 billion to her avowed enemies. How does that help Israel? And in return, we act like her master and demand veto power over her foreign policy," he said.

More from Reuters here.

Why do we have this automatic commitment? It’s a very important question to ask that shouldn’t be so carelessly tossed aside as “preposterous”. In fact, if it is so obvious a need, then the answer should be all that much more easy to provide.

Essentially, he wants them to stand on their own two feet. I see this more of a parent who wants to make sure their child can live on their own, and so does things that may be considered “tough love” or that piss the child off now (but with the intent that, someday, they’ll thank ‘em for it).

But again, we have lots of quotes in that article from various people calling this kind of rhetoric everything between racist and anti-Semitic.

Sure, it’ll be tough at first to lose that financial and military support. But, really, they need to be able to fend for themselves, lest they be forever dependent on us. A 27 year-old son that still lives in his parent’s basement.

And then you have crazies like me. I don’t give two shits about Israel. I’d rather we not donate any foreign aid money to any country. A lot of people would probably call that heartless. Maybe it is. I simply do not want our government to show favoritism, to manipulate other governments by dangling the money at them, to prop up corrupt groups with the steady flow of cash, nor do I want our tax dollars going to this kind of thing. Not in an age of profligate spending, record high deficits, and massive shortfalls. We literally can’t afford it.

If you want to support Israel financially, for crying out loud donate to a charity or something. Organize one yourself. Don’t implicate and mandate all of America into your semitophile antics. Is that really so much to ask?

If it is just so vital that America support Israel, I’m sure you’ll have no problem convincing the rest of us to voluntarily donate too. Of course, maybe your vitriolic opposition is due in part to the knowledge that, given the choice, most Americans wouldn’t, thus the need for a forced payment plan. Well, I’m sorry, that doesn’t morally justify theft.

I want to stress that I am not against Jews in any way. I really don’t care if you are Jewish or some other ethnic group. But that’s just the point: I don’t care. I don’t want to show favoritism or support to any of the various ethnic groups to the exclusion of the others. I’d rather just show support to people. You know… humans? I’d rather show support to the hungry, or homeless, or jobless. What difference does it make where they are from? What makes Jews better than Africans? If you ask me, it’s that kind of favoritism that is truly racist.

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