This column addresses patriotism more often than it should, but it is simply because over the past few years Republicans have demonstrated their loyalty and devotion to anyone except the American people or the nation itself. During the Viet Nam War, there was an oft-repeated phrase from conservatives that Americans who did not love America’s habit of perpetual war should get out. The implication was that opposing the war was supporting the enemy and therefore unpatriotic, but today, there is a tendency among Republicans to support foreign nations and leaders over the interests of this nation that clearly shows their patriotism is reserved for any nation other than America.
The idea of patriotic duty to one’s own country, and its citizens, has never caught on with Republicans, particularly Republicans loyal to foreign nations. Over the past five years, Republicans worked diligently to advance the economic interests of the Canadian oil industry and preserve Canada’s environment by pushing to build Canada’s leak-prone KeystoneXL pipeline across America, heaped inordinate praise on Russia’s homophobic religious right President Vladimir Putin, and of course, provided unwavering support, and untold sums of taxpayer dollars, to the nation where their true allegiance and patriotism lies; Israel. In fact, as mentioned here last week, “Supporting Israel unconditionally has become the hallmark of American patriotism, and questioning anything it does is of the Devil, treason, attacking god, anti-Semitic, assaulting the holy bible, and an affront to Christianity.”
An accusation last week by evangelical freak Ted Cruz that President Obama utilized an American regulatory agency to economically punish Israel really revealed two facts about Republicans demanding compliance to demands made by Israel. First, because Israel is the source of most of the Christian bible’s Old Testament mythology, America has an obligation to obey Israeli demands as if they were uttered directly from the mouth of god. Second, because Cruz protested, quite vigorously, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) regard for the safety of Americans citizens flying to Israel, he obviously cares more about Israel’s economy and tourism trade than the safety of American lives. It is the truest form of patriotism to Israel, and monumental contempt for American citizens’ safety.
According to Cruz, the FAA ban on flights to Israel was not a safety issue, but a devious plot by President Obama to “use a federal regulatory agency to punish Israel, and aid Hamas.” The half-American claimed the FAA flight ban was the Obama Administration’s attempt “aid our enemy and isolate and hurt our ally.” Cruz also asserted that the White House needs to answer for deliberately launching an economic boycott on Israel to destroy its tourism industry. Cruz needs to provide answers to two simple questions; is he an American or Israeli citizen, and which nation does he swear allegiance to above all others? According to his disregard for the safety of American lives and accusations President Obama is plotting to hurt Israel’s economy, his allegiance is to Israel, not America.
Now, on the subject of Israel’s economy, America has been propping up Israel for decades with unwavering support of its defense industry, but it is never enough. Last week, while Republicans were busy obstructing funding for the so-called Bush-Republican immigration crisis and funding for Veterans’ healthcare, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced standalone legislation to provide funding for Israel’s “Iron Dome” anti-missile system. The Senate Appropriations Chairwoman, Barbara Mikulski, had included the Israeli military welfare in a supplemental to legislation addressing the “crisis” of child refugees seeking out Border Patrol officers for assistance according to the 2008 Bush-Republican law, but McConnell’s patriotism, and American taxpayer’s largesse, lies with Israel; not America’s immigration dilemma.
Republicans were incensed that Mikulski’s bill would not unilaterally repeal Bush’s 2008 anti-trafficking law, so McConnell’s bill allows Republicans to demonstrate their loyalty to Israel with more taxpayer money and cement their opposition to addressing the border crisis they created. On the floor of the Senate, McConnell said, “Republicans are united in support of our ally Israel, and we have legislation that allows Congress to send a message to Hamas that its terrorist tactics and its attempts to terrorize Israel’s populace will not succeed.” Of course, being loyal to Israel, McConnell, Republicans, and Congress in general refuse to address Israel’s terrorism against Palestinian civilians forced to exist in a fenced, mined, and isolated interment camp and have no problem funding Israel’s war effort. And, they reveal they have no loyalty to America by staunchly opposing any funding for Bush’s immigration law, Veterans, hungry and homeless Americans, or to repair this country’s rapidly deteriorating infrastructure.
Last Wednesday, the The UN Human Rights Council condemned Israel’s assault on Palestinian civilians it said involved “disproportionate and indiscriminate attacks including aerial bombing of civilian areas, collective punishment, and the killing of more than 650 Palestinians.” At the end of the emergency session, the U.N. Human Rights forum adopted a resolution by a vote of 29 in favor and 1 against (the United States). To punctuate America’s unwavering support for continued humanitarian abuses, America jumped at the chance to send Israel hundreds-of-millions more in military aid while Republican refused to spend one penny for Americans or its immigration problem.
Now, there is no doubt that America is, and always will be, Israel’s staunchest ally. It was, after all, America and the United Kingdom that handed Israel a homeland while the Jewish state refuses to negotiate a peaceful settlement and give Palestinians a homeland. In 2012, American taxpayers funded 21% of Israel’s military that belies Cruz’s claim the Obama Administration plotted to damage Israel’s economy. However, funding 21% of Israel’s military is still not enough according to Republicans and a fair number of Democrats, and there is a question the American people funding nearly a quarter of Israel’s military deserve an honest answer to; what has Israel done for America to deserve taxpayer largesse?
For the level of funding this country provides to “our ally Israel,” one would think the very least they could do was reduce tensions with Palestinians sequestered in a fenced off and heavily-mined reservation by providing what America and the U.K. gave Israel; a homeland. Israel was furious that America attempted to mediate an end to its assault on Palestinian civilians, and instead Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s security cabinet met to debate proposals for how best to escalate the Gaza offensive.
The idea of a Palestinian homeland or a peaceful resolution is a concept Republicans oppose out-of-hand because they support Israel’s refusal to seek peace; and why should Israel negotiate for a peaceful settlement? America dependably funds their war effort that includes the inhumane treatment of the Palestinian people and a military assault on innocent civilians. Ted Cruz assailed Secretary of State John Kerry’s request for humanitarian aid such as food, water, and medical care for war-torn Palestinian civilians as support for terrorists. This nation’s opposition to the United Nations’ humanitarian resolution is all the proof anyone needs that despite the Obama Administration’s calls for peace, America is funding and supporting the invasion of Gaza.
Republicans, and some Democrats, need to come clean with the American people and elucidate precisely where their loyalties lie and which country they swear allegiance to because it is increasingly clear it is not America. Whether it is supporting Canada’s oil industry and protecting their environment from the KeystoneXL pipeline, praising Russian President Putin’s anti-gay, religious right agenda and “patriotic” invasion of Ukraine, or Israel’s decades long refusal to seek a peaceful resolution and provide Palestinians with a homeland; there is no evidence Republican patriotism is for America or its people.
Apparently, Republican loyalty, patriotism, and unwavering support for the nation they love above all others is simply because Israel is the central theme of the bible’s Old Testament. If there is another reason, like something Israel has done to garner billions-of-dollars America gives them every year, it is time for Republicans to explain their Israeli patriotism. If they cannot, they should renounce their American citizenship, move to Israel, and join the inhumane war against Palestinians; but without American taxpayers’ assistance.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.