“A toxic rift opens between Democrats and Israel,” blared a Washington Post headline. This, “after the nation refused entry to two members of Congress.”
The two members are representatives Rashida Tlaib, Democrat from Michigan, and Ilhan Omar, Democrat from Minnesota.
And the “rift” is toxic only to Democrats—and to the many neoconservatives and establishment Republicans who’ve aligned with them against Israeli nationalists and Trump nationalists.
Properly distilled, the divide is between hardline nationalists (Israeli and American) and the globalists (Democrat and Republicans). Liberal pro-Israel groups were likewise exposed for their disdain for any Israeli display of sovereignty.
For Deplorables, this division is delicious.
First: There was nothing wrong with the Israeli government’s refusal to allow the two entry into its country.
Similarly, there would be nothing amiss if the American government refused to welcome into our own country a party of agitators with terrorist sympathies. (The “Miftah group that planned the Tlaib-Omar Israel trip once referred to suicide bombing as sacrifice 'for the cause.'”)
But apparently, there are only a vanishingly small number of committed sovereigntists in D.C., hence the divide over the rights of an ostensibly sovereign country.
The excursion was a show and sham staged by Tweedledum and Tweedledee against Israel to be carried out on Israel’s turf. The Chutzpah!
Tlaib and Omar intended to agitate against the Jewish State. Why would the Israeli government be obligated to facilitate their agitprop-packed itinerary, which would have invariably devolved into promoting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel? It isn’t.
Like a lot of good blowups, this one began with President Trump. POTUS asked that Israel not let the two frightful members of Congress into the Jewish State. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu obliged.
But then, Israel’s interior minister, Aryeh Deri, delivered the one-two punch to Tlaib.
As a humanitarian gesture of goodwill, Deri decided to approve the Palestinian-American’s request to visit her grandmother, aged 90, in the West Bank.
For that maneuver, the mulish Tlaib was unprepared. For a visit with grandma would be nothing without the ability to incite against her hosts. Quickly and capriciously did Ms. quicksilver decide that, no-no, she won’t go:
“Silencing me and treating me like a criminal is not what [granny] wants for me. It would kill a piece of me. I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in–fighting against racism, oppression, and injustice.”
“Apparently, her hate for Israel [overrides] her love for her grandmother,” concluded Deri. Clearly, Tlaib’s plaintive plea was so much provocation, aimed at bashing the State of Israel.
The minister, at once, had enforced Israel’s national interests while exposing the deeply silly and conniving Rashida Tlaib for the total tembel she is (tembel means “stupid person” or “fool in Hebrew). Would that U.S. politicians were intuitively as quick to act patriotically, instead of constantly dignifying the left’s demagoguery.
Telling, too, were the justifications used by the likes of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democrat from Florida, Joe Lieberman, former senator and bosom buddy of John McCain, AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and legions of politicians and professional pointy-heads, who all abjured Israel for denying travel visas to the two American agitators.
Our support for Israel, explained these and other bad actors like them, rests on Israel reflecting and mimicking “our American freedoms.” So said Wasserman Schultz, who sided with the two Muslim-American Democrats.
In America, everyone is welcome to speak his mind, puled Schultz (even if that “mind” evinces no discernable brainwave activity). Just as Americans welcome any and all into their country (especially haters—how we love those), so, too, must Israel.
The values of Israel are our own, riffed others. In its actions—by deciding not to allow Tlaib and Omar to hold court in Israel—the Israeli government was acting in an un-American fashion. At least so “reasoned” the commentariat, as they discussed imposing American values on a sovereign country, without its democratic consent.
CNN’s empaneled females fulminated over Israel being a threat to democracy worldwide. Israel was emblematic of the right-wing, fundamentalist global surge, screeched one harridan.
Amen—the more nation-states join American and European populism, the better.
Bernie Sanders, however, is correct in fingering the problematic nature of foreign aid to Israel—and to any country, for that matter.
In fact, conservatives once had choice words for foreign aid. It was “money down a rathole” (Jesse Helms), and it amounted to “putting Ghana over Grandma” (Tom DeLay).
Sanders said: “If Israel doesn’t want members of the United States Congress to visit their country. Maybe they can respectfully decline the billions of dollars that we give to Israel.”
He who pays the piper calls the tune. For foreign aid, Israeli leaders have been forced to subordinate their country’s national interests to Washington’s whims. This is bad for both allies.
Those of us who want the U.S. government to put America First, stay solvent—and out of the affairs of others—recognize that sovereign nation-states that resist, not enable, our imperial impulses, are the best hindrance to hegemonic overreach.
Patriots for a sane U.S. foreign policy ought to encourage all America's friends, especially Israel, to push back and do what’s in their national interest, not ours.
The Israeli people will be the richer without the $3 billion in aid they receive annually. As any economist worth his salt knows, foreign aid, being a government-to-government transfer, grows the public sector in the recipient country at the expense of the private, productive economy.
The Israeli people possess in abundance what economist Lord Peter Bauer called “the faculties, attitudes, and institutions favorable to material progress.” Moreover, American Jews, evangelicals, and Israel’s other benefactors will continue to dwarf the U.S. State in their private, charitable contributions to the Jewish State.
Seldom at a loss for fighting words is President Trump. POTUS, who won the tiff with Tlaib hands down, also provided the winning quip.
“The only real winner here is Tlaib’s grandmother. She doesn’t have to see her now!”
Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She is the author of Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed” (June, 2016). She’s on Twitter, Facebook & Gab. New on YouTube: “America Belongs To The World; It’s Everybody’s Home.”