There are few things in this world that the American Christian Right loves more than Israel. Depending upon the season, they are consumed with being verbally crucified every time a cashier at Subway wishes them “Happy Holdays!” instead of “Merry Christmas! Jesus is the reason for the season!” or with the time they spend hanging out in front of women’s health clinics and politely informing the ladies who are going in for a pap smears that they are scarlet whores who will burn in hell for eternity. But, outside of that, they are some of Israel’s biggest cheerleaders to the point of making AIPAC look like a bunch of cause-surfing dilettantes. This inter-faith one-way love affair has been going on since 1948ish when the state of Israel was created which in turn led to some people – those who have turned the art of interpreting and monetizing the Bible into a grift of Rick Warren-sized proportions – to explain to their flocks the very existence of Israel is a non-negotiable precondition for The Return of Jesus 2.0: The Rapturing, because the Bible tells them so.
Because of this the Christian Right is willing to set aside many of the things about the Jews that they don’t care for (first and foremost: not being Christians) as well as the awkward memory of that time when they killed their Lord and Savior, but whaddya gonna do? No use in crying over spilt Blood of The Lamb, right? This is not to say that the Christians love the people of Israel, so much as they like their digs in the way that you used to ignore that one annoying kid in school all year long until summer vacation rolled around and then you remembered that they had a swimming pool and they suddenly became your newest bestest friend ever. Until Labor Day.
Which is why, at a time when the Christian Right is working overtime to shut down women’s access to reproductive healthcare clinics, helping to pass laws forcing women to undergo unnecessary medical procedures, and stalling for time with waiting periods on the homefront, they seem to be turning a blind eye while their Israeli brothers and sisters are handing out state-funded abortions like glow sticks at a rave:
A famously child-friendly country with a federally subsidized universal health care system that offers free fertility treatments, Israel has made it easier for economically distressed women to obtain an abortion.
The 2014 “health basket” of medical services and medications approved by Israel’s cabinet Sunday (Jan. 5) includes free abortions for Israeli women aged 20 to 33, regardless of the circumstances.
The $4.6 million earmarked by the Health Ministry committee will cover some 6,300 abortions for women who cannot afford the procedure.
You would think the “pro-life” members of Congress who don’t even want to talk about abortion outside of our borders would be going Full Metal George Tiller Killer on this new holocaust, but Israel is kind of a tricky thing to talk about if you know what is good for you:
“They are sovereign nation they can do as they wish,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said of the policy. “That won’t happen in America.”
Sens. Marco Rubio and Ron Johnson, among others, declined to weigh in on the law citing unfamiliarity, while Sen. Ted Cruz referred BuzzFeed to his press office. A Cruz spokeswoman did not return a request for comment.
“I don’t really feel qualified to talk about what Israel should be doing on abortion,” said Sen. John McCain.
The office of Majority Leader Eric Cantor did not respond to a request for comment. And Rep. Chris Smith, who heads up the congressional anti-abortion caucus and has called Israel America’s “closest ally,” did not respond to several requests for comment to his office.
Smith has weighed in on international abortion law before, primarily regarding a change to Kenya’s constitution allowing for abortion in cases in which the mother’s health is at risk. He charged in 2010 that the Obama administration had used taxpayer funds to lobby for the change. Smith has called abortion “a serious, lethal violation of fundamental human rights.”
Okay. We’ll admit that American politicians aren’t exactly profiles in courage when talking about Israel, so let’s check in with the Foot Soldiers of the Christian Right who surely are not going to stand for this infanticide by socialism:
You would expect conservative groups to go ballistic when it comes to taxpayer funding of abortions, but when Israel announced just that last month, the news was greeted with a subdued response among pro-life and pro-Israel groups in the U.S.
Ari Morgenstern, spokesman for Christians United for Israel (CUFI), which boasts more than 1 million members nationwide, the abortion policy won’t change the organization’s support for the Jewish State.
“CUFI is a single-issue organization that supports the democratically elected government of Israel regardless of whether or not we agree with the decisions taken by that government,” he said.
Tom McClusky a spokesman for the March for Life said, “It seems that especially while a lot of Europe and also Russia and the former Soviet Union is having trouble keeping up with birthrates, that it’d be a pretty poor policy for a country to take right now.” When asked if he thought the new provision might alienate pro-Israel American conservatives, McClusky added, “A lot of people that I’ve partnered with here and at my former job [the Family Research Council] who were pro-Israel were also pro-life. It seems they’d just be another country where we’d be looking to overturn a law.”
It’s not that they don’t object to the idea of Israel (where healthcare is universal and health insurance is mandatory) providing woman with state-funded abortions, it’s just that they have to give serious thought to their relationship with Israel and about whether they really want an unplanned baby or two to come along and disrupt their future plans. It’s not a simple decision to be taken lightly. It’s about weighing all the factors, looking at the upside and downside and deciding what is in their best interests; creating conflict and disruption by making a fuss over compulsory birth or being willing to accept the the expediency of looking the other way when it comes to state-funded abortions based upon the promise of a better life (The Rapture) down the road.
It’s a crazy little thing called ‘choice’…