Republicans Play The Outrage Card Over Netanyahu Speech

obama netanyahu boehnerby Laura Twing

There are many words available to describe how the Iowa GOP felt about Congressman Loebsack not personally attending the Israeli Prime Minister’s speech to the U.S. congress joint session. But they chose to use the word “outrageous,” a word that is highly charged emotionally, a word that deliberately moves away from engaging in productive, adult discussions of the issue at hand.

Let me offer some alternative uses for the word “outrageous.”

I find it outrageous that people who say they are concerned about eminent domain and property rights, are completely silent about the families who lost land that had been in their families for generations, when we “gave” land “back” to someone who left it two thousand years ago.

I find it insulting that people who are intensely determined to stop abortions, turn a blind eye to the injustices done to innocent children by America’s ally. Displacement, torture, murder and callous disregard to their needs for medical attention – those actions are outrageous. As long as it isn’t via abortion, killing Palestinian children is not a problem for you?

I find it very sad that people who think they are the “serious adults” in discussions of any kind, see no irony in basing our policies, that affect lives, on religious allegories.

I find it intensely depressing that those who bring us “peace through strength” fail to see that our current volatility in the MidEast is directly tied to our destabilizing of Iraq.

I find it outrageous that people who supposedly value “honor and integrity” hide from discussion of all of the relevant history of this issue, and ignore injustices that interfere with their personally desired outcome.

I am deeply troubled that claiming a special relationship with the people of Israel based on our shared religious background, is resulting in violating one of the most common themes presented in our shared religious writings, that of championing justice. We cannot build peace on the back of injustice. I fully understand the emotional appeal at the end of WWII, of providing a homeland, a safe place for our Jewish neighbors, but the majority of Jews left that region two thousand years ago. The people now known as Palestinians, who were there before the Jews in the first place, never left. In my opinion, the Palestinians have the rightful claim to this property.

The corresponding problem to this, is that outside of the Holy Land, anti-semitism is on the upswing again. We must also fight injustice to people of Jewish heritage everywhere, outside of Israel. Here, in the U.S., those least tolerant of Jewish people as our neighbors tend to vote for the party that is spending $8 million dollars per day to perpetuate the above-mentioned injustices. Does anyone else find irony in this?

Supporting Jewish people and Jewish heritage? Absolutely! Tolerating the injustices done to Palestinians for a political homeland? Never. Not in my name.

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