American Libertarians VS Israel

A small but vocal segment of the libertarian branch of the Republican Party is ridden with Israel hatred. Israel supporters must take note and address this.

Libertarianism is becoming increasingly influential within the staunchly pro-Israel Republican Party · A small, but very vocal segment of these libertarians engage in all manner of Israel and Jew-hatred, including conspiracy theories, support for Hamas · Meet the people who threaten to erode American support for Israel from the right

רפובליקנים הדוגלים בגישה בדלנית.
Isolationist Republicans demonstrating against American intervention.

Barack Obama is considered by many to be hostile to Israel and there’s a general hope among Israelis for the Republican Party to win the 2016 presidential elections. However, the Republican Party is changing and there may come a day when Israelis will miss the Obama presidency.

The sluggish economic recovery from the 2008 recession and US continuous intervention in the Middle East are strengthening the Libertarian movement within the Republican Party. Libertarians believe in free-market capitalism, personal liberties and a small government. All three are admirable principles that could be a blessing for Israel and the entire world.

However, the fly in the ointment as far as Israel is concerned is that US libertarians are also isolationists. They support a massive reduction in the US defense budget and pursue a general retrenchment strategy. And from their perspective they might be right – after all, what did America get from its many entanglements other than an increasing debt load and waves of hostility?

The real thorny point for Israel is that, through no fault of its own, it’s considered by many US libertarians as the poster-boy of US involvement in foreign affairs. Arguably, Israel doesn’t deserve to be on this dubious pedestal. Unlike Japan, South Korea and Germany, there’s virtually not a single American soldier stationed in Israel.

To be sure, Israel is a major recipient of military aid—to the tone of $3-4 billion a year—but most of this money is spent in the US. It is a symbol of US corporate welfare rather than Israel taking advantage of America. It’s also costing the Israeli weapons industry dearly as it limits commercial relationships with countries the US is not fond of or wants to keep for itself.

Moreover, late Israeli PM Ariel Sharon objected to the 2003 invasion of Iraq out of fear that the war would destabilize the area. Recent events in Iraq and Syria prove he was right. Recent events also demonstrate, very convincingly, that Israel was never the root cause of instability in the region.

At any rate, the strong resentment libertarians feel towards US foreign policy manifests itself in hatred towards Israel. I use the word “hatred” intentionally: One need only peruse libertarian-leaning websites such as Zerohedge or to see the vile anti-Israel attitude that flourishes there. In fact, these sites are sometimes so nasty and nonsensical, that they can only thinly disguise anti-Semitic sentiments.

Israel might be facing a dangerous political pincer movement in the near future. As Obama’s actions demonstrate, the Democratic Party is moving left and is becoming increasingly hostile to Israel, as Obama’s presidency demonstrates. On the other side of it, the Republican Party is becoming, if not outright hostile, increasingly indifferent.

הציע לקרוא ספרים בעלי נימה אנטישמית. מראשי הליבטריאנטים, ראנד פול.
Proposed reading books on the “Israel Lobby” but also a visited Israel out of friendship. Libertarian leader, Rand Paul

Time to Give Up Aid and Brace for the Future

What can Israel do? There’s nothing Israel can do about the hatred coming from the left—it runs too deep and wide. However, something could be done with the Libertarian movement. Firstly, one can hope that unlike the left, libertarians are not monolithic when it comes to Israel. More importantly, Jew-hatred is not supposed to be a natural feature of an ideology that espouses liberty.

Perhaps Israel should finally forego the $3bn it receives in military aid every year, much like it did with civilian aid under the first Netanyahu government. It is too easy a weapon for haters and its benefit to Israel is questionable. In addition, Israel should start a dialogue with US libertarians. Sen. Rand Paul’s 2013 visit to the country went almost unnoticed. Such a faux pas must not repeat itself.

Most importantly, Israel has to recognize that the golden age in its relationship with the US is over. New alliances have to be forged. It won’t be easy but the worst thing the country can do is to bury its head in the sand and pretend the world isn’t changing.

To receive updates on new articles in English, join Mida on Facebook or Twitter or join our mailing list.

Related articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

1 comments on the article

  1. הניתוח צודק ביחס לשמאל. אשר לימין, הרוב הגדול תומך בישראל אפילו יותר מאשר חלק מהיהודים השייכים לשמאל.
    הליברטרים הם מעוט בימין ואין להתחשב בהם יותר מידי.

    נכון שאסור לשים את כל הביצים בסל אחד, אבל המסקנה שתור הזהב עם ארה”ב כבר עבר היא מאוד מוקדמת וקרוב לוודאי מוטעית.