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GOP Mostly Undivided on Israel

But maybe a little divided on Egypt?

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Pastor John Hagee last year.(Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images)

When I wondered whether Sen. Rand Paul’s call for ending U.S. aid to Israel would trigger a GOP civil war between the Tea Party and the establishment, I neglected to consider a crucial element in the Republican coalition: The Christian right. Sure enough, it has weighed in, and sure enough, it is, as ever, a strong supporter of American support for Israel. Pastor John Hagee of Christians United for Israel—which Mideast columnist Lee Smith has profiledargued that most elements of the Tea Party do not stand with Paul. I’m not convinced that is true. I am, however, convinced that, more importantly, the Paul faction is vastly outnumbered in the GOP overall.

The far more interesting fissure on that side of the aisle right now is between neoconservatives like Elliott Abrams—also profiled by Smith—and Bill Kristol who are more or less supportive of the anti-Mubarak, pro-democracy protesters—they see the nascent revolution as the fulfillment of George W. Bush’s “Freedom Agenda” (though you could argue, as Matt Duss does, that that misrepresents what the Freedom Agenda actually was)—and Israel’s current right-wing government as well as other Israel supporters, who fear the form that Egyptian democracy will take. (Ben Smith and Josh Gerstein note that a few U.S. neocons, like John Bolton, take the Israeli position.) Reality: It’s messy!

Evangelicals Blast Paul on Israel [Ben Smith]
In Backing Change in Egypt, U.S. Neoconservatives Split With Israeli Allies [WP]
Hosni Mubarak Splits Israel from Neocon Supporters [Politico]
Related: Friends In Deed [Tablet Magazine]’
Rescuing Democracy Promotion from Cynics [Wonk Room]
The Shadow Viceroy [Tablet Magazine]
In the Streets of Cairo, Proof Bush Was Right [Outlook]
Earlier: Tea Party Senator Endorses End of Israeli Aid

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A.L. Bell says:

Seriously: no matter how brutally realistic Israel is, it can’t be openly on the side of a government that sends in plainclothes policemen on camels to shoot unarmed protesters and rough up journalists.

Maybe Israel could make a tough love case for stability before the camel attacks, but if, at this point, Israel keeps on siding with the Evil Camel Riders over the protesters, then Israel will seriously be in competition with the president of Iran for The 2011 Grand Moff Tarkin Goon Awards.

The Palestinian situation is a tough situation, and the only choice Israel has there is to muddle through and pray for divine guidance.

But, in the case of Egypt, Israel still can choose to be on the side of good, or at least not on the side of evil. It should either be on the side of the protesters or emphatically neutral. It should definitely not be on the side of the Evil Camel Riders.

Frank Messmann says:

Egypt is not important to the strategic interests of the US.
But it is very important to Israel, because Israel does not have to defend its border with Egypt.

In other words, the strategic interests of the US and Israel differ, as is obvious to any objective person.

The US unfortunately sacrifices its own interests for Israel’s because of pressure from AIPAC and other “Israel first” groups.

That is the simple, unvarnished truth, but I know that it is hard for many to see that or to admit it.

BH in Iowa says:

Frank Messmann, the Suez Canal is of no strategic interest to the US?

Frank Messman, the U.S. has no strategic interest in 60 million people in the center of the middle East?

Neveragain says:

Messmann is right.Our solar powered cars, busses, trains and jets are the marvel of the world.
Now that the U.S. is totally self-sufficient regarding energy, we should just pull out of the middle east entirely.

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GOP Mostly Undivided on Israel

But maybe a little divided on Egypt?

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