An interesting exchange on Israel

Last night Rep. Paul Broun, (GA-10, R) was hosted by the UGA College Republicans and Dawgs for Israel for a discussion on Israel and Middle East peace. I went into it knowing how Rep. Broun views certain aspects of the Middle East conflict, but still managed to be totally and completely flaggergasted by some of his statements.

Rep. Broun opened with roughly fifteen minutes of statements as to why America needs to maintain its relationship with Israel, mainly sticking on the section of Genesis stating, and I paraphrase, “Blessed be Israel and blessed be the supporters of Israel,” and he wants to apply it to today.

The big difference between the time of the writing of Genesis by either J or E and today is that the state of Israel as we know it today didn’t exist, and I have a sneaking suspicion that the author(s) of that (or those) verse(s) wasn’t referring to a state of Israel (though one did exist in tandem w/ the Kingdom of Judah), but rather the Israelite people as a whole, that is to say “Be nice to the Jews, and you’ll be blessed.”

So, consequently, being nice to the Jews doesn’t necessarily entail supporting today’s state of Israel, because one can be nice to the Jews and also be nice to the Palestinians. The fact of the matter is, the need to learn how to cohabitate and aggression from both ends needs to end. Representative Broun, though, seems to believe that Israel has a seemingly infinite right to defend itself, even if defense means offense. Broun disagreed with Israel’s decision to cede the Golan, West Bank territories, and the Gaza, without establishing any sort of reason why. Does he forget that at the time of the State of Israel’s creation, they didn’t hold those lands?

I asked him, if he’s so set in believing that supporting Israel is set in the Torah, would he support Israel expanding to become the size of the Kingdom of David, taking in portions of Jordan and Syria. He parried away the question by saying of course not and offered still no reason why he opposed the withdrawal of Israel from the aforementioned areas.

A contingent of students from what I assume is Athens for Justice in Palestine were present, also offering very serious questions for which Rep. Broun offered little substance.

I didn’t like Paul Broun except for a handful of issues prior to last night. Now I dislike him more. I look forward to the forthcoming exchange with Bobby Saxon, since Broun won’t let himself be seen within miles of Saxon. Such character. Such chutzpah.

Shalom,

-rl

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