Interventionists Need a Lesson in American Government

In the wake of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress, an e-mail arrived in my inbox declaring “A Quarter of Congressional Democrats Choose to Betray Israel.” Obviously this was intended to get me to click on the linked article, which it succeeded in doing. It was also clearly supposed to outrage me, which it did not succeed in doing. What it did do was confuse me. How, I wondered, could a US Representative or Senator “betray” Israel, a country which they do not represent?

According to the author, Paul Dowling, the alleged act of betrayal was that 56 Democrats (26%) failed to attend Netanyahu’s speech. The bio on Mr. Dowling’s blog states that he enjoys reading the US Constitution. Perhaps he could point me to the article and section of the US Constitution that mandates attendance at a speech given by the leader of a foreign country that was transparently orchestrated as a cheap political PR stunt. The main betrayal I detected in this whole shameful affair was Rand Paul’s betrayal of his father’s legacy by attending a speech designed to drag the US closer to war.

It occurs to me that Mr. Dowling and other US interventionists need a very basic lesson in American Government. The US is made up of 50 states of which Israel is not one. A United States Congressman represents a particular district in one of these 50 states. Therefore it follows that a Congressman could betray his district, his state or his country. He cannot, however, betray Israel, because he does not represent Israel.

Likewise, a Senator represents one of the 50 states. Therefore it follows that a Senator could betray his state or his country. He cannot, however, betray Israel, because he does not represent Israel.

On the other hand, Benjamin Netanyahu, who does represent Israel, could betray Israel. A way he could betray Israel, for example, would be by attempting to pawn off the security and protection of the country he is supposed to lead onto a distant foreign nation instead of putting on his big boy pants and taking responsibility for protecting his own country.

Netanyahu reminds me of the little brother playground bully who goes around picking fights and then runs and hides behind his big brother’s leg expecting his brother to fight his battles for him. If Netanyahu thinks Iran represents an unacceptable threat to Israel, then perhaps he ought to do something about it rather than begging his big brother to do his dirty work for him.

Given the information contained in this very basic civics lesson, I would like to respectfully suggest the title of Mr. Dowling’s editorial be changed. Perhaps something like “A Quarter of Congressional Democrats Behave in a Way that Interventionists don’t Approve” would be more appropriate.

This article was also posted at Voices of Liberty.

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