Today the House of Representatives voted on the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act, a bill that declares Israel to be a “major strategic partner” of the United States, enables further US-Israel economic, scientific, and cultural exhange, and contains some perks for Israeli citizens regarding travel to the US. The bill is sufficiently substantive that it has the
The bill passed the House 410-1 (yes, you read that right) with 19 abstentions. The 19 abstentions seem to be a random mix of Republicans and Democrats who were simply out of town.
So, you may ask, which of the far-left whacked-out Democrats was the one "no" vote? Was it Barbara Lee of Oakland / Berkeley, who has flirted with Trutherism? Was it Keith Ellison, the only Muslim on Congress, who has in the past said some stupid things regarding Gaza? Was it Bill Pascrell of New Jersey, who defeated a Jewish opponent in a primary and who we were told was a secret anti-Zionist.
Actually, Lee, Elliison, and Pascrell all voted yes.
It turns out the sole "no" vote came from a Republican - Thomas Massie of Kentucky.
"But I thought that anti-Zionism had infected the Democratic party, while the Republican party is full of people who understand the moral and historical case for Israel."
Well, if you thought that, on this one you thought wrong. Massie is a Rand Paul devotee from the "libertarian" wing of the Republican party. ("libertarian" is in quotes because I'm sure, like all Republican-aligned "libertarians" he doesn't support true personal liberty like drug legalization or abortion rights). Massie even goes so far as to supposedly live "off the grid" in a log cabin, which is hilarious considering his district consists of the Northern Kentucky suburbs of Cincinnati, truly one of the most anonymously suburban wastelands in the world. The closest his constituents ever get to being "off the grid" is when the credit card reader breaks at Applebees and they have to go to TGI Fridays instead.
But I digress. The point here is that a Republican, and a conservative one at that, was the sole no vote on this important piece of pro-Israel legislation, because he is from the emerging Paulite wing of the Republican party that basically lives by the motto "F the world, including Israel". Does this represent an emerging trend in the Republican party? Does it mean that "Republicans have let antisemitic anti-Zionism in to their tent"? We shall see...