Category Archives: Israel

Fundies Silent On Israel’s Free Abortions

You know, there’s nothing more hypocritical than your modern pro-life conservative Fundiegelical American Christian. These folks have a no-compromise attitude when it comes to Planned Parenthood: every penny the taxpayers give PP for STD testing and mammograms is a penny PP can use toward aborting babies, they argue. They refused to support UN women’s health programs during the Bush years because they included abortion (as well as birth control and vital HIV/AIDs prevention). But no, millions of people in Africa could contract HIV, as long as not one penny was spent on abortion.

And Obamacare? The double backbends the Obama Administration went through to make sure no religious group directly sullied its hands by touching birth control was not enough. The demands that no insurance policy offer coverage for abortion continue.

But when it comes to Israel? Well, Fundiegelicals love, love, love Israel, because Jesus and Nuke The Ragheads and the Chosen People and Zionism, etc. etc. etc. So when it was announced late last year that Israel would offer free abortions to all women age 20-33 for any reason whatsoever, one might expect cries of outrage, demands to withhold U.S. aid, etc.

Aaand you would be wrong. We got crickets. Worse than crickets. Some of them have even defended the decision:

Ari Morgenstern, spokesman for Christians United for Israel (CUFI), which boasts more than 1 million members nationwide, the abortion policy won’t change the organization’s support for the Jewish State.

“CUFI is a single-issue organization that supports the democratically elected government of Israel regardless of whether or not we agree with the decisions taken by that government,” he said.

Got that? It doesn’t matter what they do, we will support them regardless. I find that … odd.

And then there’s this:

Tom McClusky a spokesman for the March for Life said, “It seems that especially while a lot of Europe and also Russia and the former Soviet Union is having trouble keeping up with birthrates, that it’d be a pretty poor policy for a country to take right now.” When asked if he thought the new provision might alienate pro-Israel American conservatives, McClusky added, “A lot of people that I’ve partnered with here and at my former job [the Family Research Council] who were pro-Israel were also pro-life. It seems they’d just be another country where we’d be looking to overturn a law.

See? No biggie. We can still send them billions of dollars in defense aid, we’ll just work to overturn the policy. (Hey: can Planned Parenthood get that deal? No?) You could argue that every Israeli bomb and fighter jet Americans pay for is money the Israelis can now spend on abortion. You could argue that, unless of course you’re a right-wing pro-life Fundiegelical American Christian, in which case you won’t, because you’re a hypocrite.

Writes Ed Kilgore:

Most antichoicers who are also aggressive supporters of a Greater Israel form of Zionism clearly just don’t want to “go there” in examining Israel’s abortion policies. It just would not do for them to apply the sort of “abortion as Holocaust” rhetoric to Israel as they routinely do with respect to America’s less liberal laws.

The bottom line is that many of the most adamant conservative Christian supporters of Israel (or at least the Israel represented by politicians like Bibi Netanyahu and those to his right) treat that country as an instrument for their own fantasies about the Middle East, not as a society representing their own values. Jewish Zionists who welcome their support ought to keep that in mind.

I would point out that this applies to American politics, as well. To paraphrase Kilgore, the most adamant conservative Christian opponents of abortion treat that issue as an instrument for their own fantasies about a conservative America, not as a policy reflecting any real religious conviction.

Or to put it another way: the abortion issue is simply a political tool used by leaders of the organized Christian Right to raise funds, get out the vote, gather mailing lists, win elections and achieve other political ends. The leaders of the religious political movement don’t give a shit about fetuses or babies or anything else. Fundiegelicals who support them ought to keep that in mind.

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