Republicans have a skewed view of foreign policy, and nowhere has that been more evident than the recent deal with Iran. The Republican establishment has been up in arms over the deal from the beginning, with some going so far as to declare that if elected, they’ll rescind on the deal. The reasoning, they say, is because Iran is a danger to Israel, and Israel is America’s greatest ally.
But what about the Republican base?
To answer that question, AJ+ was on the ground in Iowa, during the Family Leadership Summit. Dena Takuri interviewed several of the rank-and-file Republicans to get their opinions, and, much to everyone’s surprise I’m sure, it turns out that they’re utterly clueless.
America’s Greatest Ally™
Takuri and three others attended the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa over the weekend. The summit featured speakers like Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and Donald Trump; in a Facebook post, Shadi Rahimi noted, “Some of the most rousing responses from the conservative Christian crowd came during questions posed to the presidential hopefuls regarding opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, and support for Israel.”
She explained that they “wanted to know about the underlying beliefs that drive such political views, as expressed by the attendees. So we asked.”
When asked whether they were supported the deal, all the Republicans denounced it, with one going so far as to say, “they are going to give them [Iran] the pathway to the bomb” and another saying that anyone who says “death to America” and “death to Israel” is a person who “cannot be trusted.”
At least one person was convinced that Iran wanted to bomb the United States, a move that would be the equivalent of national suicide given the firepower disparity.
Then they were asked whether they considered Israel to be “America’s greatest ally in the Middle East.”
Unsurprisingly, all of the interviewed people answered “yes,” without fail. The reasons, however, varied.
“They’re our only ally in the Middle East,” one woman said, forgetting that Turkey exists, “That is not looking to destroy us.”
One man, claiming to be “Bible-believing Christian,” said that he believes, “Those who bless Israel will be blessed, and those do not will not.”
“If we back out of supporting Israel,” one woman explained, God’s “support of us will also go away.”
Another Christian told Takuri that the Bible says “we need to support Israel,” and when questioned about Israel’s existence as a Jewish state, the man explained, “in the end, they will see the light and they will become Christians.”
This sort of causal Antisemitism runs rife in the religious right: in the end, the Jews will see that everything they stood for, all their suffering for their beliefs, all the pogroms and the Holocaust, were all for naught and they’ll become Christians . . . left unstated, of course, is that the alternative is burning in Hell.
Palestinian Christian? You mean unicorns?
Things got interesting when the Republicans were asked about the Palestinian Christians who were affected by Israel’s policies, however. Since the right-wing talks at length about Christians who are targeted by Islamic extremists and the Islamic State, perhaps they’re just as eager to condemn Israel for harming Christians, as well.
Turns out, not so much; it was as if someone turned loose an angry bee into a crowded room.
“I don’t know how they’re affected,” one woman said, and the professed “Bible-believing Christian” explained that he didn’t “know a lot about” it. Another woman explained that she didn’t “know enough about that case,” while another man avoided it completely, saying that the “Palestinians are very . . . opposed to Israel, and you can only co-exist for so long.”
If anything, it serves to highlight how literal black-and-white Republican thinking is. This is probably the first time many of them have even heard of Palestinian Christians, leave off thought about them.
Watch the video below
Feature image via screen capture