GOP Bill Would Give Israeli Soldiers US Job And Financial Protections

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, May 21, 2024 - 10:40 PM

Leaping headlong into 2024's frenzy of Israel-catering legislative activity, two House Republicans have introduced a bill that would extend credit and employment privileges enjoyed by US military service members to American citizens serving in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). 

This latest affront to American patriotism is brought to you by Pennsylvania congressman and Chief Deputy Whip Guy Reschenthaler, along with Ohio Rep. Max Miller.

“Over 20,000 American citizens are currently defending Israel from Hamas terrorists, risking their lives for the betterment of our ally,” said Reschenthaler. “This legislation will ensure we do everything possible to support these heroes who are standing with Israel, fighting for freedom, and combating terrorism in the Middle East.”

Palestinians race to find survivors of a massive IDF airstrike on an apartment building in Gaza; at least 106 civilians were reportedly killed -- including 54 children (Doaa AlBaz/AP via Seattle Times)

HR 8445 would give American IDF soldiers (is that an oxymoron?) protections under two major programs for active duty US military service members: 

  • The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA): Among many other features, SCRA caps credit card and mortgage interest on debts taken out before starting active service, protects against foreclosures, allows penalty-free termination of residential and auto leases, and allows cancellation of consumer contracts such as cell phone service and gym memberships. 
  • Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA): As the Department of Labor describes it, "USERRA mandates that returning service members must be promptly re-employed in the same position that they would have attained had they not been absent for military service, with the same seniority, status and pay." 

Thus, if HR 8445 becomes law, a US bank may have to cap the interest rate it's charging for an American citizen who spontaneously decides to go join the IDF rampage in Gaza. The same person could bail on their apartment lease. After they leave their employer in the lurch to fight for a foreign army, the employer would have to give them their job back -- even if they hired someone else to fill the void. 

An excerpt from HR 8445 that almost has to be seen to be believed

In classic Washington DC fashion, these laws impose costs on private actors -- landlords, vehicle dealerships, mortgage lenders, cell phone companies, gyms, employers -- without compensation. Those costs go beyond foregone revenue: Implementing these benefits for IDF soldiers would require businesses to train staff members how to sort out the eligibility of an American serving in the Israeli military.  

It's one thing to do impose these costs for the benefit of American soldiers -- it's another altogether to use government coercion for the benefit of citizens who opt to take up arms for another country.  

US Rep Brian Mast (R-FL) reported to duty at the US Capitol wearing his Israeli Defense Forces uniform (Politico)

Speaking of costs and benefits, over their short careers, the two cosponsors of this bill have raked in huge contributions from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). According to Track AIPAC, third-termer Reschenthaler has received $170,147 while first-termer Miller has already piled up $193,808.   

"No one should be entitled to any U.S. military service benefits unless they are fighting under U.S. command and control," said non-interventionist former congressmen Dennis Kucinich, who is now running as an independent against Miller. "Mr. Miller has lost sight of who he was elected to Congress to represent." 

US representatives and senators have been tripping over each other to signal their loyalty to Israel. Other measures that thankfully aren't law...yet: 

  • The House-passed Antisemitism Awareness Act would expose colleges to federal civil rights punishment if a student or professor argues that "the existence of the State of Israel is a racist endeavor" or makes comparisions between the Israeli government and that of Nazi Germany, among other forbidden ideas
  • Another bill would bar college debt forgiveness for anyone convicted of a federal or state offense -- but only those related to a campus protest 
  • Yet another one would defund the State Department, DOD and National Security Council until Biden delivers more bombs to Israel 

While all this is going on, the national debt is now growing by a trillion dollars every 100 days. Talk about misplaced priorities.