Pardon me but, I’ve just about had my fill of the Middle East. Any former evangelical (of which I am one) can tell you my story. It is, in brief, a breathlessly told tale, full of sound and fury, wherein are recounted endless prophecies of why the Middle East is central to everything on planet earth and what role the state of Israel will play in the End Times.
It is also a story that is patronisingly antisemitic, in which all Jews are seen as Zionists who exist solely to create war and conflict in the Middle East and thereby pave the way for Gentile salvation, after which they can jolly well die — for all the evangelicals care.
Every time there’s a new conflict between Israel and Palestine, solipsistic evangelicals, who always assume against rational odds that Jesus is coming back in their lifetimes, get excited. This time around there’s a new twist.
I have nothing to say about the current conflict except this. Republicans are lying when they say that Joe Biden gave Iran $6 billion of hard-earned taxpayer money, and Iran turned around and gave that money to Hamas, and then Hamas used the money to foment the current conflict between Israel and Palestine. That is a lie. It never happened.
Here’s what actually happened. Some time back, as part of sanctions against Iran, the United States froze $6 billion of Iranian assets. The money NEVER belonged to American taxpayers in the first place.Two months ago the US came to an arrangement with Iran. They agreed to unfreeze that six billion in assets if Iran would free five American hostages.
Iran agreed. But here’s the clever bit: the money hasn’t changed hands yet. So Iran couldn’t have given it to Hamas, and Hamas couldn’t have used it to start the current conflict with Israel, because the money is sitting, right now as I type this, in escrow in a bank in Qatar.
In other words, and I hope you’re sitting down for this, brothers and sisters, the Republicans are lying. They’re lying because they have absolutely nothing against Joe Biden. Meanwhile their new lord and saviour, Donald Jesus Trump, has 91 felony counts pending against him in four jurisdictions. In other words, their friends all drive Porsches and they must make amends.
What actually could have happened is this: Hamas learned about Israel’s tactical weaknesses from Iran who learned about them from Russia who learned about them from Donald Trump. I don’t know if that specific bit is true or not, but it wouldn’t surprise me. And if they’re being honest, an event that happens with the frequency of the return of Halley’s Comet, I doubt that it would surprise Republicans, either.
But get ready for the oft-repeated lie, that Joe Biden is somehow responsible for the current conflict between Israel and Palestine. Get ready for it to be endlessly repeated in shrill and hectoring tones by hysterical Republicans like Jim Jordan and all the other mallotheaded cretins in MAGAland.
The slogan, “money is fungible, will be endlessly parroted by these dumbasses as well. They’ve probably never heard the word “fungible” before but that’s okay. All they need to know is how to cut and paste it. Just remember that it’s an easily provable lie. Joe Biden has nothing to do with this conflict.
If any American is culpable for the current Israel-Palestine war it’s Donald Trump. But fear not, very soon Trump will be going to prison for the rest of his life. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.