In the world of discussion that is in the internet, it is common to find users who have a single-minded devotion to slander Israel while invoking the language of human rights. Pro-Israel users often call into question their motivations for doing so: Why would someone who only cares about human rights and not bashing Israel just ignore human rights violations in all around the world? In response to this, we have all seen anti-Zionists and critics of Israel use the "my tax dollars argument." I thought that I would share an example of that from the recent Huffington Post thread. Take a look at the second paragraph:
The first problem is the unspoken implication that you (i.e. the person making the argument) are really just approaching these issues from a position of moral selfishness. "It's okay with me that people are murdered by the hundreds of thousands in the Congo," you are saying, "just so long as I personally don't feel responsible for it." Notice also that it means that it would also be acceptable for Israel to continue "oppressing" the Palestinians as long as US aid is ended. It makes it pretty much impossible for anyone pursuing this line of argument to try and take a higher moral position from his or her opponent, which is a problem for Palestinian supporters, who usually rely on faux morality in order to overcome their opponents' arguments. It is difficult for someone of any moral standing to declare that it is more than okay for genocide, apartheid, etc to happen just so long as he or she is not paying for it. That's not the viewpoint of a "pro-Palestinian" individual (or really a "pro-anything" individual), it is the opinion of a morally lazy and selfish individual. A truly pro-Palestinian person would defend the Palestinians and their cause whether the US was involved or not. I guess that is where you separate the sheep from the goats.
The second problem with using the "my tax dollars argument" is that once you start using it you need to stick with it lest your hypocrisy be exposed. Let me explain what I mean using the "international law" example: You cannot on the one hand criticize Israel for using your tax dollars to do bad things and on the other criticize Israel for breaking international law. You have just said that you don't care about countries who break international law (like Sudan) just as long as you don't feel personally responsible for their actions. By declaring that it is really the tax dollars that are bothering you, you are also saying that it is okay for Israel to break the law so long as you aren't funding it. That doesn't make you someone who cares about international law, in fact it makes you the opposite: Someone who couldn't care less about international law except when using it as a talking point. To what end? To stop Israel from using his or her tax dollars, i.e., to stop feeling personally responsible for the bad things that happen between the two sides. Not to end the violations of international law.
This problem spreads from international law to all the other arguments that anti-Zionists use to justify their one-sided condemnation of Israel. "I care about human rights!" No you don't, you just don't want to feel responsible for human rights violations. "I care about the welfare of the Palestinian children!" No you don't, you just don't want to pay for their mistreatment. "I care about peace between the two sides!" No you don't, they can fight each other til doomsday and as long as you aren't paying you couldn't care less. "I care about justice!" No, you just don't want to feel guilty. And so it goes. That is what is being said every time that someone uses the "my tax dollars argument," because the flip side is that without the tax dollars you wouldn't care at all.
People who use the "my tax dollars argument" actually put themselves in a double bind: They are forced to concede that they either only care about the tax dollars (which makes them liars when they pretend to care about human rights and international law) or that they are flip-flopping between whatever talking point fits the conversation (which only further calls their true motivations into question). Of course there is a way out of this logic trap: All you need to say that is that you care about international law, human rights, etc anyway but the fact that Israel is being financed through American tax dollars makes it particularly galling. That is all right, but then you must also be equally aggressive toward other US-backed regimes that mistreat international law and human rights, which include the Palestinains. Of course that should be easy for you since your real motivation is misuse of your taxes and international law, not simply bashing Israel...right? However as we have have seen anti-Zionists rarely keep their criticisms balanced for very long.
This is why I suggest that pro-Israel users keep an eye on comments like the one quoted above where the anti-Zionists claim to be motivated by the "my tax dollars" argument, because they never stick with it.