Israel's expanding military campaign against Gaza is already becoming a costly affair, prompting government officials to clamor for a raise in U.S. taxes to bankroll the bombing and ground offensive.
"The $3 billion a year we get from America is much appreciated," an aide for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanahu said after a morning presser. "But do you have any idea how much all this stuff we're dropping on Gaza costs?"
Since launching its offensive with the extra-judicial killing of a Hamas leader, Israel has bombed over 500 targets within Gaza, and its anti-missile systems have been working to intercept an equal number of rockets being fired from Gaza. With the Knesset approving a call-up of 75,000 reservists as tanks move to the border, the monetary costs of war are guaranteed to skyrocket.
Republican politicians in the U.S. quickly rallied in support of Israel's call for Americans to pay higher taxes. "I fully stand behind our greatest ally," said Paul Ryan. "And I'm sure U.S. taxpayers will be honored to chip in a bit more so Israel can keep bombing Gaza."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell echoed Ryan's sentiment. "U.S. taxpayers right now fund 21 percent of Israel's military budget. I see no reason why we can't bump that up to 25 percent so Israel can do whatever it needs."
When challenged that such a tax increase would be inconsistent with the GOP's current tax stance, Republicans bristled. "Look, raising taxes so Americans get stuff like healthcare is outrageous," said Ryan. "But raising revenue for Israel? That's not taxes. That's tithing."
With the human toll reaching tragic proportions on both sides, some questioned whether it was wise to raise taxes for Israel's expanding military campaign. Even Ari Fleischer, former press secretary for President George W. Bush, said, "In 2002 we condemned such actions by Israel as heavy-handed. Today? It's a different world."
"We're not questioning whether America should support Israel," said Senator Al Franken. "Just whether we should raise taxes to support a questionable campaign."
As Americans debate the merits of raising taxes to fund Israel's Gaza campaign, Israeli officials seemed confident. "Ultimately, they'll do it," said Defense Minister Ehud Barack. "America today won't say no."
This post was inspired by a photo headline today from The Onion.