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Republicans want 'same benefits' for Americans in Israel army

Republicans push for bill to give Americans in Israeli army same benefits as US soldiers
2 min read
22 May, 2024
The new bill, put forward by two Republican congressmen, will give the same employment and economic rights as US soldiers serving in America, if passed.
Over 20,000 US soldiers are currently serving in the Israeli army as it carries out its onslaught in Gaza [Getty/file photo]

Two US Republican congressmen are pushing for a legislation that will grant American soldiers in the Israeli military the same benefits as those serving in the US army, according to a draft bill seen on Tuesday.

The legislation, put forward by Representatives Guy Reschenthaler and Max Miller, would grant those serving in the Israeli army the same employment and economic protection rights as those working, living and serving on US soil if passed.

In February, the Israeli army said there at least 23,380 American nationals in its forces fighting for Israel in its brutal war in Gaza, which has killed at least 35,709 Palestinians as of Wednesday.

"Over 20,000 American citizens are currently defending Israel from Hamas terrorists, risking their lives for the betterment of our ally," Reschenthaler said in a recent statement.

"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."

Miller, said that he is "proud that the legislation extends important protections" to those "Americans who chose to risk their lives against terror".

The lawmakers stressed that they want Americans serving in a foreign military to be treated in the "same manner as service in the uniformed services". The bill would also include dual Israeli-American nationals.

Such benefits would include protections against foreclosure, default judgements in legal cases, repossession of rental property or leases and hiked interest rates.

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Both representatives stressed on Israel being Washington's "closest ally" in the Middle East, in their statements.

Republicans have been staunchly pro-Israel throughout the country's brutal military onslaught in Gaza, stressing Israel's "right" to self defence.

Several other nationalities, including French, British and other Europeans, have joined the Israeli army ranks.

Over the course of Israel’s war in Gaza, activists have pointed out the double standards between European and North American soldiers joining and fighting with the Israeli army.

Activists and critics have highlighted that a number of UK nationals have been prosecuted or questioned by authorities for fighting for anti-Assad groups in Syria, among others. 

Officials from several countries, notably South Africa, have also said they would prosecute their nationals should they join the Israeli military.

In March, the French Foreign Ministry announced  that French-Israeli soldiers implicated in war crimes in Gaza will face legal action.