U.S. End Aid to ? Israel
Funding Our Decline
By Alison Weir
04/04/08 "Counterpunch" -- -- April 1st I participated in a debate in
It was highly appropriate that this debate was held two weeks before tax day, since in
During periods of recession, when Americans are thrown out of work, homes are repossessed, school budgets cut and businesses fail, Congress continues to give Israel massive amounts of our tax money; currently, about 7 million dollars per day.
On top of this, Egypt and Jordan receive large sums of money (per capita about 1/20th of what Israel receives) to buy their cooperation with Israel; and Palestinians also receive our tax money (about 1/23rd of that to Israel), to repair infrastructure that Israeli forces have destroyed, to fund humanitarian projects required due to the destruction wrought by Israel's military, and to convince Palestinian officials to take actions beneficial to Israel. These sums should also be included in expenditures on behalf of
When all are added together, it turns out that for many years over half of all
It is certainly time to begin debating this disbursement of our hard-earned money. It is quite possible that we have better uses for it.
To decide whether the US should continue military aid to any nation, it is essential to examine the nature and history of the recipient nation, how it has used our military aid in the past, whether these uses are in accord with our values, and whether they benefit the American taxpayers who are putting up the money.
1. What is the history and nature of
Drawing on scores of books by diverse authors, the facts are quite clear:
The fact is that Israel's core identity is based on ethnic and religious discrimination by a colonial, immigrant group; and maintaining this exclusionist identity has required continued violence against those it has dispossessed, and others who have given them refuge.
2. How has
In all of its wars except one,
In violation of the Arms Export Control Act, which requires that US weapons only be used in "legitimate self defense,"
It has used
According to Defence for Children International,
3. Are these uses in accord with our national and personal values?
Not in my view.
4. Do these uses of
While some Israeli actions have served US interests, the balance sheet is clear:
In fact, this extremely negative outcome was so predictable that even before
Through the years, as noted above, our aid to
In 1963 Senator William Fulbright discovered that
In 1967 Israeli forces unleashed a two-hour air and sea attack against the USS Liberty, causing 200 casualties. While
During its 1980s
Through the years,
Bad as the above may appear, it pales next to the indirect damage to Americans caused by our aid to
While American media regularly cover up Israeli actions, those of us who have visited the region first-hand witness a level of US-funded Israeli cruelty that makes us weep for our victims and fear for our country. While most Americans are uninformed on how
The 9/11 Commission notes that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's "animus towards the United States stemmedfrom his violent disagreement with
The Bottom Line
In sum, US aid to Israel has destabilized the Middle East; propped up a national system based on ethnic and religious discrimination; enabled unchecked aggression that has, on occasion, been turned against Americans themselves; funded arms industries that compete with American companies; supported a pattern of brutal dispossession that has created hatred of the US; and resulted in continuing conflict that last year took the lives of 384 Palestinians and 13 Israelis, and that in the past seven and a half years has cost the lives of more than 982 Palestinian children and 119 Israeli children.
By providing massive funding to
It is time to end our aid.
Alison Weir is Executive Director of If Americans Knew. For more information on the US-Israel relationship she especially recommends the books by Donald Neff, Paul Findley, Kathleen Christison, Stephen Walt, John Mearsheimer, Grant Smith, Stephen Green, George Ball, and John Mulhall.