Israel: America's Oldest Enemy, America's Greatest Debtor
Enemy At The Gate
Throughout most of Israel’s existence, it has mounted terrorist attacks on United States government property and United States citizens. Here are some examples:
• EGYPT. On July 14, 1954, Israeli intelligence officials exploded fire bombs at U.S. Information Service libraries and U.S. Consulate offices in Cairo and Alexandria. The object was to poison relations between the United States and Egypt by depicting Muslims as being responsible. The Egyptian government caught and tried a number of Egyptian Jews involved in the attacks. Eventually, due to great outcry, Pinhas Lavon, Israeli Defense Minister resigned.
• U.S.S. LIBERTY Eastern Mediterranean . On June 8,1967, after nine hours of regular reconnaissance of the National Security Agency’s signals intelligence ship, Israeli armed forces, with full knowledge of the Liberty’s nationality, attacked the vessel without warning. The Liberty, steaming in international waters, suffered 34 Americans murdered, 174 maliciously wounded out of the ship’s 294-man complement. The $40 million ship was deemed unsalvageable and sold for scrap.
• RACHEL CORRIE–Rafah, Palestine. On March 16, 2003, an Israeli soldier drove a 54-ton Caterpillar bulldozer over the 23-year old U.S. citizen—twice–crushing her skull, chest, and spine. She had been attempting to protect the home of a Palestinian family from being demolished. The peace activist, wearing a blaze orange jacket with reflective stripes, was clearly visible to the soldier driving the equipment. While her parents were attempting to seek justice for the murder of their daughter, an Israeli military leader told the Haifa court that “During war there are no civilians.” As part of a policy that is still in effect, the Israeli military and police do not investigate complaints of attacks against civilians in “closed military zones.”
• MAVI MARMARA, Eastern Mediterranean. On May 31, 2010, Israeli armed forces stormed the six ships of the Palestine aid flotilla organized by the Free Gaza Movement, an activist organization with members from numerous countries. During the assault in international waters, Zionist commandos murdered nine people, including U.S. citizen Fulkan Dogan—shot five times in the head, legs, and back. The Israelis then falsely imprisoned 629 activists from the ships, including former U.S. ambassador Edward L. Peck.
• EMILY HENOCHOWICZ—Qalandia Checkpoint, Palestine. On May 31, 2010, Israeli soldiers blinded the 21-year-old U.S. artist, activist, and Jew. She had been standing at the front of a demonstration protesting the Mavi Marmara attack. She was waving a Turkish flag, when soldiers deliberately fired a tear-gas canister at her face, putting out an eye and breaking her jaw and cheekbone.
Israel’s existence depends on massive U.S. transfers of its citizen’s money, along with tax-free handovers of funds to alleged Zionist charities. This fuels Israel’s war machine. Profits from the sales of Israeli products in the United States often go to colonists occupying Palestinian lands (and using their resources) or to units of the Israeli “Defense” Force.
Because of this, Israeli citizens have Universal Health Care while American citizens don’t.
Here are the highlights:
• Total U.S. aid to Israel since 1949 exceeds $138 billion.
• Military aid: $3 billion annually since 2007. Twenty-five percent of this can be spent on Israeli-manufactured weapons and military equipment, which are then exported for Israel’s profit.
• Israel also receives loan guarantees and free or reduced cost military equipment from the United States. Israel gets funding from American Defense Department appropriations for projects such as its Iron Dome missile shield. (The U.S. Congress has forgiven all past loans to Israel.)
• U.S. Foreign Military Funding (FMF) provides 25% of Israel’s defense budget. (FMF finances procurement of defense articles and services by foreign countries.)
• More than $1.5 billion in private U.S. funds go to Israel annually in the form of $1 billion in private tax-deductible donations and $500 million in purchases of Israeli bonds.
• Total U.S. aid to Israel is approximately one-third of the American foreign-aid budget, even though Israel comprises just .001 percent of the world’s population and already has one of the world’s higher per capita incomes. With that being about $14,000, Israel ranks as the sixteenth wealthiest country in the world; Israelis enjoy a higher per capita income than oil-rich Saudi Arabia and are only slightly less well-off than most Western European countries.
• Buying products like Sabra hummus and Sodastream helps fund Israel’s military control over Palestinians. Some companies have factories located in one of the 125 officially recognized colonies in occupied Palestine, which are illegal under international law. Other companies contribute to the maintenance of the occupation through cooperation with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), whose main goal is to protect illegal “settlements” and exercise dominion over the lives of millions of Palestinians.
• Sabra hummus is partly owned by an Israeli company named the Strauss Group. It gives an elite IDF unit, the Golani Brigade, a variety of food products for their training or missions, and provides personal care packages for each soldier. (The Golani Brigade played a key role in the Israeli army’s assault on the Gaza Strip in 2008-09 during “Operation Cast Lead”. That action was infamous for its murders, war crimes, and human rights violations against Palestinians.)
• Tribe hummus and Ahava beauty products all have ties to the Israeli government. Tribe uses its U.S. profits to help that government strip Palestinians of their land and keep them from leasing it back. Ahava is 37% owned by Hamashbir Holdings, tied to the Orad Group, producing electronic detection systems for use on the West Bank separation barrier.
CONCLUSION: In The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, they note that “When Israel was founded, in 1948, U.S. policy makers did not consider it a strategic asset…American policy makers recognized that embracing Israel too closely would undermine the U.S. position elsewhere in the Middle East. President Truman’s decision to support the UN partition plan and to recognize Israel was based [in part] on…an awareness that recognition was backed by many American Jews and would therefore yield domestic political benefits.”
To date, the only benefits yielded in the close relationship between the United States and Israel have been to Israel’s advantage. It appears as if only detriments have come to the United States, its citizens, and to the Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East.
But what of the future?
Considering the steady rightward drift of the Israeli government, its focus on Greater Israel, and its oppression of Palestinians and others, can we consider the ruling elites there to be stable? If they are not, should the United States continue to transfer such large sums of money to them, funding Israeli wars and state-sponsored terrorism?
Does America have any responsibility for Israel’s actions? If so, whose is it? Our political leadership? The average voter? The Religious Right? The Mainstream Media for only telling part of the story?
Since Israel possesses an unknown number of weapons of mass destruction, what happens if one or two “go missing”? Suppose some carefully-cultivated fanatics acquire and detonate a stray bomb or two? Will there be a finger-pointing tarantella or general war?
Shouldn’t someone start asking hard questions instead of bankrolling a proven enemy?