Gideon Levy :America’s 83 Ignoramuses Are Enabling Destruction by Israel
Your money, senators, is being spent on maintaining a brutal, illegal occupation that your country claims to oppose.
The 83 U.S. senators who urged the president to increase military assistance to Israel are 83 ignoramuses and their letter is a disgrace. Israel of all countries? Military assistance of all needs?
Increasing military aid won’t add one iota of security to Israel, which is armed to the teeth. It will harm Israel. Those 83 out of 100 senators base their extraordinary demand on “Israel’s dramatically rising defense challenges.”
What are they talking about? What “rising challenges”? The rise in the use of kitchen knives as a deal-breaking weapon in the Middle East? The challenge for one of the world’s strongest armies to survive against young girls brandishing scissors? Hamas’ tunnels in the sand? Hezbollah, which is bleeding in Syria? Iran, which has taken a new path?
It’s time they expanded their narrow view and reduced the enormous aid they shower on Israel’s arms industry – one of the world’s largest weapons exporters – and its army.
The United States is allowed, of course, to waste its money as it sees fit. But one may ask, senators, if it makes sense to invest more fantastic sums to arm a military power when tens of millions of Americans still have no health insurance and your senate is tightening its purse strings despite the challenges of climate change.
A world power is arming a regional power as part of a corrupt, rotten deal. Your money, senators, is largely being spent on maintaining a brutal, illegal occupation that your country claims to oppose – but finances.
The weapons you provide are for a brazen state that dares defy America more than any of its allies does. It ignores America’s advice and even humiliates its president. It gets twice the aid you give Egypt, an ally that needs the money much more. It’s three times more than you give Afghanistan, which is devastated in part because of you.
It’s almost four times more than you give Jordan, which is in a precarious state due to refugees and the Islamic State. To Vietnam, which you destroyed, you gave $121 million, and to Laos, which you ruined, $15 million. Impoverished Liberia received $156 million and awakening, liberated South Africa $490 million.
But for Israel, even $3 billion a year isn’t enough. It gets more than any other country in the world yet insists on $4 billion, not a cent less, including an unconditional commitment for a decade.
If you’ve already decided to pour such huge sums on Israel, why on its army of all things? Have you seen what its hospitals look like? And if you’re financing weapons, why not condition it on the only democracy in the region’s appropriate behavior?
What do you have over there in the world’s most important legislature? An automatic signing machine for letters supporting Israel? An ATM for the Jewish lobby’s every whim? Only 17 of 100 senators were courageous enough, or bothered to think for a moment, before they signed another scandalous venture by AIPAC and the Israeli Embassy.
More money to arm Israel will end in blood. It must end in blood. There are old weapons that must be used and new weapons that must be tried (and then sold to Azerbaijan and Ivory Coast).
This destructive, murderous force will fall again on devastated houses in Gaza, and America will finance it all once again. The money will also corrupt Israel. If this is the prize for its refusal to make peace and its flouting of international law, why shouldn’t it behave this way? Uncle Sam will pay.
The senators who signed the letter didn’t act for either their country’s good or Israel’s. It’s doubtful whether they know what they signed. It's doubtful whether they know what the real situation is.
Maybe among them are people of conscience or people familiar with their country’s national interests. But the blood money will serve neither those interests nor morality.
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