It's Time to Cut Israel Loose

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Unk's Troll-free Private Saloon : One Thread

Fri Apr 26, 8:02 PM ET

It's Time to Cut Israel Loose

by Ted Rall

NEW YORK-First, let's get this straight: no nation enjoys a "right to exist." Countries are created by people killing other people who used to live in a place; countries continue to exist as long as their citizens are willing to kill other people to keep them the hell out. Thus, the U.S. exists.

And so does Israel.

Arab countries' newfound willingness to acknowledge the fact of Israel's existence in exchange for steps towards a Palestinian state is nice but ultimately inconsequential. Israel is, period. Who cares whether or not it has the right to exist? Rand McNally doesn't determine nationhood. Force does.

As long as the United States continues to pour in $3 billion a year in aid-more than the total for all other nations combined-Israel will continue to thrive. (By comparison, war-torn Afghanistan (news - web sites) is only slated to get $300 million next year.) As for the willingness to kill other guys to keep them out...well, that's the trouble.

Right-wing extremist Ariel Sharon (news - web sites) has unleashed a horrific onslaught upon Gaza and the West Bank that has left all but the most hardened pro-Israel hawks disgusted. An April 17th Pew Research Center poll shows public support for Israel down to 42 percent in the wake of Sharon's latest incursion.

Sharon's shock troops are using the same tactics-reprisal assassinations, torture, demolitions and mass arrests-that most Israelis' parents and grandparents witnessed as victims of the Third Reich. And we're subsidizing it all.

Strategy and Geopolitics

"Israel, like any country in the world, has the right to defend itself against the cruel terror perpetrated against it from centers of terror located only several kilometers from its population centers," Sharon said April 7th. But with five Palestinians dying for every murdered Israeli, the self-defense argument is falling on increasingly deaf American ears. It's not working, either-the more Sharon retaliates, the more dead Israelis he has to retaliate for.

Sharon's excessive use of force is causing an increasing number of Americans to wonder whether it's time to cut off aid and let both sides slog it out.

It is hard to tell, from a realpolitik standpoint, why we spend so much money on such a sandy waste. "Israel...is a good friend of the United States-one of the best friends we will ever have," House majority leader Dick Armey reiterated April 15th. Yet Israel neither possesses natural resources nor geographically separates us from those of another country. Because of its status as a Jewish state, it almost never contributes troops to American-led military operations, many of which take place in Muslim nations these days. Love it or hate it, U.S. support for Israel is pretty much a one-way deal.

Israel's 5.7 million people live on a plot of sun-bleached rocks the size of New Jersey. Our unconditional support for this tiny country offends hundreds of millions of Muslims spanning the globe from Saudi Arabia to the Philippines, whose countries possess the vast majority of the globe's energy resources. The U.S.-Israeli alliance also provides endless fodder to radical Islamists currently planning the next 9-11. In short, Israel is arguably the greatest single geopolitical liability to the security and economy of the United States.

Our Moral Obligation

Doing good, however, doesn't always mean doing well. The Truman Administration was primarily responsible for the 1948 U.N. mandate that created a fledgling Israel surrounded by hostile enemies. Both the legacy of the Holocaust and the continuing poison of anti-Semitism requires a state where the world's Jews can go to feel safe. To hell with all that Arab oil-don't we have a moral obligation to support the only working democracy in the Middle East in the face of incessant terrorist attacks?

We do owe Israel our support, but not $3 billion a year. U.S. backing began with Israel's creation, lasted through several wars and continued through more than a half-century of generous gifts of cash and state-of-the-art military hardware. As a result, Israel is-unlike its neighbors-a modern, technologically-advanced First World country with European-class infrastructure. If U.S. financial assistance were to end the second you read this, the Israeli army and air force would nevertheless remain the region's best-armed and best-trained for many years to come.

Let the Bird Leave the Nest

That outsized military and economic advantage ensures that the current war-that-won't-speak-its-name between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (news - web sites) would continue for the foreseeable future. American-made fighter jets and helicopter gunships would continue to rain death on the West Bank; born-to-lose Arab teens would still blow themselves up in Israeli markets. Nothing much would change, but at least the U.S. would no longer be intimately implicated in the carnage-and we'd save a huge amount of money in the bargain.

Anyone who has visited the Middle East can't help but be impressed by the energy, intelligence and resolve of the Israeli people. An end to American subsidies would force them to deal with such long-standing structural problems as high unemployment, systemic constitutional tensions and demographic trends that threaten to turn their country into a Jewish state with a Jewish minority.

Independence from Washington doesn't have to lead to Arafat's fantasy of pushing Israel into the sea. A cut in U.S. subsidies could be phased out gradually, perhaps over the next ten years. More importantly, the U.S. should sign a mutual defense treaty committing to come to Israel's aid in the event of an invasion. Independence shouldn't equal abandonment, and support shouldn't equal international welfare.

-- (Dumbya using U.S. taxpayer $Billions @ to build. Global 4th Reich), April 28, 2002

Answers

How does Dubya explain why we are giving $3,000,000,000 a year to Israel? What have they done for us in return?

-- (We don't owe @ the Jews. jack), April 28, 2002.

"But with five Palestinians dying for every murdered Israeli, the self-defense argument is falling on increasingly deaf American ears. It's not working, either-the more Sharon retaliates, the more dead Israelis he has to retaliate for."

mmmm? How many afgahnis has America killed in response to the Sept 11 attack on New York?

How can the people of USA tell Israel to stop retaliating against terrorism while doing just that in Afghanistan?

Fight terrorism wherever it occurs, not just when it occurs at home.

-- Malcolm Taylor (taylorm@es.co.nz), April 29, 2002.


Dubya isn't fighting terrorism at home, he's killing innocent civilians in other countries. Just because King Dumbshit is a psychopathic murderer doesn't mean it is okay for Sharon to follow his example. Two wrongs don't make a right.

-- (monkey see @ monkey. do), April 29, 2002.

Just curious Doc: are you and Patricia still together?

-- So (cr@t.es), April 29, 2002.

I think a mutual defense pact with Israel would be even more offensive to Arab nations than the support we are giving them now.

The Palestinian situation is unfortunate, but really, I'm having a hard time feeling sympathy for a people who think nothing of sending their children out to blow themselves up. I mean, when the Palestinians complain how the Israeli soldiers killed one of their children then it's a horrible travesty, but when the same kid blows himself up and takes a bunch of innocent Israelis with him, then it's an act of heroism worthy of $25,000 from Saudi Arabia or Iraq.

I remember on 9/11, virtually every country, including most of the Arab nations, were either sympathetic or silent. The Palestinians, on the other hand, were dancing in the streets and handing out candy to children. I know this doesn't apply to every single Palestinian, but it certainly appears that there are at least a good number of them who have little regard over human life, whether it is an innocent stranger or their own.

-- (what@i.think), April 29, 2002.



Socrates,

Patricia returned to Brooklyn. She missed da stickball in da streets.

-- (Rocco@buffed.enuff), May 01, 2002.


3B is chump change compared to the cost of the consequences. Israel is everyone's outpost aganst Islamic fundamentalism. If you take Israel out of the picture the surrounding Arab states lose their straw dog and have to face that threat at home. The Isralies know it. The Arabs know it. We know it. Sadly, for the rest of us more detached players unending conflict is best cause nobody has huevos enough to move against our mutual threat. Why the hell you think it's gone on this long? Where's Doc when you need him?

The real poor dumb bastards that havn't figured it out yet are the mothers and fathers of the bomb laced Palestinian children.

-- Carlos (riffraff@cybertime.net), May 01, 2002.


Funny, when Iraq refuses to cooperate with UN inspection teams, Dumbya calls them the axis of evil and makes plans to kill their leader and take over the country, based on his accusations that they "might" do something dangerous.

When Israel refuses to cooperate with the UN, and has already massacred hundreds of innocent Palestinians, Dumbya takes their side and gives them $3 Billion to assist with future massacres.

**********

Israel won't cooperate with U.N. team

By Matthew Kalman USA TODAY

JENIN, West Bank -- Defying calls for an international investigation into the military offensive in the Jenin refugee camp this month, Israel decided Tuesday not to cooperate with a United Nations fact-finding mission.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan reportedly was leaning toward disbanding the team, which had been waiting to travel to Israel from Geneva for three days. Israel's Security Cabinet decided earlier Tuesday not to cooperate with the inquiry until the United Nations met Israeli demands regarding the team's mandate and composition.

Palestinians accuse Israeli troops of war crimes, including the massacre and secret mass burial of hundreds of civilians during the invasion of the camp, established 50 years ago by Palestinians who left Israel when it became a state.

Israeli troops who participated in the operation say the number of Palestinians killed is in the dozens, and most were armed fighters. Red Crescent officials affiliated with the International Red Cross said Tuesday that the death toll at the Jenin camp was 54.

The Israeli refusal to cooperate with the United Nations came as mediators tried to end sieges at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and at Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah. The standoffs in those West Bank cities began in early April when Israeli forces moved into several Palestinian areas to hunt down suspected terrorists.

Operation Defensive Shield was launched after more than 100 people were killed in Palestinian terrorist attacks in March. The violence culminated in the killings of 28 people at a Passover ceremony on March 27.

In Bethlehem, 26 Palestinian civilians and policemen emerged from the besieged church, which tradition says was built on the site of Jesus' birth. It was the largest number to leave the compound since the standoff began. The core dispute over the fate of two dozen wanted Palestinian gunmen still in the church remained unresolved.

In Jericho, British security experts inspected a jail where six Palestinian fugitives in Arafat's Ramallah compound would be held under U.S.-British supervision as part of a deal to end the Palestinian leader's confinement.

Four of the six Palestinians are wanted for carrying out the assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi in October. Arafat convened a court last week that convicted them of the murder. A fifth wanted man heads an extremist group believed to have plotted to kill Zeevi. Another is an Arafat aide accused of smuggling arms from Iran. Israel is refusing to lift its siege until all six are handed over. Palestinian officials said the transfer could take place as early as today.

Defending Israel's actions and its decision to refuse to allow the U.N. team into the Jenin refugee camp, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Tuesday, ''Against a murderous enemy . . . who doesn't care about blowing up a Holocaust survivor aged 93 on the eve of Passover, we have made extraordinary efforts not to harm innocent people.''

Kadoura Moussa Kadoura, political leader of Arafat's Fatah faction in Jenin, said Israel's decision to stop the committee proved it has something to hide. ''The Israeli government is defying the whole world, and by banning the commission, it is actually trying to cover up for its massacres against our people,'' he said. Kadoura challenged the United Nations to impose sanctions on Israel.

Also Tuesday, Israeli troops began leaving Hebron after a two-day occupation in which at least nine Palestinians were killed and 200 arrested. But military operations continued in other villages, despite President Bush's plea that Israel end the offensive.

Also, a Palestinian Cabinet minister said Arafat would seek a vote of confidence by holding the first parliamentary elections since 1996. Nabil Amr gave no timetable for the elections.



-- (Dumbya@hypocritical.Fascist.psychopath), May 02, 2002.


Defending Israel's actions and its decision to refuse to allow the U.N. team into the Jenin refugee camp, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Tuesday, ''Against a murderous enemy . . . who doesn't care about blowing up a Holocaust survivor aged 93 on the eve of Passover, we have made extraordinary efforts not to harm innocent people.''

If Israel really wanted to massacre the Palestinian population, then there would likely be no survivors at all. Remember they have lots of planes with lots of bombs. They could have dropped a few on Jenin and taken out every Palestinian in the city. Perhaps if the Palestinian terrorists stopped using their own people as human shields, fewer innocent Palestinians would be harmed.

-- (what@i.think), May 02, 2002.


The ragheads will not stop until Israel ceases to exist. They have the same burning desire to destroy America and all that we stand for.

Iím amazed that ANY freedom lover would spend one second over the fate of these evil Palestinians. Same thing for ANY woman that would side with Arafat and his band of Islamic extremists.

You may not like Jews but they are the lone outpost of democratic freedom in the entire Mid East.

Be very careful what you wish for!!!

-- Free (head@case.analysis), May 02, 2002.



I favor Israel's right to defend themselves but I would not object if our foreign to them was significantly reduced if our foreign aid to Egypt was similarly reduced. Egypt is a close second to Israel in receiving aid.

I doubt if Israel needs our support to defend themselves. They are a nuclear power and if driven to the brink, I think the Masada mentality will prevail.

-- (lars@indy.net), May 02, 2002.


Why not a Masada attitude in that circumstance? Jews have been the world pariah cast for so long why not fry a few million Arabs while flaming? Shit, if I was a jew I'd say screw the whole fucking world. But they won't. Betcha.

-- Carlos (riffraff@cybertime.net), May 03, 2002.

For people who do so much whining about the Holocaust, Jews sure don't seem to have much trouble slaughtering other people. Especially when you remember that those people were already living there when the Jews simply moved in and took over their land.

-- (go@skinheads.go), May 03, 2002.

whining about the Holocaust,

Yeah, those whining kikes! This time we'll finish the job, we've got the Lefties on our side.

-- (M. Le Pen@Paris.goose stepping), May 03, 2002.


go, saying Palestine is like saying Siberia. It's never been a country just an area on maps that gave name to a region. Kinda like Ozarks. Sure you understand that.

-- Carlos (riffraff@cybertime.net), May 04, 2002.


Yeah, kinda like America was just a region before Europeans came over and killed all the Indians and took their land from them. If it's just a "region", then you have every right to kill those who live there and steal their land.

-- (It's @ called. "Capitalism"), May 04, 2002.

Are you a European-American, oh guilt-stricken one? The only honest thing you can do is commit hara kiri immediately and leave all your immorally gained property to the Nature Conservatory.

-- (roland@hatemail.com), May 04, 2002.

I'm not guilt-stricken dumbass Rolo, especially not for the actions of selfish repugs like you and Carlos. I realize you think it is just fine kill people and steal their home from them, but if you try it in my territory you'll get a small surprise between the eyes.

-- (pugs@are.lowlifes), May 04, 2002.

You didn't answer my question, you self-hating honkie

-- (roland@hatemail.com), May 04, 2002.

Honkie? ROTFL!!

Whatever gave you the idea I give a shit about your stupid question you redneck nigger, let alone any of the crap you spew from that shithole on your face?

-- LOL (Rolo @ Bush-luvin. slaveboy), May 04, 2002.


I stand uncorrected

-- (roland@hatemail.com), May 05, 2002.

roland, think you just overturned the right rock. A psyche held up to light and can't figure out why everyone else isn't squinting too.

-- Carlos (riffraff@cybertime.net), May 07, 2002.

Waste is a terrible thing to mind

-- (roland@hatemail.com), May 07, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ