Your statements about how much aid Israel receives are ridiculous. I challenge you to support those statements.
"The U.S. aid relationship with Israel is unlike any other in the world," said Stephen Zunes during a January 26 CPAP presentation. "In sheer volume, the amount is the most generous foreign aid program ever between any two countries," added Zunes, associate professor of Politics and chair of the Peace and Justice Studies Program at the University of San Francisco.
He explored the strategic reasoning behind the aid, asserting that it parallels the "needs of American arms exporters" and the role "Israel could play in advancing U.S. strategic interests in the region."
Although Israel is an "advanced, industrialized, technologically sophisticated country," it "receives more U.S. aid per capita annually than the total annual [Gross Domestic Product] per capita of several Arab states." Approximately a third of the entire U.S. foreign aid budget goes to Israel, "even though Israel comprises just…one-thousandth of the world's total population, and already has one of the world's higher per capita incomes."
The Palestinian militants have attacked Israel precisely because Israel runs its country as it wishes: as an ethnocentric state that to exist necessarily discriminates and oppresses the Palestinian people.
President Truman recognised the State of Israel 15 minutes after it declared itself to exist. And against the advice of both Marshall and Forrestal and at the risk of antagonising Arab oil producing countries.
Do you think that came out of the blue? The Americans were in close contact with the British throughout. The latter merely carried the can. When the buck stopped it was in London.
It was the American Jews in the Democratic party who didn't want European Jews flooding into America, to avoid a possible re-occurence of their troubles in Europe, which influenced, along with Clark Clifford, who supported the Jewish State, Mr Truman's decision. And American policy ever since has been to support it.
I don't think history will accept your "typically duplicitous British fashion" phrase. That is another example of your growing anti-Euro stance which looks to have you by the throat.
Your New Year best wishes to us notwithstanding.
One might even argue that the existence of Israel is something Hitler brought them. Without him I'm not sure the motive for the risks would have been there.
But what about Suez George?
Israel is just more overt in its ethnocentrism. The U.S. is quite ethnocentric when on sees the positions in corporate America that expatriate Brits get when coming across the pond.
My point is that I believe there is a lot of ethnocentrism in this world. Israel just was willing to make it "official," to give the founding of the state a reason for existence. And, since Nazi Germany was sort of ethnocentric to the point of killing Jews, it made a lot of sense at the time (not to mention the other European countries wanted no Jews to return to their country of origin if they survived the Holocaust). As the saying goes, "what goes around, comes around."
First off George I might ask you to consider the likely outcome of dealing with the Hashemites in a non duplicitous fashion.
And the mistreatment of Jews goes back a very long way and our policy was an attempt to right that wrong. I think your use of "duplicitous" is a result of idealism and not of real politik and unworthy of a gallant officer of the greatest navy the world has ever seen. Steering a carrier onto a sandbank off East Africa notwithstanding.
And it was no theory of mine that American Jews wished to limit the number of Jews coming to America. The fact that many did come to America says nothing about that.
How on earth could I come up with such an idea George?
It has a right to respond to attacks, but will not achieve its ultimate aim - peace - until it stops thinking in military terms
Israel's attempt to wipe out Hamas is understandable, but stupid. No country in the world is going to ignore the provocation of rockets being launched from neighbouring territory day after day. If Mexico had a group of anti-imperialists bombing Texas, imagine how long it would take for America to mobilise a counterattack. Israel has every right to respond.
But the kind of response matters. Killing 500 Palestinians and wounding 2,000 others (at the time of writing) is disproportionate. Hamas can harass, but it cannot pose any threat to the existence of Israel. And just as Hamas's indiscriminate bombing of population centres is a crime against humanity, so is Israel's killing of civilians (at least 130 so far in Gaza, not to mention the thousands in the years of the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza).
Hamas had respected the previously negotiated ceasefire except when Israel used it as cover to make assassination raids. Hamas argued that these raids were hardly a manifestation of a ceasefire, and so as symbolic protest it would allow the release of rocket fire (usually hitting no targets). But when the issue of continuing the ceasefire came up, Hamas wanted a guarantee that these assassination raids would stop. And it asked for more. With hundreds of thousands of Palestinians facing acute malnutrition, Hamas insists that the borders be opened so that food can arrive unimpeded. And in return for the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit, it asks for the release of 1,000 Palestinians imprisoned in Israel.
Hamas has made it clear that it would accept the terms of the Saudi Arabian peace agreement, though it would never formally recognise Israel. It would live peacefully in a two-state arrangement, but it would never acknowledge Israel's “right to exist”. This position is unnecessarily provocative, and is deeply self-destructive for Palestinians who believe it is the only symbolic weapon they have left.
How do we get out of this destructive spiral? The first step is for the world to demand an immediate ceasefire. That ceasefire should be imposed by the United Nations and backed unequivocally by America. Its terms must include the following:
" Hamas stops all firing of missiles, bombs or any other violent action originating from the West Bank or Gaza, and co-operates in actively jailing anyone from any faction that breaks this ceasefire.
" Israel stops all bombing, targeted assassinations or any other violent actions aimed at activists, militants, or suspected terrorists in the West Bank or Gaza, and uses the full force of its army to prevent any further attacks on Palestinians.
" Israel opens the border with Gaza and allows free access to and from Israel, subject only to full search and seizure of any weapons. Israel allows free travel of food, gas, electricity, water and consumer goods and materials including from land, air, and sea, subject only to full search and seizure of any weapons or materials typically used for weapons.
" Israel releases all Palestinians in detention and returns them to the West Bank or Gaza according to the choice of the detainees or prisoners. Hamas releases Gilad Schalit and anyone else being held by Palestinian forces.
" Both sides invite an international force to implement these agreements
" Both sides agree to end teaching and/or advocacy of violence against the other side in and outside mosques, educational institutions, and the media.
" This ceasefire would last for 20 years. Nato, the UN, and the US all agree to enforce this agreement and impose severe sanctions in the event of any violations.
These steps would make a huge difference, isolate the most radical members of each side from the mainstream, and make it possible to then begin negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians on a broader and deeper set of issues.
The basic condition for creating peace is to help each side feel “safe”. A first and critical step is to speak in a language that is empathic toward the suffering of each people in a climate of discourse in which both sides' stories are heard and understood.
Yet Israel, as the militarily superior power, ought to take the first steps: implementing a massive Marshall Plan in Gaza and in the West Bank to end poverty and unemployment, rebuild infrastructure and encourage investment; dismantle the settlements or make settlers become citizens of a Palestinian state; accept 30,000 Palestinian refugees annually back into Israel for the next 30 years, apologise for its role in the 1948 expulsions and offer to co-ordinate a worldwide compensation effort for all that Palestinians lost during the Occupation; and recognise a Palestinian state within borders already defined by the Geneva Accord of 2003.
This is the only way Israel will ever achieve security. It is the only way to permanently defeat Hamas and all extremists who wish to see endless war against Israel.
The most significant contribution the new Obama administration could make to Middle East peace would be to embrace a strategy that homeland security is best achieved not by military or economic domination but by generosity and caring for others. If this new way of thinking could become a serious part of US policy, it would have an immense impact on undermining the fearful consciousness of Israelis who still see the world more through the frame of the Holocaust and previous persecutions than through the frame of their actual present power in the world.
It breaks my heart to see the terrible suffering in Gaza and in Israel. As a religious Jew I find it all the worse, because it confirms to me how easy it is to pervert the loving message of Judaism into a message of hatred and domination. I remain in mourning for the Jewish people, for Israel and for the world.
Let' s see, Israel should release all Pal prisoners, including mass murderers, in return for one Israeli soldier kidnapped from Israeli territory. Some bargain!