Putting Israel First
Yesterday’s festivities over the moving of the American embassy to Jerusalem brought home again just how faulty our foreign policy is. We saw only a small sample of the increased confidence an emboldened Israel must feel now, as they killed dozens at the Gaza border who dared not to be celebratory.
Whatever true terrorists exist outside of American intelligence must surely be boning up on their suicide bombing skills now. After all, what do they have to lose? The present American government has gone beyond previous sycophantic administrations, who ignored every UN sanction against Israel, and continued to throw more money at their out-of-control youngster. By moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, our leaders have sent a clear message to every Arab in the world.
It isn’t just Israel, of course. American foreign policy is absolutely, certifiably insane. While our own infrastructure crumbles into Third World status, we continue to bomb and then repair the infrastructure of other countries. The US Aid for International Development (USAID), for instance, is presently working to repair the infrastructure of Afghanistan, which we have occupied and terrorized for years, and continue to remain present there, against all logic and common decency.
During the nonsensical Iraq “war,” USAID was utilized to repair the infrastructure our misguided troops had destroyed. Meanwhile, we have basically let our own infrastructure atrophy since the 1950s. We always have the money for a new bombing or occupation, but somehow we can’t “afford” the crucial repair of America’s embarrassing airports, roads, bridges, and power grids.
Initially, Donald Trump was proposing cutting humanitarian foreign aid some 32%, but as always the deep state won out. Trump’s disastrous budget will in fact not cut foreign aid, and increases it in some areas. Not surprisingly, Trump’s favorite nation, Israel, is going to get an increase of some $200 million in aid under his 2019 budget proposal, for a total of $3.3. billion.
Meanwhile, six months after experiencing devastating hurricanes, 11% in America’s own colony Puerto Rico remain without power. President Trump blasted Puerto Rico’s “poor leadership” and declared, “They want everything to be done for them.” Trump never takes this hard-liner tack with Israel, who is certainly capable of standing on its own feet at this point after receiving a total of over $234 billion from American taxpayers since its birth in 1948, as of 2014.
Our tweeter-in-chief at times has expressed shockingly rational views on this subject. He once told the Washington Post that “…I watched as we built schools in Iraq and they’d be blown up. And we’d build another one and it would get blown up … And yet we can’t build a school in Brooklyn…” Those words are impossible to reconcile with Trump’s performance thus far in office.
Needless to say, President Trump has done nothing to put “America First” as he rattles sabers with North Korea and Iran, and indiscriminately bombs Syria for absolutely no reason. Like all neocons-the vast majority of whom strongly opposed his presidential run-Trump has thrown his full support behind Israel, our “strongest ally” in the region. Maybe they are our ally because we continue to shower them with financial and military aid they don’t need in the slightest?
We certainly have received very little in positive terms from this incestuous relationship with the middle eastern mini-state we helped create. For decades, Israel’s inexcusable 1967 attack on the USS Liberty was covered up by our spineless politicians and kept press. Thirty four Americans were killed and 171 wounded in the attack, which was never sufficiently explained. Needless to say, no one was punished for this heinous crime, and our relationship with Israel went on, stronger than ever. The NSA continues to keep documents concerning the incident classified.
A few of these documents were leaked by the courageous Edward Snowden, who remains in exile. Our leaders still target and punish whistle blowers, so Snowden has good reason to fear returning to the United States. Donald Trump at one point called for his execution. Can’t have “traitors” like Snowden, or Manning, or Assange, revealing to the dumbed down American sheeple just how hopelessly corrupt their leaders are. The Naval Court of Inquiry held hearings about the attack on the Liberty in secret, and survivors were placed under gag orders forbidding them to talk.
Although I personally believe the life sentence given to Jonathan Pollard, an American citizen convicted of spying for Israel, was too harsh, Israel has never stopped trying to arrange his release. In fact, Israel granted Pollard citizenship in 1995. Powerful figures like Alan Dershowitz, George Schultz, Barney Frank, Caspar Weinberger, Lawrence Korb, Henry Kisssinger, Dan Quayle, and Anthony Weiner have all lobbied for Pollard’s sentence to be commuted.
The reality is, Israel is the power broker here. They hold the cards in the relationship with the United States. Even a consummate mainstream media organ like Newsweek would headline a May 6, 2014 article, “Israel Won’t Stop Spying on the U.S.” No less than The Jerusalem Post reported, in a March 24, 2015 story, “Israel Spied on US Nuclear Talks With Iran.” Or course, Israel’s new favorite U.S. president, Donald Trump, unwisely ended our deal with Iran, which was one of Barack Obama’s few accomplishments in office.
Our foreign policy has almost exclusively revolved around the interests of Israel, especially since the Reagan years, when neocons first came into prominence. No politician can get elected in America now without the support of the Israeli lobby. AIPAC, in particular, is the most powerful lobby in this country. Paul Findley was a Republican representative from Illinois. His political career ended when he took on the Israeli lobby, as he recounted in his 1985 book They Dare to Speak Out.
Much as we don’t get our money’s worth with any of our tax dollars, Americans certainly aren’t getting any value out of our massive aid to Israel. Despite being about the size of New Jersey, Israel hovers around the top ten in terms of military power among nations. This is almost exclusively due to American financial and technological aid. Without our aid, would Israel really be able to fight off all of its angry neighbors?
It isn’t “anti-semitic” to criticize our relationship with Israel. It’s not “hate” to point out their crimes against humanity. Israel’s treatment of the dislocated Palestinians, which continues as I write this, is an international crime. Do we really want our tax dollars supporting the destruction of Palestinian homes, the theft of their land, the murder of their children?
Our own country is rotting from within. Our infrastructure cries out in desperation, like a starving creature. Half of our country has literally nothing in terms of wealth. There aren’t enough jobs or resources to provide for American citizens, let alone immigrants both legal and illegal. Virtually every move our political leaders make is disastrous for the vast majority of Americans. We have the clearest example possible of taxation without representation.
In between the celebrating over the US embassy being moved to Jerusalem, and the consensus that the Trump administration is busy making Israel great, perhaps we could reflect on our own countless needs. The American roof is leaking, almost caving in, and the children need sustenance. Charity begins at home.