US Aid to Israel: A Stark Truth

One does not normally see this truth stated so starkly in places
like Time Magazine -- from Michael
Scherer's interesting article
on AIPAC's current strategy to "storm
Congress":

The third "ask" that AIPAC supporters will make of Congress on
Tuesday is to once again pass the $3 billion in U.S. aid provided
annually to Israel. "It's a very tough ask this year," [AIPAC lobbyist
Steve] Aserkoff admitted, noting the U.S. domestic budgetary and
economic challenges. Among other major purchases, the Israeli government
has announced plans to replace its aging fleet of F-16 fighter jets
with new, American-made F-35 fighters, a major cost that Israel
hopes will be substantially born for [sic] by American
taxpayers.

Those would be the same "American taxpayers" who are now being told
that they have to suffer cuts
in Medicare and Social Security because of budgetary constraints
,
who are watching as the most basic social services (the hallmark of
being a developed country) are being rapidly abolished (from the 12th
Grade
to basic
care for children, the infirm and elderly
), and are burdened with a
national debt so large that America's bond ratings are being
degraded by the minute
. Why should those same American taxpayers
bear the enormous costs of Israel's military purchases (as Israel
enjoys booming economic growth
)? Especially if the issue is
presented as cleanly and honestly as Scherer did here, and especially if
Israel continues to extend
its proverbial middle finger
to even the most basic U.S. requests
that it cease activities that harm our interests, how much longer can
this absurdity be sustained?

On a related note, a new
Rasmussen Poll
found that only 58% of Americans now view "Israel as
an ally" -- down
from 70% just nine months ago
. The same poll found that 49% of
Americans believe Israel should be "required" to stop building
settlements, with only 22% disagreeing. That's why the primary
objective now of AIPAC and its bipartisan
cast of Congressional servants
is -- as Scherer put it -- "to
pressure the Obama Administration to avoid airing disagreements
publically [sic]." Indeed: you can't have the American people
knowing anything about the U.S./Israel relationship and the ways in
which the interests of the two countries diverge.

Having these issues discussed openly and having the American
citizenry be informed might shatter all sorts of vital myths, which is
exactly what has happened over the last month, which has, in turn, led
to this change in public opinion (that, along with the fact that
the Israeli Government, by being viewed as the opponent of Obama, has
incurred the wrath of large numbers of Democrats who are loyal to Obama
and automatically dislike any of his critics or opponents). That's why
their overriding goal is to hide
all these differences behind a wall of secrecy
-- "the
Administration, to the extent that it has disagreements with Israel on
policy matters, should find way[s] to do so in private," demanded
Democratic Rep. Steve Israel
-- because an open examination of this
"special relationship," how it really functions, and the costs and
benefits it entails, is what they want most to avoid. It's common in a
democracy for government officials to openly
air their differences with allies
; why should this be any
different?