U.S. $38-Billion Israeli Military Aid Package Props Up Occupation
I’m waiting to hear from all those Israelis and pro-Israelists who thumb their noses at the U.S., dismiss our disagreements with them, and even boast that they don’t need our dollars or weapons. So where are these folks now? Will our hasbara commentariat rise as one and denounce this aid deal? Or will they slink back into the darkness, licking their lips as they contemplate all those new Iron Dome batteries, F-16s and 35s, and cyberwar capabilities which $38-billion can buy?
What I really wanted to focus on tonight was Pres. Obama’s absolutely bankrupt statement that U.S. largess should open the hearts of Israelis to finally negotiate a two-state solution:
But in a nod to his differences with Mr. Netanyahu…Mr. Obama also stressed the importance of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, an imperative he said was as vital to Israel’s security as the aid package itself.
“It is because of this same commitment to Israel and its long-term security that we will also continue to press for a two-state solution to the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict, despite the deeply troubling trends on the ground that undermine this goal,” Mr. Obama said. “As I have emphasized previously, the only way for Israel to endure and thrive as a Jewish and democratic state is through the realization of an independent and viable Palestine.”
There comes a time when repeating the same useless rhetoric ad nauseam becomes worse than boring and lapses into insult or worse. Obama is like the man who adopts a cute lion cub and let’s it have the run of his home. A year later when it weighs hundreds of pounds and threatens to devour him, he wonders where the cute little baby went. Israel is no longer that cute cub, it is a man-eater, a Palestinian-eater. Stop thinking of it as what it long ago stopped being. Israel will never, of its own volition, accept a two-state solution. Get that into your thick skull, Mr. President.
Of course, there is the distinct possibility that Obama, who is certainly a smart man, already knows this. But instead of admitting the truth, he continues a charade because this is what he believes is necessary to keep the Israel Lobby quiet and content. Of course, if that is his thinking it’s cowardly and cynical. Though this sort of playing-it-safe approach to confronting political opposition is something we’ve grown used to–and wearied of–regarding Obama.
Giving Israel $38-billion is like giving a crack addict a key to the medicine cabinet. Do you think Israel will be any more compliant or open to negotiating a peace agreement after you’ve plied it with military goodies and hardware? This agreement is a birthday cake. It’s a Good Housekeeping seal of approval as far as Israel is concerned. It will not move it a single centimeter off the dime toward a peace deal.
Of course, there’s the distinct possibility that Obama sees this deal as the sweetening of the pot that was required to silence pro-Israel critics of the Iran nuclear deal. Republicans are complaining about the $400-million “ransom” Obama paid to get our hostages back from the Iranians. This aid package puts the ransom to shame. We just bought ourselves Israeli acquiescence to a nuclear deal against which they screamed bloody murder. Except it didn’t. Bibi never toned down his opposition. He continued to bellyache about it to anyone who would listen, including the entire U.S. Congress to which he whined in a GOP-orchestrated insult to the president.
Which is to say that I’m not sure what this $38-billion in buying. But I do know one thing: it’s unnecessary and destructive of the possibilities for real peace in the region.
Susan Rice added insult to injury in her own spin, er–take, on the agreement:
“We don’t have any plans to do anything particularly dramatic at this point,” she said. “We continue to want to see a two-state solution remain a live option. It’s vitally important.”
When the word “dramatic” is used as a substitute for a concrete U.S. policy you know you’re in trouble. Further, she says she wants the two-state solution to remain a live option when it is DOA, and has been for years. How can it be ‘vitally important’ when it’s hopeless and you know it? This even insults the English language it’ss so patently transparent.
The thought crosses my mind that all these people are smart enough to know what they’re saying is ridiculous. They know that the only way to achieve a real peace given Israel’s political intractability is something far more radical than a two-state solution. But they know they don’t have the political will or capital to bring this to pass. So they require a placeholder permitting them to say they have a policy, even though they don’t. So two-states becomes this empty suit, a Potemkin village hiding the fact that there is nothing behind it. Two-states is a sham and a cruel one at that.
Let’s not leave this miasma without noting the “wisdom” of Aaron David Miller, one of the NY Times’ “go-to” commentators on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His liberal Zionist/Israel Lobby credentials make him a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Someone who ratifies to the discredited status quo while appearing to be an independent liberal voice. Here he is opining on what Pres. Obama might do before his term ends:
“…It [Obama’s statement] reflects the strong possibility that sometime by year’s end, President Obama will put out some sort of virtual peace process plan.”
Can anyone tell me what-the-hell a “virtual peace process plan” is? Is it any more tangible than the non-existent peace process that currently exists? And don’t you just love the word “virtual” in that sentence, which confirms that U.S. policy is little more than a few bytes existing in some virtual reality.
The article suggests the possibility that before he leaves office Obama will make some sort of definitive speech which lays out the parameters of a final resolution to the conflict. I doubt he will do this. But even if he does, it will mean nothing since he will not be president nor have any power to bring it about. Instead, the Israel Lobby’s favorite Democrat, Hillary Clinton, buttressed by Haim Saban’s millions, will retain the status quo.
Even Colin Powell, in his hacked e-mails had the foresight to appreciate Hillary’s “unbridled ambition,” accompanied by her total lack of innovation (“not transformational”). We will see more of the same over the next four or eight years. Think how many Israelis and Palestinians will die during this interval. Don’t, the thought is too depressing.
8 thoughts on “U.S. $38-Billion Israeli Military Aid Package Props Up Occupation – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Israel, the angry, unhappy and psychological misfit nation it is, full of hate and contempt for the world and human value, is a country that never gives damn or due considerations to international law and always have contempt for world opinion! Israel looks like a strangely disconnected, self-serving echo-chamber. While the illegal government perceives its hasbara efforts to be helping the nation ride high on a wave of righteousness, the sad reality is that the country is increasingly isolated and adrift, cast away on a wave of its own delusion. Israel the largest threat to world peace…”
Here is one of those pro-Israelis you wished for.
It is really nice to have a rich uncle who is willing to chip in and help with the budget. Like in any other family, there are disagreements but the commonality far outweigh the differences. The fact a liberal president like Obama is the one to sign this new deal means those who oppose it (from the left) are disattached from reality and lack a minimal ability to understand who complex political system work.
What a load of self-important nonsense.
To amplify Sivan’s comment-
Even a liberal Obama, (along with most Americans) recognizes that the barrier to peace between Israel and the Palestinian is multi-factorial. Israel’s settlement policy is an important factor, but not the only one. A whole lot of things have to change, on BOTH sides of the divide, before peace can be achieved. I won’t write a whole megilla here. But looking at a long causal chain and picking out just one link, Israel’s occupation, as THE root cause of the conflict, greatly oversimplifies and does nothing to help resolve the problem. So claiming that if the occupation of the territories were to suddenly disappear, everything else will simply fall in place, is magical and juvenile thinking.
Its a basic flaw in the logic of causation that causes people on both the right and the left to oversimplify. I have acquaintances on the Israeli right who claim that the Palestinian refusal to recognize a Jewish state is THE factor blocking peace. Bibi himself often makes this argument. This is fallacious as well. If tomorrow the Palestinians announce that they recognize a Jewish state, would all the other problems work themselves out? Would religious settlers suddenly be ready to leave their homes in the territories? Obviously not. It might help, but a lot of other things have to change as well.
Richard, I know that to an ideologue like you all of this muddies the water and it’s all very simple. Its all Israel’s fault and that’s it. And the only reason Obama doesn’t see that is because of the all powerful Israel lobby.
The truth is this aid is mainly a subsidy to the american weapons industry. Simply as that.
That is very true. According to the agreement, a large portion of the money must be spent buying products made in the USA.
Don’t forget those 10 shiny (rusty now but will shine when IAI is done with them) F-15Ds which most likely will drop some bombs sooner or later.
How can Obama justify that is beyond me.
[comment deleted: off topic. I am growing tired of the constant off topic comments. Comments here aren’t meant to offer You Tube videos that support your particular world view. They’re only relevant when they comment directly on the topic of the post. All other links, videos, etc. are off topic. If you continue with this practice you will be banned.]