Friday, May 21, 2010

Bipartisanship at its best...

...when it comes to Israel. Democrat and Republican politicians may disagree on almost every single issue right down the party line but when it comes to passing laws to give Israel our tax dollars, the votes are near unanimous. Such is the case with the law just passed yesterday, giving Israel $205 million dollars for its production of short range rocket defense system. With one in ten of us unemployed, our budget deficit at all time high and our economy in shamble, our elected politicians still managed to hand over money that we do not have to Israel. As a matter of fact, the House of Representatives voted in favor of the bill by a wide margin of 410 - 4. Two of the four no votes are Rep. Ron Paul and Rep. Dennis Kucinich, both are the last remaining handful of true patriots in the Congress.

Howard Berman, Jewish Congressman from California, said that "with nearly every square inch of Israel at risk from rocket and missile attacks, we must ensure that our most important ally in the region has the tools to defend itself." Ted Deutch, another Jewish Congressman who voted for the bill, applauded the Obama Administration for supporting the missile system and stressed that the Administration "must always work to address the threats posed to Israel not only by short-range missiles, but by the looming possibility of a nuclear-armed Iran.”

Why is Israel "our most important ally in the region?" Throughout the years, these are what the Israelis have done:
  • Attacked us unprovoked (remember the attack on USS Liberty in 1967?).
  • Stole secrets from us and sold it to our archenemy during the Cold War.
  • Committed war crimes using weapons that were provided by us that are meant for defensive use only.
  • Continues to build Jews-only settlements in the occupied territories in clear violation of international laws while completely ignoring our demands for them to cease this ethnic-cleansing activity.
  • Repeatedly commits serious human rights abuses against Palestinians with abusers rarely brought to justice.
  • Treats its own non-Jewish citizens like second class citizens (The term Jewish and democratic is really an oxymoron. Israel cannot be both Jewish and democratic simultaneously with more than 1/5 of its population being non-Jews).
  • Most importantly, putting the lives of Americans at risk by its actions because America has been associated with Israel by providing it with unwavering and undying support diplomatically, financially and militarily.

With Israel being our "most important ally," who needs enemies? All the so-called threats facing Israel are all consequences of Israel's past and present policies. If Israel wishes to live by the sword, then it will have to take the risk of dying by the sword. Why are our politicians risking the lives of our servicemen and women by taking responsibility for Israel's actions?

The full text of the bill contains the following reasons on why it is "essential" to provide this $205 million dollars funding to Israel:
(1) The State of Israel is under grave threat and frequent attack from missiles fired indiscriminately by Hamas terrorists on its southern border and Hezbollah terrorists on its northern border.

The State of Israel is under "grave" threat because it is still occupying West Bank (Palestine), Shebaa Farms (Lebanon), Golan Heights (Syria). If Israel wants to be the tough bully in the neighborhood, let Israel deal with its consequences. The easiest way to remove this threat is to withdraw from the occupied land.

(2) The Jewish State of Israel, as a close ally of the United States, requires and deserves all necessary assistance to defend itself from such indiscriminate attacks on its citizens.

The points I listed above unquestionably demonstrated that Israel is NOT our close ally. This myth about Israel sharing the same values as us is demonstrably false. We do not treat any particular group of citizens in our country as second class citizens, unlike Israel. Even though there are many Christians groups here that would like otherwise, our constitution requires that religion be separated from state. What does Israel being a Jewish state, one that is not particularly democratic to its Arab citizens and one that does not even have a constitution, share anything in common with us?

(3) The United States remains committed to Israel's qualitative military edge, including its advantage over non-state actors such as Hezbollah and Hamas, which boast increasingly sophisticated and powerful weapons as a result of support from Iran and other state actors.

What we have given Israel: Apache attack helicopters, Cobra attack helicopters, F-16 fighter/bombers, F-15 fighter jets, guided missiles, precision-guided bombs, Patriot missile batteries, howitzers, multiple launch rocket systems, satellite intelligence, etc.

What Iran/Syria are allegedly giving Hama and Hezbollah: home-made rockets, Katyusha, Scud (rumored).

Israel's "qualitative military edge" is undoubtably leaps and bounds over its opponents - of its own creation - crude weapon systems. What is so sophisticated about those Hamas home-made rockets and Hezbollah's unguided Katsuya rockets?

(4) Regional stability and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians requires that Israel can ensure the safety of its population against missile and other threats.

Regional stability and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians requires Israel not be belligerent and obey all necessary international laws. Peace can only be achieved between the two asymmetrical parties - I don't think I need to specify who's the David and who's the Goliath here - if the significantly stronger party understands that it is no longer able to abuse the much weaker party at will. By giving the Israelis the ability to counter the crude rockets from its opponents, we are actually making it harder to achieve regional stability and lasting peace since the Israelis can be even more belligerent in attacking its neighbors, now that it does not have to worry about the retaliations on its own citizens.

(5) The United States can help to advance the cause of peace by supporting Israel's ability to defend itself against missile and other threats.

On the contrary, giving Israel the "ability to defend itself against missile and other threats" actually makes it harder for Israel to negotiate in good faith. It can now continue to hold on to the territories it illegally acquired by force, knowing that there is absolutely nothing its opponents can do about it.

(8) President Barack Obama has stated: `Our commitment to Israel's security is unshakable.'.

It is a real mystery to me as to why we are committing to the security of a foreign state, this is especially so given the reasons I listed above.

(9) Vice President Joe Biden has stated: `From my experience, the one precondition for progress is that the rest of the world knows this--there is no space between the U.S. and Israel when it comes to security--none.'.

And is it still not clear to you why the Israelis dared to make the pie-in-your-face announcement on new housing development project in East Jerusalem during your visit to promote peace? It is a statement like this that makes the Israelis think that they can pretty much do whatever they want without having to suffer any consequences.

(10) Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates has stated: `President Obama has affirmed, the United States commitment to Israel's security is unshakable, and our defense relationship is stronger than ever, to the mutual benefit of both nations.'

What is the benefit to us? I can probably see the short-term benefit to Israel but how is putting the lives of Americans at risk being beneficial? I must be living in a wacky world where up is down and wrong is right. Can anyone make this claim with a straight face that supporting Israel's policies in stealing land while ethnically cleansing it of its original inhabitants, thereby enraging Arabs/Muslims around the world, putting the lives of Americans at risk is actually beneficial?

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