Saving Lives by Saving Money
Former journalist Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, a think-tank that focuses on Israel-Palestine.
Imagine you could help people abroad by keeping your money home. Imagine you could help bring peace to the Middle East, build a safer world and alleviate massive misery. Imagine you could begin to eliminate the requirement for long airport lines, the justification for frisking old ladies, the alleged need to discard our most cherished principles in a quest for ‘security’ against an ill-defined enemy.
Imagine you could save America. You can – by ending our $7 million per day gift to Israel. Following are six reasons to end this enormous foreign expenditure:
- We can’t afford it. Businesses are failing; schools are closing; we owe more money than many think we can ever pay back. We need to get our financial house in order. We are trimming our personal, governmental and business spending. We need to trim this as well.
- It is a failed policy. Rather than improvement, during our six decades of more aid to Israel than to any other nation, we have seen escalating regional violence, numerous wars (many involving Americans) and growing global instability. It is time to stop sending good money after bad.
- It fuels the tragic cycle of violence. Empowered by our money, Israeli expansionism consistently initiates renewed violence, costing numerous lives. Israel struck first in all its wars except one. Historically, it was the initiator of conflict. The state of Israel was created in 1948 through the ethnic cleansing of Christians and Muslims, who had originally composed 95 percent of the inhabitants of land that colonists wanted for a Jewish-only state. In the current round of conflict that began in 2000, Israeli forces killed 140 Palestinian men, women and children in the Palestinian Territories before a single Israeli in Israel was killed – before any suicide bombers or Gazan rockets. In the past 8.5 years, 6,348 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis (1,487 of them children), and 1,072 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians (123 of them children). In more than 96 percent of the actions that ended periods of calm, it is Israel that broke the peace.
- It prevents peace. With seemingly endless money coming from unaware American taxpayers, Israeli leaders feel there is no need to negotiate a compromise on how Jews, Christians and Muslims will once again share their Holy Land. As a result, “peace talks” have consistently been a sham.
- It is used illegally. It is illegal to use American military aid offensively. Yet, Israel regularly uses American weapons in aggression against civilian populations. Israel’s illegal use of American cluster bombs in 1978, 1982 and again in 2006 caused the amputation of thousands of mangled limbs. Israel holds the world record for violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions – at least 32 (Iraq violated a dozen). Israel routinely violates Geneva Conventions; in 1978 the London Times exposed Israel’s torture of Palestinians. In 2002, Foreign Service Journal detailed its torture of Americans. Today, it holds 10,756 Palestinian men, women and children. Palestinians hold one Israeli.
- It is counter to U.S. interests and imperils Americans. Policy experts have long opposed supporting Israel. Harry Truman’s Secretary of State George Marshall advised against sacrificing U.S. interests for an election. Like politicians from both parties ever since, Truman sacrificed them. The 9-11 Report identified support for Israel as a primary cause of hatred for the United States. The Pentagon’s Defense Science Board report found: “Muslims do not ‘hate our freedom,’ but rather, they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority objections to what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights...”
Israel’s history of expansionism, combined with its possession of more than 200 nuclear weapons, provides motivation for regional neighbors to acquire these as well.
When we end our blank check to Israel, we will go a long way toward ending terrorism. We will have stopped financing one of the world’s principal terrorist states, and will have removed motivation for those suffering from Israeli ruthlessness to target us as its funder.
Numerous surveys have shown that the vast majority of Americans, across party lines, don’t want to take sides on Israel-Palestine. It’s time to listen to them, and keep our money at home.
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If Americans Knew is a nonpartisan, educational organization. We are happy to provide information and speakers on Israel-Palestine to individuals and groups of all religious, ethnic, racial, and political backgrounds. To set up an event, contact us.
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