Guest commentary: The fact on $10 million per day to Israel

Walnut Creek

Alison Weir
Contra Costa Times
March 6, 2016

Local residents recently partnered with my organization to put up a billboard that informed East Bay residents: "We give Israel $10 million per day. That money could send our kids to college." The billboard has triggered common pro-Israel talking points. Let me address these false claims:

1. Claim: The message is "anti-Semitic." This accusation is used to silence legitimate criticism of the state of Israel and U.S. policies regarding Israel. As an Israeli parliament member said, "It's a trick; we always use it. When from Europe someone is criticizing Israel, then we bring up the Holocaust. When in this country people are criticizing Israel, they are termed 'anti-Semitic.' "

The billboard provides information about U.S. tax money and suggests a better use for it. When Americans believe our politicians are misusing our taxes, it is our civic responsibility to object. Voicing objections to a misguided governmental policy is not "bigotry," it is obligatory.

2. Claim: Israel and the U.S. have "shared values." This is used as an argument that we must support Israel whatever it does, whether occupying land, killing civilians or defying our own president. Israel is founded on elevating one religious-ethnic group over all others. There is systemic discrimination in its national identity, a religious symbol on its flag, and land ownership is severely restricted. It has never created a constitution and has no Bill of Rights.

The U.S., on the other hand, is based on the principle "that all men are created equal, they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights." Our Bill of Rights states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Religious discrimination is outlawed here.

3. Claim: Giving money to Israel promotes U.S. interests; Israel protects Americans from enemies in the region. In reality, as many people have noted, Americans had no enemies in the region before Israel was created on Palestinian land in 1948.

As I detail in my book "Against Our Better Judgment: How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel," the U.S. State Department, Pentagon and intelligence agencies strenuously objected to supporting the creation of Israel because this would be deeply damaging to U.S. interests.

Israel has profoundly misused our money, causing tragedy and violence in the region and escalating harm to Americans. Israel consistently violates international law, U.S. laws and numerous human rights statutes. It has undertaken aggressive wars, stolen land, and killed massive numbers of children and other civilians. Surveys show that our support for Israel is the number one cause of hostility toward the U.S.

Israel has spied extensively on the U.S. and tried to sink a U.S. Navy ship, killing 34 and injuring over 170. When families and survivors spoke out, they were called "anti-Semitic" and their stories buried by U.S. media even though the crew is the most highly decorated since World War II.

Israel partisans were a major factor in the disastrous, tragic invasion of Iraq and have long tried to get us to attack Iran, an action that would be similarly catastrophic.

On average, Americans give Israelis 7,000 times more per capita than to others around the world. This expenditure is never debated in Congress due to the Israel lobby, a special interest that dominates U.S. Mideast policies.

It is time for more Americans to learn the facts and speak out. Multitudes of lives depend on it, including our own.


New Book on the Israel Lobby

Alison Weir's new book Against Our Better Judgment: How the U.S. was used to create Israel brings together meticulously sourced evidence to outline the largely unknown history of U.S.-Israel relations.

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Alison Weir

Invite Ms. Weir to speak: 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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