In Eli Ziegler’s New Voices column, “An anti-Israel billboard campaign sends dark message to Orlandoans,” in Thursday’s Sentinel, an Israel partisan dutifully defends Israel.
He repeats talking points developed by Israel’s billion-dollar advocacy machine, including the usual accusation that critics are supposedly “bigoted.”
Let us examine the facts:
Thanks to the powerful Israel lobby, politicians from both parties have sent tiny Israel more of our tax money than they’ve sent to any other country — on average 7,000 times more per capita than to others around the world. Today this is $3.7 billion per year (more than $10 million per day).
In a unique arrangement, Israel gets almost all this money in a lump sum at the beginning of the year. Since the U.S. is operating at a deficit, this means that we borrow this money, give it to Israel and then pay interest long after it’s gone. Israel deposits this in an interest-bearing account, making even more money off the U.S. economy.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Added to this disbursement is $1.45 billion annually to Egypt and $1.5 billion to Jordan, thanks to deals concocted by Israel in which American tax money would be used to buy off opposition to Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the non-Jews who originally inhabited the land it wished for a Jewish-only state.
On top of this is the more than $2 trillion cost of the Iraq war, which was engineered by Israel partisans in the administration and enabled by others in the national media, such as Judith Miller, formerly of The New York Times. Impossible to quantify in dollars are the thousands of American and Iraqi lives destroyed through this disastrous invasion.
In addition to these costs is the humanitarian aid for Palestinians who have been displaced, whose property has been stolen, and whose deaths and injuries are caused by Israeli invasions. Additional aid is given to the Palestinian authority to round up resistance fighters on behalf of Israel. This totals about $700 million per year.
In addition to the deep financial burden these disbursements impose on Americans, our money enables Israeli violence and aggression that causes continuing instability and tragedy throughout the Middle East. This prevents peace, endangers Americans, and is a continual cause of misery.
It also gives Israeli militarists the belief that since Israel has the most powerful nation in today’s world in its back pocket, there is no need to compromise with Palestinians. Only when Americans change this dynamic will true peace negotiations be conducted and peace eventually forged.