Sunday, July 20, 2014

How to create lasting peace in Israel/Palestine

The current state of affairs in Gaza is providing plenty of food for thought about how this situation could have been avoided, and how we can prevent it happening again.

In that context, it's worth having another look at a document titled U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel, prepared for the Congressional Research Service in 2014.

Tables on pages 26 and 27 provide a breakdown of annual US aid to Israel, from the inception of the state to the present time.

What we see is that US aid was consistently in the mid tens of millions per year for about the first 15 years of Israel's existence. The first time aid breached the 100 million mark was the year before the Six Day War.

Did that boost of confidence help instigate that war?

The first time annual aid passed the billion dollar threshold was in 1974, the year after the Yom Kippur War. By the mid-eighties annual multi-billion dollar gifts to Israel had become the normal state of affairs. With the emergency funding for more Iron Dome installations we should hit four or five billions this year.

As US aid has increased, illegal settlements in the occupied territories have blossomed. Israeli belligerence towards any perceived enemy has risen in lock-step, and the centre of gravity in Israeli domestic politics has shifted massively to the right, to the point where far-right politicians routinely make racist pronouncements that would not be tolerated in any other developed nation.

The expansionist triumphalist Netanyahu is today being pilloried as a moderate, even a leftist!

Who can imagine such a thing?

Alas, he is being out-manoeuvred by Neanderthal warmongers like MK Feiglin who openly advocate for the genocide of the Palestinians.

That such advocacy is countenanced in the Israel of 2014 speaks volumes.

Israel's permanent war footing and the rise of the extreme right have been facilitated by American indulgence. Israel today is a modern fully-developed nation that does not require US aid in any way, shape, or form. In fact, if you look at the economic fundamentals, Israel should be sending foreign aid to America!

Only when America turns off the "aid" tap will Israel's politicians come to their senses and realize that the road to lasting peace is to make peace with the neighbours.

Until then, many more are destined to die.

On all sides.

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