Cut Israel Off

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH …  During a 2011 address to a joint session of Congress, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a blunt (and ballsy) declaration. “You don’t need to send American troops to defend Israel,” Netanyahu told U.S. lawmakers. “We defend ourselves.” Really?  Then why are American taxpayers sending the…


During a 2011 address to a joint session of Congress, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a blunt (and ballsy) declaration.

“You don’t need to send American troops to defend Israel,” Netanyahu told U.S. lawmakers. “We defend ourselves.”

Really?  Then why are American taxpayers sending the Middle Eastern nation more than $3 billion a year to defend itself?

Netanyahu’s speech came fifteen years after another address of his to Congress made similarly bold claims.

“We can now say that Israel has reached childhood’s end, that it has matured enough to begin approaching a state of self-reliance,” he said in his 1996 address.  “We are going to achieve economic independence.”

Nearly two decades later, though, we’re still waiting for Israel to make good on Netanyahu’s promise.  Just this spring, Congress authorized yet another U.S.-Israeli arms deal – and a new long-term American aid package is being negotiated that would extend taxpayers’ commitment there through 2028.

Fifty-five percent of America’s “foreign military financing” goes to Israel – and our aid currently accounts for a quarter of the country’s entire defense budget.  Oh … and that funding doesn’t include the costs associated with joint U.S.-Israeli military projects, including costly missile and rocket defense programs like the “Iron Dome,” “David’s Sling,” “Arrow I” or “Arrow II.”  Combined, those programs sucked $503.7 million out of the latest U.S. defense budget.

It also doesn’t include the $1.2 billion in stockpiled arms shipped to Israel in recent years.

Enough is enough …

Defending Israel is not America’s job.  We repeat: Defending Israel is not America’s job.

Our founding editor is sympathetic to the historical plight of the Jews.  Hell, he’s one-eighth Jewish himself.  But America simply cannot afford to keep footing the bill for Israel’s defense – or the defense of any nation not named “the United States of America.”

It’s time – past time, actually – to cut Israel off.

What do you think?  Vote in our poll and post your thoughts in our comments section below.

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Michael J. Stefonick July 7, 2014 at 9:36 am

Lets make it a US State.

Great idea! July 7, 2014 at 10:32 am

It’s sister state can be Puerto Rico.

Rocky July 7, 2014 at 11:34 am

Or North Miami Beach.

SCBlues July 7, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Or Pumpkintown.

Sandi Morals July 7, 2014 at 9:36 am

Radical Islamists , the Muslim brotherhood or Muslim Obama could not have said it any better FITS.

Ask Ron Paul if we just loan Iran a nuke and get it over with. That would save us time and money.

Gee wiz. Big leap on here from supporting dems to our enemies abroad. Well , maybe not. :-)

aikencounty July 7, 2014 at 1:47 pm

We don’t have to loan one, they already have them.

John Calvin July 7, 2014 at 9:51 am

I’m a proud member of the Presbyterian Church (USA), who just divested their holdings in companies that provide defense and security services for Israel (companies were HP, Caterpillar and Motorola).

Sandi Morals July 7, 2014 at 11:12 am

Oh.You people support abortion and state sanctioned gay marriage yet hate on the Jew. Go figure.What a church.

Because Your Mom Did July 7, 2014 at 11:39 am

Fuck the middle east.

Ha! July 7, 2014 at 6:10 pm

What’s the difference between a Jew and a Pizza?

One doesn’t scream in the oven.

dems are pigs July 7, 2014 at 6:32 pm

Dang. Word is the Tom Ervin Campaign apparently has a real sense of humor?

Smirks July 7, 2014 at 9:56 am

Netanyahu understands that if someone’s giving you free money, you don’t argue with it.

idcydm July 8, 2014 at 8:57 am

If so, Netanyahu sounds like many citizens and illegals of this country.

Mike at the Beach July 7, 2014 at 10:02 am

What a great way to take one of the most complex and dangerous issues faced by the international community (the Mideast security issue in toto) and boil it down to simplistic libertarian dribble. Maybe if Israel falls (or Iran finally says “fuck it” and nukes them, which they almost certainly will shortly after developing a half-assed deliverable nuke- even if it’s a simple/dirty man-portable version) you’ll see what a wonderland that region would become, and the international/global peace and prosperity that would bring. Life is complicated, and “complicated” doesn’t even begin to touch the political realities in the Mideast. Good Lord, even half of the readers here disagree according to you own poll, and that says a lot based upon the Ron Paul leanings around these parts.

Dice Man July 7, 2014 at 11:22 am

Libertarian means never having to come up with solutions.

Solve all the problems July 7, 2014 at 1:35 pm

I enjoy the fact that Republicans and Democrats offer up solutions for everything. It makes me feel secure.

Dice Man July 7, 2014 at 3:10 pm

By definition, Libertarianism offers no prescription that accomplishes social order. It is simply a boondoggle for pseudo-intellectuals and contrarians with no skin in the game.

Democracy remains the worst system of governance, except for all other systems.

Solve all the problems July 7, 2014 at 3:19 pm

What’s your skin in the game? Are we living in a Democracy?

Dice Man July 7, 2014 at 3:47 pm

I don’t know about you, but I I’ve chosen to live in a democratic republic……

Sove all the problems July 7, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Well that’s a bit different from a Democracy, no? How’s that republic portion doing for you?

Also, you never told me what skin you have in the game. The only reason I ask is because I’d like to know what additional skin you are representing over those that don’t have said skin.

Dice Man July 7, 2014 at 5:26 pm

I’ve obviously touched a nerve, but one shouldn’t get into a pissing contest on this site.

But since you asked, my foreskin keeps getting hung up on yo’ mama’s snaggle tooth. Have a nice day! :)

Solve all the problems July 7, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Ah yes, you’ve touched my nerve and ended on a “yo mama” joke. At least you’ve lived up to your name.

Well played Dice man. You should run for office and provide us more of the grand solutions that have worked so well up to this point, as you truly have a gift.

Manray July 7, 2014 at 11:30 am

The U.S. has legitimate national security and foreign policy interests which are not identical with those of Israel. Perhaps if the Israelis didn’t feel they possess carte blanche from the U.S., they would be less belligerent, more attuned to regional realities, and seek opportunities for peaceful resolution of problems within their legally-recognized international borders? Rarely do I agree with Sic, but he is right — “Defending Israel is not America’s job”

Mike at the Beach July 7, 2014 at 11:43 am

Of course we’re not 100% aligned with Israel (or anyone else, for that matter). Israel, however, lives an entirely different national identity from the one we enjoy here. They have very real, existential threats to their country perched on the border and staring at them from Tehran. If they cease to exist (and that’s not hyperbole, it’s possibility), how do the isolationists think the Mideast power structure would play out? Do they think anti-West terrorism and jihadism would naturally decline? How about the pure humanitarian aspects? I bet there wouldn’t be too much bloodshed in Israel as all those peace-loving funsters from palestine came rolling in. Israel shows restraint that we would NEVER show if we were suffering as they were. Bashing the Israel lobby is an old tactic, but it’s a red-herring. Israel defends itself (with financial help from us), and it’s in our (and the word’s) best interest to keep them viable.

Manray July 7, 2014 at 12:09 pm

The red herring is in implying that any criticism or questioning of Israel or U.S. policy toward Israel is supporting terrorism or denying their right to exist. Certainly terrorism wouldn’t cease, but much of Palestinian radicalism and a significant element in Islamic jihadism was engendered by Israeli intransigence and the perception of our support for such intransigence. It is not Arab states which occupy Israeli lands — although woe unto the American politician who utters the words “occupied territories.” Much of what we see today started with the PLO and Black September — they didn’t spring from nowhere.

EJB July 7, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Good God, you are serious.

Mike at the Beach July 7, 2014 at 3:08 pm

I never implied any such thing. Israel polarizes the left (and right) like few topics short of the ACA. The “who occupies who?” question isn’t as simple as telling Israel to give back all of the settlements. That’s one little piece of that puzzle. I’ve spent some time there, and talked to people on all 8 sides. Most of the time when you ask, “What if Israel pulled out tomorrow?” they’ll be honest and tell you that would be “a good start.” If it was that easy, Carter would’ve fixed it at Camp David.

Manray July 7, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Occupation is only one aspect of the problem, but it may be the key element. All any fair-minded person needs to do is look at a map of Israel as established by the UN in 1948. Compare that with a map of Israel and its claimed territory now. The Israelis illegally occupy Palestinian lands. They have dispossessed thousands of people, confiscated their property, pushed them into squalor as refugees, and continue to do so today. If you do that to people, they will hate you. Imagine if a foreign power did that in the U.S? We wouldn’t rest until the injustice was righted.

Mike at the Beach July 7, 2014 at 5:55 pm

As I said, that is certainly part of the problem. No one in that equation (including the US and Israel) is totally blameless. I only meant to imply that to infer that occupation is the only angle is disingenuous, and lets the Palestinians off a little too easy for my taste. I maintain that if Israel went all the way back to the borders of the original charter, that would not solve the problem. Fair enough?

EJB July 8, 2014 at 7:18 am

Apparently you have chosen to ignore what various leaders within the Arab community, including the Palestinians, have been saying for decades, they want the total destruction of Israel. Jordan and Egypt wanted peace and got it. Palestinians are bad enough in their own right but they are to a degree puppets of other Arab nations in that they are easily goaded into fighting Israel for chicken poop reasons. Its a choreographed bloodsport on the Arabs part.

truthmonger July 8, 2014 at 11:09 am

Don’t attack Israel, don’t lose land when they win and you lose. Go back to the middle east, Manray. Or at least learn a little of the REAL history.

truthmonger July 8, 2014 at 11:06 am


Rocky July 7, 2014 at 12:46 pm

But our continued carte blanc also give them no incentive to actually negotiate a settlement to “their” issues.

Mike at the Beach July 7, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Now that’s about half right; I’ll give you that one…

EJB July 7, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Israel has demonstrated they want peace and when other nations have wanted peace with Israel they have gotten it. Both Jordan and Egypt have had long standing treaties with Israel which she has respected. The only thing the Palestinians want is cover behind which they can indiscriminately kill Israelis. Palestinians do NOT want peace on ANY terms, they only want dead Israelis, period.

Manray July 7, 2014 at 3:53 pm

What Palestinians want is their lands back and a stop to continued Israeli encroachment. It is Israel that has radicalized the Palestinians.

God's chosen people July 7, 2014 at 4:34 pm

What Palestinians want is the SAME as Obama , Iran and radical terrorists….the destruction of Israel.

God's frozen people July 7, 2014 at 6:24 pm

Are you sure they just don’t access to quality lox and bagels?

God's frozen people July 7, 2014 at 6:25 pm


Sid July 7, 2014 at 6:57 pm

“What Palestinians want is their lands back…” were those lands theirs to begin with… This question has merit if you examine it in the political science sense of the word “their” or, did they have internationally recognized sovereignty as a distinct people that asked for and received self determination?

Up until 1917 The Arab population in Judea and Samaria were Ottoman empire subjects, between 1917 and 1948 The Arab population in Judea and Samaria were under the control of the British Mandate of Palestine, in 1948 the Jordanian army invaded into the days old sate of Israel and (illegally) occupied Judea and Samaria (killing and expelling all the indigenous Jews that were residing in these areas, the ancient Jewish state heartland, for many generations – The Jewish community in Hebron was there from the middle ages!!) and at that point, the same Arab population in Judea and Samaria, became bona fide Jordanian citizens (passports and all)

In 1967 Israel realized that the Egyptian army are violating the existing cease fire accords and is advancing into the Sinai peninsula, at that point Israel asked both Jordan and Syria not to join Egypt in the looming hostilities but they declined the Israeli request… Egypt then began blockading Israel by stopping all merchant vessels bound to Israel which in Israel (and every other sane country) was translated as a cause of war. Then Israel embarked into an unprecedentedly swift and decisive war that led to a glorious victory achieved in only six days…

This war was a defensive war on israel’s part and had Jordan not join the Egyptians in their bid to destroy Israel, they would probably be still in J&S with it’s indigenous Jordanian population…

People tend to forget that the British received their mandate from the league of nations (League Of Nations resolution, San Remo 1920 which was again ratified in 1947) as custodians for the future establishment of a “home land for the Jews”, which also included Judea & Samaria, a.k.a the west bank.

So in essence the Arab population in Judea & Samaria that up until 1989!! still were Jordanian citizens (a citizenship that was striped off from them and unilaterally revoked by the late King Hussein) are claiming property rights an sovereignty on a national scale (proven, private ownership of J&S lands is obviously legally binding and should be respected) in hindsight and in clear conflict to what is still a valid international, legally binding resolution.

The “Palestinian problem” must be resolved one way or another but the pervasive, initial premise as if Israel took property that didn’t belong to them (at a minimum, it was promised to them) from an entity (not even defined at that Juncture) that never had any type of national sovereignty on these lands, is manifestly wrong and unjust to the Israelis.

Again, Jordan attacked Israel days after the UN agreed to the establishment of a Jewish state (1948) on lands that were allocated for the establishment of the “Jewish home land” and included J&S, then, 19 years later, Jordan again attacks Israel from the front lines of the territory they illegally occupied before but this time they lost… And then, many years later, after 1967, the so called “Palestinians” that were still Jordanian citizens at that point, come along and claim ownership/sovereignty to all the lands that were supposedly “occupied” and were “taken away”, “stolen” from the . . . Jordanians????

Justice in this case is squarely on Israel’s side and what the shrewd and relentless Palestinians achieved over the years, is part of the biggest swindle of the 20-21th century

Just Sain

Soft Sigh from Hell July 7, 2014 at 8:25 pm

These “who’s really native” arguments always seemed rather contrived, especially when made by people arriving back “home” ~1700 years after leaving. “We live here, not you.”
It seems a lot more complicated than that. But these questions are ALWAYS reduced to simple slogans. That slogans cannot get to real (not final, mind you) solutions seems beyond the collective ken.
We in the US ignored the European Jews’ plight in the late 30’s and early 40’s and in no small sense were (and a bit still are) trying to cover and forget that.

euwe max July 8, 2014 at 10:12 am

Palestinians don’t deserve a homeland, they’re just savages – the Israelis made the desert bloom!

truthmonger July 8, 2014 at 11:04 am

HOOAH! Excellent!

truthmonger July 8, 2014 at 11:04 am

HOOAH! Excellent!

truthmonger July 8, 2014 at 11:01 am

Nah. In fact, look at the history of the area. Prior to the creation of Israel, there WAS no such thing as a “Palestinian”. Oh, and if historical claims to land are important, try looking at the forcing out of the Jewish people by Arabs. When does taken land stop BEING “taken land”? Seriously, the Jews took back their land. The Arabs attacked and lost more land in the wars. Kinda like Texas and California with La Raza’s claims.

usc1801 July 11, 2014 at 12:23 am

How do you negotiate with groups that have sworn as their sole mission in life to kill you and wipe your nation off the face of the earth? Maybe we should’ve negotiated with the Nazis in WWII.

truthmonger July 8, 2014 at 10:56 am

It can be argued that Israel is our proxy in the fight against jihad. If you learned a bit of the history of the region, you’d understand that a secure Israel is strongly in our national interests. Sic is just…. stupid in this case.

Rocky July 7, 2014 at 11:43 am

It’s not entirely dribble. We used to have a rather unpleasant stew in the Middle East – wasn’t the greatest but it had some element of predictability to it. Then we decided to add a whole bunch of fire-hot chilis in it in 2003 with the invasion of Iraq. Now we have this rather unpredictable stew. Let’s step back a minute. The reason we always backed Israel was because they were the most powerful country in the region and we made sure of it. Egypt in 1973 showed Israel was not always the strongest kid on the block and so we had them join our club (in part because the greatest power in the region Iran had slipped away from us). Well OK, things held fairly stable, but now we’ve stirred it all up. I would suggest to you that a moderating Iran may infact be more willing to further moderate and join the club today. They are unquestionably the most powerful country (nukes aside) – given their position, their population, technoligocal expertise and potential capabilities. If we need someone to hammer down on this crap (ISIS) – Iran has great incentive to do it. In short, it’s time to re-assess our strategic partners in the region. It’s time to make new friends out of old enemies – particularly friends that can counter the actions of Russia. Iran could easily replace Russia as the primary provider of natural gas – eliminating Putin’s trump card and putting pressure on the Russians. And a friendly Iran is a far greater problem for Russia than Ukraine is for the US and Europe.

Mike at the Beach July 7, 2014 at 11:49 am

Your points on Iran are mostly okay, but they don’t have that much relevance to the question of whether we support Israel. International geopolitics is not a zero-sum, either-or game. we can deal with both of them. To say that the Iraq invasion is to blame for the unpredictability of the Mideast is a stretch. It was mishandled, to be sure, but the major themes influencing that wacko region have been brewing and developing organically wholly separate from our mistakes- global salafism, jihadism, the Arab Spring, fundamentalism, etc.

Rocky July 7, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Agreed it’s not a zero-sum game. The point is, it ends up that way when your only strategic partner is Israel. With Isreal there is not benefit. They won’t help us with ISIS, nor with anyone else. Their value, unfortunately, ends at their border. True from time to time they’ll hit a target in Syria, but they won’t help with ISIS nor stability in any other area. And I do disagree Iraq was simply “mishandled” – we opened a vacuum that is today being filled by ISIS. I might suggest were the Baath party still in control (even if Saddam were dead) – ISIS would not be all over the map. Yes we can deal with both of them – but let’s just be aware – one’s value will be greater – it it won’t be the little one. (Glad to see someone talk about a positive sum game – most people think that’s a game show).

Mike at the Beach July 7, 2014 at 3:20 pm

I hear you, but Israel is (by far) not our only strategic partner. Believe what you read in the MSM if you like (although you sound fairly knowledgeable, so hopefully you don’t), but the Palestinians and all of their little political sycophants in the semi-autonomous territories *really* like that $500-600 million we chuck their way every year, and we get a good bit done behind the scenes with that cash (that half-billion doesn’t show up in Will’s accounting, either). We get help from some of the parties there, as well as Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and even a few countries who help but don’t want anyone to know.

As for us “opening the vacuum” in Iraq, that’s hogwash. Did our invasion of Iraq also, then, create the Arab Spring? Libya? Syria? How about the heavy (although not well covered by the press) internal problems the House of Saud is facing these days? Blaming all of the current issues (even within Iraq) does not adequately account for the crazy religious, political, and social dynamics of that region. Just because Saddam and the Baathists were able to keep it tamped down (although the Kurds beat him pretty good here and there and were pretty much autonomous years before we got there) doesn’t mean that he would have been able to hold it together when none of his other Mideast cronies seem to have been able to do so. Technically that’s “we’ll never know for sure,” so we’ll just have to agree to disagree. It is a pleasure, though, to debate with someone on here who obviously reads a paper now and then and doesn’t resort to name calling…

Rocky July 7, 2014 at 4:11 pm

OK – gotta go have a #)$%*#$)( fest with Tango. Cheers.

Mike at the Beach July 7, 2014 at 5:51 pm

Be careful! He/she may hit you with a pound sign or something…

TontoBubbaGoldstein July 7, 2014 at 9:46 pm

Be careful! He/she may hit you with a pound sign or something…

BT,GT,EP…put down that ampersand and slowly back away.


Hazel July 10, 2014 at 8:11 am

At least your keeping it to threee sentences Goldstein.

PopnWeave July 8, 2014 at 5:49 am

If we fail to stand with them then we will see an end to the world as we know it now. This country will no longer have a reason to exist. Does anyone read and believe the Bible anymore? Truth will soon come to light, God have mercy on us all!!!

Adam Evans July 7, 2014 at 10:11 am

This item is a brave, and probably inflammatory, attempt at encouraging a realistic discussion of our relationship with Israel. One notices you have not given it a byline. Your readers might be encouraged to examine the point-of-view expressed by Messrs. Mearsheimer and Walt who, several years ago wrote a controversial piece about our national commitment to Israel, only to find it impossible to publish it in a periodical in the United States. The London Review of Books finally printed it in Britain. Several years ago, “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” was expanded into a book.
What is brave about your effort, like Mearsheimer (of the University of Chicago) and Walt (of the Kennedy School of Government) is that pro-Israel money plays such a large role in South Carolina politics–and in other backward states where votes and influence can be purchased cheap. Lindsey Graham is a beneficiary of this kind of lucre. So was “the late” Eric Cantor. Likewise, the state treasurer OF OHIO, Josh Mandel. Take a peek at what his Israel-born wife does for a living.
Problem is, the moment one questions the Israel lobby, one is quickly accused of anti-Semiticism. So watch your back.
National politics is salted with influential figures whose primary loyalties are questionable–to be polite. Former CT Senator Joe Lieberman was the Likud Party’s representative in Congress. Josh Mandel, who lost his quest to be Ohio’s US Senator in 2012, was being groomed to replace Lieberman–in my opinion.
Why are people like Howard Rich, Mallory Factor, Sheldon Abelson and others always observed with open wallets and open mouths? They are part of The Israel Lobby as well. In the end, Israel is not to be trusted. Just take a long, hard look at the Pollards; or Douglas Feith; or the entire neo-conservative establishment. The Kagan family, father and sons and wife, are an extended neo-con talkfest; they might be a useful starting point. NO military service among them, but always willing to spend American treasure and blood. Check out their ties to Lindsey Graham.
End Times bible-thumpers ought to be ashamed of themselves. Israel is not “pro-life”.

Soft Sigh from Hell July 7, 2014 at 8:43 pm

Though he often voted for Israeli benefits, and proudly admitted so, Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-SC) was one of the few and last to speak more objectively–to some, more bluntly–about Israeli influence on US decisions.

Bible Thumper July 7, 2014 at 10:20 am Reply
Sandi Morals July 7, 2014 at 10:30 am

this country will not survive if we donit stand with israel…..

Fear Monger July 7, 2014 at 10:31 am


Pick A Name July 7, 2014 at 11:50 am

EXACTLY!!! …. Feds to Bring in Riot Squad Against Illegal Immigration Protesters…

Rocky July 7, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Really? It survived before there ever was an Israel. And BTW – what did Israel do to help us out in Iraq?

Jew elry July 7, 2014 at 6:08 pm

“what did Israel do to help us out in Iraq?”

They gave us wholesale pricing on quality diamonds.

euwe max July 7, 2014 at 11:48 am

He wants to offset the perception that he’s racist with support for ban… well, you know.

Texas Reporting July 7, 2014 at 10:27 am

Developing: Approximately 100 illegal alien immigrants in detention at one center in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection possibly to be sent to South Carolina.

Sandi Morals July 7, 2014 at 11:09 am

Dang. More dem petition signers and voters for “traitor” tommy. :-)

Israel=Commie Lite July 7, 2014 at 10:30 am

Israel is a huge welfare state, it’s not just the US giving them money, it’s ingrained in much of their society.

Manray July 7, 2014 at 10:46 am

We continue to subsidize Israel, not because of their needs, but due to American domestic politics. For any American politician to be critical of Israel on any issue is to invite a storm of opposition which no pol wants to face. Add to this the corrosive influence of money in our political system. Since 1990 pro-Israeli lobbyists have given out $96 million to congressional candidates alone. Just google: AIPAC contributions in 2010.

Bible Thumper July 7, 2014 at 11:29 am

Fits’ opposition to aid is based on costs. The people posting are critical of the Jewish lobby. I’m not seeing any arguments discussing the United States strategic interest.
Romney is right:
“..Romney’s view of the world was that the United States and its allies are in strategic competition with rival systems of governance, and always have been.”
“U.S. leaders must first recognize that we are in fact in a competition and that our adversaries are implementing sophisticated strategies to beat us.”

Obama’s failed view:
“He deemed the “destiny” of all nations to be “shared,” and discarded the notion of “alignments” and “cleavages” among countries, choosing instead to believe that an “interconnected world” made such divisions outmoded. In short: Geopolitical competition was out; global kumbaya was in.”
“For the Obama, history stopped the day the Soviet Union fell.”

Obama does not have a realistic view of our enemies. That does not mean we can involve ourselves in every conflict, but we must recognize that other countries interest conflict with our own. Israeli aid is expensive and influenced by many interest, but an argument can be made that it is in our interest. Israel is a counter balance to Iranian influence.

Mike at the Beach July 7, 2014 at 11:36 am

I also notice that there was no mention of the half-billion or so we ship to the Palestinians each year (non-military aid, of course). That region is so screwed up, even folks who’ve spent years there working these problems can’t figure it out. Hell, the crazies who live there can’t even come close. The libertarian solution is much like the BHO tack- just pull back far enough and it’ll all work out. That’s just fools’ gold…

Bible Thumper July 7, 2014 at 11:55 am

——- Fifty-five percent of America’s “foreign military financing” goes to Israel. ——
I’m not sure about this percentage. 1.3 billion goes to Egypt. 9.5 billion to Afghanistan. 1.2 billion to Iraq. Total military assistance: $17.2 billion. 48.4 billion in total foreign aid. How is 3 billion to Israel 53%. He must be leaving Afghanistan out.

Mike at the Beach July 7, 2014 at 3:03 pm

You’re absolutely right. Will’s being a little sneaky here (or he got his numbers from his foreign policy guru, Ravenel). The number he’s spouting is from the Department of State Foreign Military Financing account. That fund represents ONLY direct transfers of military funding from our coffers to the official military units of a foreign nation (if you check the US DOS website you’ll note that Afghanistan’s not even on that list). This accounting totally disregards the huge black budget for military assistance, certain special operations activities (especially direct training), humanitarian aid, USAID programs, etc. It’s a good way to make Israel’s number look even bigger than it is, though. Good catch.

nitrat July 7, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Do you not remember how Mark Sanford played with numbers when he was governor? That’s where Sic learned lying and manipulating with numbers.

nitrat July 7, 2014 at 3:51 pm

We need to think of the Israelis as American settlers and Palestinians as the Native Americans. Native American resistance went on for decades.
The big difference is the maturity – and, the media – of the world has changed dramatically from the time we did what we did to the Natives and what the Israelis have done to the Palestinians. They can’t do it with the same impunity that we did a little over a century ago.
We created Geronimo. The Israelis have been creating terrorists who hate them and us for supporting them, usually blindly, for over 50 years.
The American people have paid the price for the supporting Israel no matter what they do. But, it continues because now the Teavangelicals are pining for the rapture and the establishment Republicans love them some neo-cons.

Mike at the Beach July 7, 2014 at 5:59 pm

I think that analogy is a bit simplistic for too many reasons too belabor here, but suffice to say that there is a (tiny) kernel of truth in there. There’s plenty of blame to go around over there, but assigning it doesn’t address the problem. We are where we are, and something’s got to give. Pulling out in toto, taking our cash, and pulling up the gates is not the answer.

nitrat July 7, 2014 at 6:58 pm

Israel’s settlement policy is breeding terrorists to attack us all and we can’t seem to persuade them to do a thing to stop the settlements and/or work toward Israeli and Palestinian states, thereby, diffusing the mess. Maybe, even solving it.
They’ve got the same problem we have: a lunatic right wing. And, Bibi is as gutless as John Boehner in dealing with them.
I’m old enough to remember pragmatic Israeli leaders. Bibi just wants to be prime minister forever.

Mike at the Beach July 7, 2014 at 11:18 pm

We’ll just have to disagree, which is fine. I believe that blaming Israel for any significant portion of the salafism movement that is driving the regional spread of jihadism ignores facts and recent history. That theory simply doesn’t mesh with the happenings of the most recent 5 years. Of course they create a bit of their own drama, but a significant percentage of the organizations operating in (and on behalf of) Palestine are terrorists. If Israel folds tomorrow, they won’t stop beheading people or blowing up babies.

Manray July 7, 2014 at 11:38 am

The U.S. interests in the region are for a peaceful environment with reasonable security for the individual nations within their own recognized borders. We cannot advance such interests as long as we are seen solely as Israel’s patron and protector. Peace is our interest, not facilitation of Israeli land-grabs at the expense of Palestinians. How the Israeli turmoil can be placed at Obama’s feet is mystifying — but I guess it shouldn’t be. Everything else is Obama’s fault too.

euwe max July 7, 2014 at 11:44 am

The problem isn’t the Jews – it’s the fucking ISRAELIS!

Mike at the Beach July 7, 2014 at 11:45 am

You’re right. I wish they would quit picking on those fun-loving Palestinians! Assholes…

euwe max July 7, 2014 at 1:54 pm

…with our money and blood.

Mike at the Beach July 7, 2014 at 3:26 pm

I know better than to argue facts with ya, but I will say this: You should go live in Israel for a few months and live that life. I am confident that you would see that the portrayals of Israeli political and military actions aren’t exactly as they seem in the mainstream world press. Israel (like ALL countries) screws up here and there, of course, but they’re not indiscriminately raining rockets down on innocent civilians, blowing up mommies and babies in pizza restaurants, and stating that the “other side” has no right to exist. That’s just a simple truth that gets lost in all of the hot rhetoric. They could abandon every square inch of the settlements tomorrow and very little would change.

Soft Sigh from Hell July 7, 2014 at 8:38 pm

I have read that you can have a far more serious public/political discussion in Israel on Israel/Palestine issues than you could ever have in the US. Far less howling and calling for heads. Reading a little Haaretz now and then seems to support this claim. The editor of the Miami Herald, for example, would be lynched for running such serious non-Likudist editorials and stories as frequently appear in the Israeli press.

Mike at the Beach July 7, 2014 at 11:22 pm

You are 100% correct. I’ve been privy to some very meaningful conversations over there during which everyone at the table acknowledges the weaknesses in their position. *Everyone.* It would never work here in the US, because both ends of our spectrum are so thoroughly invested in their perception and position. The far right thinks Israel represents some kind of direct link to the Baby Jesus, while the far left equates them to the terrorists they’re fighting. Neither is accurate but as you say, one could get mobbed here for even implying such heresy…

Bible Thumper July 8, 2014 at 12:36 am

I hear a lot of impious language at this site. It never bothers me. For some strange reason, “Baby Jesus” does. The sarcasm dripping from your keyboard has gotten all over my smart phone. You’ve done the same thing once before. I’m over it now. I just can’t explain it.

Mike at the Beach July 8, 2014 at 6:29 am

That is a little odd, because although I generally use the term sarcastically to refer to those who wear their self-proclaimed love for Jesus on their sleeves (as I did in the comment to which you replied), I consider it a term of endearment. Anyone who thinks God doesn’t have a sense of humor isn’t paying attention, and all one has to do to convince themselves that Jesus was a funny dude while in human form is read the new Testament. No offense intended, and I don’t mean to imply here that you are one of the “sleevers” to whom I was referring (despite your self-professed status as a ‘Bible-thumper).

euwe max July 8, 2014 at 3:12 pm

The same anti-Semitic Southern Baptist Evangelicals who excoriated the Jews for killing Christ, are now sending their first born to die in wars to reduce Jewish anxiety… or “terror” as they would have it.

I would have said “Israeli” anxiety there, but Israel is a Jewish state.

euwe max July 8, 2014 at 3:31 pm

Since 1967, the Palestinians have lost control of their land, hilltop by hilltop, field by field, and none of the mediators sent our way has managed to stop or even to slow the ever-quickening pace of dispossession. Often the mediator has provided diplomatic cover for this.

This is all the more disturbing because the basic contours of a two-state solution have been well known and accepted by the Palestinian leadership for over 30 years. In 1981, the Palestine Liberation Organization was, like most other national liberation movements, seeking the total defeat of the enemy. Article 1 of the PLO Charter, drafted in 1964 by nationalist delegates at the Intercontinental Hotel on Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives, spelled it out: “Palestine is an Arab homeland bound by strong Arab national ties to the rest of the Arab countries and which together form the great Arab homeland.” By “Palestine,” of course, the delegates meant the entire territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.

Rocky D Show in Charleston July 7, 2014 at 11:49 am

Feds to Bring in Riot Squad Against Illegal Immigration Protesters…

SCBlueWoman July 7, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Good. Overdue.

Welfare for the World July 7, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Hand the illegals the key to every city and throw any citizens that protest in the slammer. It’s the American way.

Kosher July 7, 2014 at 12:00 pm

The rabbi asked the young bartender if she had any Jew in her. “No sir” she replied.
“Well, would you like to have a little Jew in you?”

AsianSuperfly July 7, 2014 at 2:33 pm

It isn’t just a $3 billion dollar gift! $2.22 billion of it MUST be spent in the United States. That money gives Americans jobs and buys American goods. It is also a shifty way of keeping our defense industry running, ready and capable of meeting our own demands whenever we may need them.

EJB July 7, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Awwwww, looky here, them there peace loving Arabs/Islamists what’s been gallivanting around Syria and Iraq of late has done decided to bring their peaceful and tolerant brand of religion and governance to Spain. For those of you who think the peace loving Arabs/Islamists are something of an ornery type, just remember, the Spaniards brought it upon themselves because they chose to breathe or committed some heinous act 3,000 years ago or some other equally justifiable reason.

CharlesDikkens July 7, 2014 at 4:30 pm

How much of these transfer dollars are turned right around and paid to American companies for weapon systems and security technology? Not saying this makes it right or even good policy, but the simplistic assumption that the US is “giving away” billions of dollars to undeserving foreign governments with no strings attached belies the fact that the true benficiary of foreign military and domestic aid is most often Corporate America. That is why Trump when he was threatening to run for President kept pushing for a change in policy to charge these governments for the protection we provide – probably a better (albeit also simplistic) approach.

Bible Thumper July 7, 2014 at 5:10 pm

This is no time to cut aid to Israel.

This is what your Caliph (Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi) has to say:

“A month (Ramadan) in which the market of Jihad is for the Messenger of Allah – used to assign in it the army and prepare the army groups to fight the enemies of Allah and to establish Jihad against the Mushrikin (polytheists – That’s us)”.

“This is my advice to you. If you hold to it you will conquer Rome and own the world, if Allah wills.”

“I’ll see you in New York”

John July 7, 2014 at 5:26 pm

The writer needs do do some extensive research before he displays his unfounded hypothesis and conclusions…

The appreciated/respected and yet modest yearly aid, represents about 0.5% of the US military budget and the cost of about $20 a year from each american tax payer) , but saves at least 1.5% (~$9B which is conservative) if you consider that the US would have to deploy alternative, US army boots on the ground, Instead of the Israeli military contingency (and where would that deployment take place if not for Israel, in Jordan?). People need to understand that although Israel is an independent country for the most part (with the obvious caveats), on a strictly strategic level, Israel, as a close and trusted alley, takes care of vital strategic interests for the benefit of the US, both money and US soldiers blood wise… In some ways Israel could be considered somewhat of an American “proxy” in the very important, highly sensitive, and potentially very unstable Region. During the cold war era, it was Israel that with it’s presence deterred any advance of Syria (which is a proxy of Russia) toward the occupation of Jordan and ultimately, the occupation of other (oil rich) monarchies of the Arab gulf. (Thus protecting vital US interests of free and regular flow of energy from the ME)

The writer should not compare the US aid to Israel expenditure to the total aid budget but to the US army expenditure for military deployment in Germany, Italy, Turkey, Qatar, SA, Japan etc, through this perspective, US military aid to Israel, is all but a drop in the ocean…

Also one must not forget that 75% of the $3B in aid to Israel, is restricted to US procurement only, which means that Israel is for the most part, only a round about for US government defense budget allocations, a.k.a JOBS for US constituents that populate the communities in which companies like Bowing, Lockheed Martin and others, reside!

Also, Israel with it’s strong R&D capabilities and which has been for decades, the early adopter of US army gear, has helped their gear suppliers (Bowing, Lockheed Martin and others) to improve their product with lessons learnt from their extensive combat experience, resulting in all around, better air-crafts. In that respect Israeli pilots were for many years (From the end of the Vietnam war up until Iraq II) the combat environment test pilots for the US air craft manufacturers.

Also, Israel being the army with the most military experience in the world (at least up until Iraq II) using almost only American gear, is a great marketing tool for companies like Bowing, Lockheed Martin and others that surly vastly improved their sales in the ME region (If Israel has this American gear, you can be damn sure that also SA, Qatar, UAE, Egypt and Jordan must have this gear as well, Albeit not exactly identical…) and also out of the ME region, Israeli adoption is still a persuasive sales pitch.

Also, with it’s geographic location, it’s demographic composition (many Jews expelled from all over the Arab world in the 50-70’s), a superb, world class intelligence apparatus and the close cooperation with the US, Israel has supplied, over the years an immense amount of unique/high quality/timely intelligence that could not be attained otherwise, We will probably never know any of the details but the close cooperation with the Israeli intelligence, has saved scores of American lives and otherwise wrong US moves. It was Israel in the 73 war that captured from Syrian soil and transferred to the US, a whole Russian SAM (surface-to-air missile) system that allowed the US to achieve GLOBAL air dominance for several years!

Also, a strategic alley like Israel which is located in the gates of the ME and central Asia, gives the US air force the option for safe entry to a ME combat theater from the west and free and secure access to one red sea harbor and two Mediterranean harbors, allowing for longer, more efficient, war ship armada deployments and an important war time option for access to the western ME

Also the US has large army depots in Israel, which are in place for fast distribution in the case of a ME war… Imagine ISIL terrorists attacking Jordanian forces and at some point the Jordanians need more ammo and gear replacement, these depots that are in full control of American personal, can supply these needs with the assistance of the Israelis, in hours notice.

Also, Israel hosts a US X-BAND radar installation in the Negev desert, which gives the US a front line view of the ME/Iran regions and vital missile launch detection ability.

Also, you could be rest assured that the US capital investment in Israeli missile defense systems (US has joint manufacturing agreements with Israel and access to the world class, cutting edge IP that is being invented in Israeli labs) caries a several fold, respectable ROI

Also, the close cooperation with the Israeli defense industries over the years, evolved toward the emergence of a major pool of a highly skilled, innovative work force in Israel (second only to the US silicon valley) which in turn attracted and is still attracting, some of the biggest, most important/influential US, hi-tech corporations to open what in many cases are their second most important R&D centers, in Israel!! Intel, Google, Apple, Cisco, IBM, eBay, Facebook, Amazon, GE, GM and scores of other companies, all have a significant presence in Israel which obviously creates a strong economic synergy between little Israel and the US – this in it self, is worth several billions annually.

I can go on but you get the picture, little Israel very much needs US political support (in the UN and against EU hostile tendencies toward Israel) and the public commitment for “Israel’s security” but as I elaborated above, Israel is worth every penny of aid and political support and then some… if anything, Israel’s contribution to this relationship is disproportionate (Israeli weapon system exports are highly restricted under the current “give and take regime” that exists between the two countries, which likely represents an annual sales loss of several billion dollars for Israel) but that’s life…

Regardless of any passing ideological differences and political discomfort (with the popular slur that suggests that the alleged Israeli “tail” is “wagging” the American “dog”), the US “investment” in Israel, over the years, has been nothing less then highly rewarding.

TontoBubbaGoldstein July 7, 2014 at 9:57 pm

TBG believes that we should quit subsidizing Israel’s defense and use the money to secure our southern border.

This position makes TBG’s visits to both of his parents very awkward.

Maybe it’s just a rebellion thing.

Bible Thumper July 7, 2014 at 10:25 pm

Are your(his) parents illegal Latino jews?

euwe max July 8, 2014 at 2:43 pm

We should stop fretting about Jews and Mexicans, and spend the money on Federal Marijuana incentives.

shani July 8, 2014 at 12:55 am

Last night I was saved by the iron dome. I think tht the entire basis of this article is ridiculous. Yes Israel and America have made deals for america to aid Israel. This happens in many countries. But despite this America also aids the Palestinians. I think these deals with America and the US are important esp because last night I sat in a bomb shelter listening to an air raid siren and when I got out of the shelter I saw the smoke of the iron dome having saved me and everyone with me.i think it is ridiculous to ask America to stop aiding Israel. Esp because when America gives money to Israel, israel has to spend a percentage of the money in America, thereby adding to America’s economy. This article is ridiculous.

EJB July 8, 2014 at 7:25 am

And the President of the United States of America is reduced to writing op-ed columns to foreign newspapers to conduct diplomatic entreaties;

If we manage to somehow survive this President I truly hope future generations learn a lesson that prevents this from happening again.

Bibi July 9, 2014 at 11:49 pm

Jews control America and much of the rest of the world.

usc1801 July 11, 2014 at 12:22 am

So we intervene and spend trillions in nations that are corrupt and not democratic and fighting terrorists but don’t want to spend money to help the one true democracy in the Middle East, one that is fighting those terrorists every day of the year? I’d rather spend billions in Israel and let them tie up these large terrorist groups (Hamas and Hezbollah) than fight them on our soil.

Stern Gangs July 13, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Israel is a racist pariah state, much like apartheid South Africa was and for much the same reasons.

dont worry July 14, 2014 at 2:10 am

this is ridculous

dont worry July 14, 2014 at 2:11 am

are you kidding me, there’s hundreds of people dying in gaza and you still want to support those RIDCULOUS! murderers who call themselves hero’s

dont worry July 14, 2014 at 2:11 am

America is not all its cracked up to be

dont worry July 14, 2014 at 2:11 am

you work under others

dont worry July 14, 2014 at 2:12 am

what you so called “American’s” need to do is cut Israel off and save your money


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