World opinion has been almost universally opposed to the "Zionist Project"for its violent beginnings, relentless deceit, presumptions of special entitlement and immunity from judgement, anti-democratic system, flagrant and continuous human rights abuses of Palestinians, and open defiance of international law and legal institutions. Israel would therefore have long ago been subjected to international sanctions and forced to change were it not for repeated US interventions - financial, military, economic and diplomatic.
The natural consequences of Israeli violations have been prevented by US protection within a symbiotic relationship that many (including our project) believe is detrimental to the United States, world peace, universal principles of justice, the largest and most long-standing refugee population in the world, and in the long run, the best interests of Israel itself.
The US/Israeli relationship fits the classic model seen in addictive disorders, wherein a dysfunctional behavior in one party is supported or "enabled" by behavior of a partner who, along with others, suffers harm in the relationship.
Dysfunctional two-party relationships typically involve triangulation with a "rescuer" or enabler to stabilize the conflict. This third party role is crucial, since it can either facilitate resolution of the conflict or exacerbate it (if the third party is not objective).
For 60 years Israel has maintained an abusive relationship with the Palestinians which has been enabled by the United States.
Without this dysfunctional third party role, the abuse could not continue. A non-enabling third party such as the UN, EU or World Court would be much better able to find solutions that are just and realistic through the application of international law and enforcement mechanisms.
US enabling has taken two forms. One has been use of the US veto in the UN Security Council to immunize Israel against international sanctions for its continuous violations of international law. The second has been massive foreign aid to Israel, surpassing our aid to the truly needful countries of Africa and the Caribbean combined. The second largest recipient of US aid is Egypt, awarded them for their 1979 peace treaty with Israel contingent on collaboration with Israel, inter alia, against the Palestinian population of Gaza.
In addition to our formal aid, US taxpayers involuntarily contribute invisibly to support of Israel. In addition to the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding pledging $38 billion US Aid to Israel over ten years, Israel Affinity Organizations committed to "actively and unconditionally support Israel as a major function" received $3,672,087,969 in 2012, and are projected to rake in $7,301,020,938 by 2020 - all tax-exempt at the expense of the US Treasury and other taxpayers to benefit a foreign country. IRMEP researcher Grant Smith divides 336 IAOs into four categories: Subsidy, Fundraising and Political Action, Advocacy, and Education in his comprehensively documented book, Big Israel: How the Israel Lobby Moves America.
Both Democrats and Republicans attend annual AIPAC conferences, attempting to outdo each other in pledging allegiance to Israel. Is it any wonder that Israeli PM Netanyahu said with total assurance, "America is a thing you can move very easily”?
As University of Chicago Professor John Mearsheimer stated at the recent Israel Lobby and American Policy conference in Washington DC, this “special relationship with Israel has no parallel in modern history and it is almost wholly due to the lobby,” and “giving Israel nearly unconditional support is one of the reasons we have a terrorism problem.” He continues, “The two countries certainly share some values, but Israel is a Jewish state which clearly privileges its Jewish citizens. Non-Jews are second class citizens in both theory and practice. The United States, on the other hand, is a liberal democracy that works hard to treat all of its citizens equally. It certainly is not a Christian state that treats non-Christians as second class citizens. Indeed that kind of discrimination, which is part of Israel’s essence, is antithetical to the American way of life. Furthermore, Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians in the occupied territories is sharply at odds with U.S. values.”
Let’s remember this every April 15.
U.S. Military Aid to Israel—Illegal and Immoral
A BRIEF HISTORY
From US Campaign to End the Occupation
On August 16, 2007, the United States and Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding to increase bilateral military aid to Israel to $30 billion over the next decade, representing a more than 25% increase over the previous FY2008 appropriation.(1)
Even before this increase in military aid, Israel was already the largest recipient of U.S. assistance. According to Congressional Research Service, since 1949, the United States has provided Israel with more than $53 billion of military aid—a little more than half of total aid to Israel, which stood at more than $101 billion as of 2007.(2)
Over the past decade, U.S. military aid to Israel increased yearly while economic aid was phased out, implementing a ten-year understanding negotiated between Congress and the government of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 1998.(3)
In FY2008—the last year of this ten year understanding—the United States provided Israel with an estimated $2.38 billion in military aid while traditional economic aid—known as Economic Support Funds in budgetary language—was reduced to zero (although the United States continued to provide an estimated $39.7 million to Israel under a different budget category known as Migration and Refugee Assistance).(4)
In his budget request to Congress for FY2009—the first budget year of the new understanding signed in 2007—President George W. Bush requested $2.55 billion in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for Israel, a 9%increase over actual military aid given to Israel in FY2007.(5)
(FMF is the primary budgetary vehicle through which the United States provides military aid.) Under the terms of the new understanding, annual military aid appropriations to Israel are scheduled to rise to $3.1 billion by FY2018.(6) The US Congressional Research Office has provided an account of this "above the table" support (not including some $1 billion annual loss of tax revenues from taxpayer contributions to US non-profit organizations) to Israel as of 2015.
VIOLATIONS OF U.S. LAWS
All U.S. aid programs, whether military or economic, have built-in mechanisms to prevent that aid from being used by countries to commit human rights abuses. According to U.S. law, countries that commit human rights abuses with U.S. aid are to be sanctioned and aid is to be cut off.
The Arms Export Control Act (P.L. 80-829) stipulates that countries purchasing or receiving U.S. weapons cannot use them against civilians and must restrict their usage to "internal security" and "legitimate self-defense."
The US Campaign and many other organizations have documented Israel's repeated uses of U.S. weapons to commit human rights violations against civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and in Lebanon. Indeed, Israel could not maintain its illegal 40-year military occupation and siege of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip without these weapons.
According to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (P.L. 87-195), "No assistance may be provided under this part [of the law] to the government of any country which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights." As documented not only by Palestinian, Israeli, and international human rights groups, but by the U.S. government as well, Israel has an atrocious human rights record and therefore should be ineligible for any form of U.S. aid.
1) "Signing of Memorandum of Understanding between Israel and the United States," August 16, 2007. Available at: