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America and Israel

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Just been reading a new (to me at least) website: If Americans Knew.

The site is a collection of statistics about Israel - particularly in relation to America which the organisers think Americans should know. Some of them are almost unbelievable.

Here's a few:

Daily aid to Palestine (ie aid and development) : $568, 744

Daily aid to Israel (government and military) : $15, 139, 178

That's daily remember - your tax money.

Everyone knows the UN resolutions against tally is 65-0 against the Israelis so we can skip that but this is interesting:

Palestinian homes destroyed since 29th Sept 2000: 2,202
Palestinian homes partially destroyed (same date): 14, 436

Israeli homes destroyed since 29th Sept 2000: 1

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post #2 of 22
the israelis have every right to defend themselves

but i still don't understand whats in it for us
i mean for the massive amount of money spent
what are we getting out of it ?
wheres the accounting ?

its not like israel is a pauper nation
heck they are number#2 in the world in the diamond
trade & are kicking serious butt in software &
biotech engineering
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by madmax559
the israelis have every right to defend themselves

but i still don't understand whats in it for us
i mean for the massive amount of money spent
what are we getting out of it ?
wheres the accounting ?

its not like israel is a pauper nation
heck they are number#2 in the world in the diamond
trade & are kicking serious butt in software &
biotech engineering

Well, we don't know what is in it for the US. Safe to asssume it is not a one-way charitable gift/write-off though.

I would have thought that the American people would want to know the fine print of the agreement.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by segovius
Just been reading a new (to me at least) website: If Americans Knew.

The site is a collection of statistics about Israel - particularly in relation to America which the organisers think Americans should know. Some of them are almost unbelievable.

The site is not objective nor does it claim to be.
Which is why when it comes to figues such as this:
Quote:
Daily aid to Palestine (ie aid and development) : $568, 744

it cites the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the State Department, but when it comes to figures such as this:

Quote:
Daily aid to Israel (government and military) : $15, 139, 178

It cites the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, which doesn't hide its pro-Arab slant nor its anti-Israeli one.

But then I do not hide my personal involvement with the existence of Israel and my commitment to see to it that it keeps existing; but then I don't believe that influencing any of your opinions would be of any significant contribution to that effect, no offence intended.

Quote:
Well, we don't know what is in it for the US. Safe to assume it is not a one-way charitable gift/write-off though.

Most of the money given by the USA to Israel is used by Israel to buy US goods and services. And that's much of an incentive for Israeli government to standardise much of the rest of its acquistions on US-sourced goods and services. In turn, Israeli technoligcal goods are designed to work well with US technology, which means US has a much easier access to some very nifty technology (like the world's first anti-tactical ballistic missile, the Hetz).
While the few yearly US$ billions are not much for a country whose estimated gross domestic product for the year 2003 was US$120.9 Bn (source: CIA Factbook), but it is politically expedient for the Israeli politicians as much as the orders generated by Israeli orders (and orders from costumers who want to buy the same gear as the Israelis) is for US politicans.

Moreover, good ties with Israel means the USA has the attentive ear of the most technologcally advanced, most develped, most literate, and most powerful country in the area; the most long-term consequence of that is that Israel acted in amuch more temperate and restrained manner than it would have otherwise (it was US influence which saved Egypt and Syria from collapsing in 1967 and 1973, not to mention it secured Saudi Arabia from any unpredictable incursion).

While I believe mutual close ties and cooperation are beneficial to both the USA and Israel, I also am of the opinion the annual allowance is not constructive and should be discontinued.

This is all quite boring, nearly as boring as statistics pertaining to the money paid to the Palestinian Authority by the tax-money of the EU (of which I am a citizen), although I am told by some reasonable sources it contributes greatly to the prosperity of several Parisian boutiques frequently visited by Mrs. Suha Arafat and indirectly to the perennity of the European luxury industry as a whole; so it must be a Good Thing®.
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post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by madmax559
the israelis have every right to defend themselves

...but the Palestinians don't.

Every pro-Israeli voice cites how horrible it is that innocent Israeli children die in suicide bombings.

But did you know that far more innocent Palestinian children die than Israelis? Why is this ignored?

Why is it the right for Israel to defend themselves with American money, weapons and technology, in a way that kills innocent Palestinians (as collateral damage), but it's not the right of Palestinians to defend themselves in the same way, even though less Irsraelis are killed?

Give the PLO fighter jets and laser guided missiles and you can rest assured that Hamas won't bomb buses anymore. Would that be acceptable?
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by Immanuel Goldstein
Most of the money given by the USA to Israel is used by Israel to buy US goods and services.

I guess this makes everything "a Good Thing®."

"Hearing a corrupt CEO like Cheney denigrate Edwards for being a trial lawyer is like hearing a child molester complain how Larry Flint is a pervert." -johnq
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post #7 of 22
Saw an article on the BBC on how Israel is on a collision course with the EU with it's continued offensive on the Gaza strip. Apprantely the Israeli military fired upon a UN operated school and killed a few 10 year old children in response to rocket attacks by Palestines. They also bull dozed a few buildings.

Yawn. Israel is silly to think they can scare the Palestines into submission.
Most of us employ the Internet not to seek the best information, but rather to select information that confirms our prejudices. - Nicholas D. Kristof
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Most of us employ the Internet not to seek the best information, but rather to select information that confirms our prejudices. - Nicholas D. Kristof
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post #8 of 22
I think it should be obvious that no matter how technologically superior Israel is, the palestinians will win that conflict. Not today, not tommorow, but maybe in a few decades.

The only possibility for Israel to save its existence is to work hard to build a palestinian state. Anothing other, endless occupation or annexation of westbank, gaza and golan would mean the end of Israel as a jewish and democratic state.

The reason? Demographics.

Ok, another possibility would be a massive genocide on the palestinians, but I think this would lead to inner-collapse of Israel, as most israelis wouldn't want to live in a state that has commited genocide, and it also could lead to new wars with arabic states.

Nightcrawler
I disagree, and could prove you're wrong; care to offer any proof that you're not wrong?
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I disagree, and could prove you're wrong; care to offer any proof that you're not wrong?
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post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by tonton
...but the Palestinians don't.


& so do the Palestinians
..sorry i ommitted that in my original post

look i have close friends on both sides
so im not going to get into a flame war over this

i was curious about where our money goes
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by bunge
Quote:
Originally posted by Immanuel Goldstein
Most of the money given by the USA to Israel is used by Israel to buy US goods and services.

I guess this makes everything "a Good Thing®."

Had you noticed this:
Quote:
Originally posted by Immanuel Goldstein
I also am of the opinion the annual allowance is not constructive and should be discontinued

You might have avoided such wild goose guess.
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post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by Immanuel Goldstein
You might have avoided such wild goose guess.

Of course I noticed it because I read your post. But the statement is still irrelevant to your argument, and your opinion of it is just as irrelevant. If the money is lopsided, what it's being spent on doesn't make the fact that it's lopsided OK or at least not as bad. That's what you were trying to imply and I disagree.
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post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by bunge
Of course I noticed it because I read your post. But the statement is still irrelevant to your argument, and your opinion of it is just as irrelevant.

It is hardly surprising you dismiss my statement and my opinion as irrelevant to my argument, but assign much relevancy to what you imagine I was trying to imply.
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post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by Immanuel Goldstein
Most of the money given by the USA to Israel is used by Israel to buy US goods and services. And that's much of an incentive for Israeli government to standardise much of the rest of its acquistions on US-sourced goods and services. In turn, Israeli technoligcal goods are designed to work well with US technology, which means US has a much easier access to some very nifty technology (like the world's first anti-tactical ballistic missile, the Hetz).
While the few yearly US$ billions are not much for a country whose estimated gross domestic product for the year 2003 was US$120.9 Bn (source: CIA Factbook), but it is politically expedient for the Israeli politicians as much as the orders generated by Israeli orders (and orders from costumers who want to buy the same gear as the Israelis) is for US politicans.

If I was a US taxpayer, I'd be mighty pissed about all this. Not only would the government be throwing away my tax money - that money would

1) politically support the Israeli government's human rights violations, their policy to continue the conflict as long as possible, and their conduct which serves to militarize the whole region
2) be used to buy weapons to further the abovementioned policy
3) due to 1) and 2), lower the standing of the US in international politics
4) support the US military industry, which is one of the worst enemies of democracy inside the US. Against initial appearances they are not real businesses in the free market sense, and they have substantial political power, which they invariably use for bad. As a rule, the military industry and politicians are the only ones who stand to benefit from being in a war.
5) generally not help the average US citizen one bit

Even if the money was for charity purposes and furthering human rights, there is no excuse for it as long it all is financed by debt, aka robbed from the next generation of US citizens. Let Israel pile up their own debts if they so choose.
post #14 of 22
While the money being poured into both places from the Us is highly suspect to me, we can also frame the argument in this way: it's been claimed** that the US gives more money to Palestine than any other nation. Now, what does that say about not just other first-world countries, but also about other Arab and Muslim states if it's true? Consider also the populations, sizes of each place. Is there a per capita number we can find on that site or any more specific relative measure?

The imbalance is one issue, the amount of money going out is another issue, and a third IMO is the neglect the Palestinian government (and what a bloddy mess that whole topic is) seems to deal with from even their Arab neighbors. I still wonder why Jordan in particular wants nothing to do with the Palestinians or perhaps it's the Palestinian leadership that keeps Jordan at arm's length.

Oh, and the whole fence thing is ridiculous, and I lean towards thinking the same of the home bulldozing thing. It's sort of muddied by associating it with disrupting terrorist operations but I suspect that's not exactly a strictly held criteria. The only other reason I don't completely lambast Israel is because I think they're emulating Jordan's example from the early 1990's on how the king dealt with insurgents, so the precedence is not one-sided.

**you're welcome to prove me wrong, this is just a devil's advocate argument and I'm too lazy to go find numbers to back this up.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by Gon
If I was a US taxpayer, I'd be mighty pissed about all this. Not only would the government be throwing away my tax money - that money would

1) politically support the Israeli government's human rights violations, their policy to continue the conflict as long as possible, and their conduct which serves to militarize the whole region

It is sadly inevitable that any country embroiled in a violent conflict would be involved in some violation of human rights; however when such countries are representative democracies, these violations tend to be of a lesser extent, and can be addressed via judiciary means (as in the case of the investigation opened last week against an Israeli officer accused of murder).
And while Israel certainly shares blame in contributing to escalations in the present conflict, the claim that Israelis have it as policy to continue the conflict as long as possible, and their conduct [] serves to militarize the whole region, is a simplistic generalisation.

Quote:
2) be used to buy weapons to further the abovementioned policy
3) due to 1) and 2), lower the standing of the US in international politics

It's hardly an outstanding policy in relation to other US policies or policies of other countries. While opposition to all policies similar to the US' financial aid to Israel is valid, singling out just this one would be hypocritical.

Quote:
4) support the US military industry, which is one of the worst enemies of democracy inside the US.

While my general opinion of military-related companies is far from favourable, one of the worst enemies of democracy inside the US is an exaggerated, not to mention simplistically generalising claim.

Quote:
Against initial appearances they are not real businesses in the free market sense, and they have substantial political power,

As do all big companies in any industry; this said access by industrial and finacial interests to political power should be strictly monitored and severely restricted.

Quote:
which they invariably use for bad. As a rule, the military industry and politicians are the only ones who stand to benefit from being in a war.

That is also quite simplistic.

Quote:
5) generally not help the average US citizen one bit

Neither did the postwar reconstruction of Belgium or the assistance to Tito's Yugoslavia.
Countries set foreign policies in order to protect and promote their national interest and at times, some political and social ideas as well.
As for helping the average citizen, that's what domestic policies are for.

Quote:
Even if the money was for charity purposes and furthering human rights, there is no excuse for it as long it all is financed by debt, aka robbed from the next generation of US citizens. Let Israel pile up their own debts if they so choose.

Israel has no need for that yearly allowance; avoiding it would probably improve its economy as well as public affairs, it would also reduce US debt although rather microscopically so.
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post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by Immanuel Goldstein
And while Israel certainly shares blame in contributing to escalations in the present conflict, the claim that Israelis have it as policy to continue the conflict as long as possible, and their conduct serves to militarize the whole region, is a simplistic generalisation.

If the Israeli government wanted, they could have ended the conflict by building the fence (routing it so that no Palestinian villages remain inside), setting up a real border with absolutely no traffic allowed, limiting IDF operations to protecting the border only, and letting the police deal with terrorism inside the country. This would have been a clean and one-sided way, with absolutely no Palestinian input or coordination required. Then as the situation slowly defused itself, the border could have been gradually opened for some traffic. The government has not chosen to do this. They have also blocked the so-called peace process at every step of the way, with US backing. Certainly the Palestinians have not been very helpful, but the Palestinian authorities have never had the power to stop the fight, whereas the Israeli government always did.
Quote:
It's hardly an outstanding policy in relation to other US policies or policies of other countries. While opposition to all policies similar to the US' financial aid to Israel is valid, singling out just this one would be hypocritical.

I oppose all the similar policies. This discussion is about Israel, therefore I only mention Israel. Should I stray from the subject a bit more, lest I be hypocritical?
Quote:
While my general opinion of military-related companies is far from favourable, �one of the worst enemies of democracy inside the US� is an exaggerated, not to mention simplistically generalising claim.
(Gon: Against initial appearances they are not real businesses in the free market sense, and they have substantial political power,...)
As do all big companies in any industry; this said access by industrial and finacial interests to political power should be strictly monitored and severely restricted.

What's important here is that the military industry's whole production (practically speaking) is bought by the government. The government has no intrinsic limit on spending, because it doesn't produce anything it spends. Since all the resources come from individual citizens, the current fiscally omnipotent government is free to spend as much as they like. Because of this, the whole branch of industry is not normal business, but rather a branch of government - one that is free to pass political money to the hand that feeds it. This is a self-feeding circuit. When I say this is a grave threat to democracy, exactly how is that exaggerated, generalized and simplistic?

I would not place too much faith in legislation to stop political funding. Either it will fail to work (due to loopholes), disrupt desireable democratic process and constitutional rights, get twisted into a partisan political weapon, or most likely a mixture of all these. The right solutions are to make the voting process such that money will play a smaller part in politics, place harder limits on the power of the politicians so they are less attractive to influence, and pay them higher wages both for the same effect and to get more talented people to lead the country.
Quote:
Neither did the postwar reconstruction of Belgium or the assistance to Tito's Yugoslavia.
Countries set foreign policies in order to protect and promote their national interest and at times, some political and social ideas as well.
As for helping the average citizen, that's what domestic policies are for.

A state *is* the sum of its citizens. It should have no interest other than the benefit of the citizens. If a foreign policy does not serve that end, it's probably harmful, neutral at best.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by Gon
If the Israeli government wanted, they could have ended the conflict by building the fence (routing it so that no Palestinian villages remain inside), setting up a real border with absolutely no traffic allowed,

A real border is one that is recognised by both sides concerned. In the absence of a peace treaty and of agreed-upon border, it is simply not available. I agree the route of the fence should have been more about its originally intended purpose (when the idea first took form circa 1998/9) of security for Israelis within Israeli civil jurisdiction, and should have avoided as much as possible, inclusion of territories under military jurisdcition (which the current governent has done to appease te far right, without much success). While a more sensible route would not have ended the conflict, it would have reduced friction.

Quote:
The government has not chosen to do this. They have also blocked the so-called peace process at every step of the way, with US backing.

While the Israeli government's action have often been less than constructive, what has blocked the peace process was the decision by the Palestinian Authority, to return to what they call armed struggle in late 2000.

Quote:
Certainly the Palestinians have not been very helpful, but the Palestinian authorities have never had the power to stop the fight, whereas the Israeli government always did.

They certainly have the power to stop the fight, and to reach cease-fire with the Israelis. They can rein in their militiae where and when they wish it. The Palestinians have mostly avoided armed action in or from the Jericho area, and so less Israeli incursions there as well; which is why that area is quieter than most.

Quote:
I oppose all the similar policies. This discussion is about Israel, therefore I only mention Israel.

No problem with that, as stated earlier.

Quote:
What's important here is that the military industry's whole production (practically speaking) is bought by the government.

And by other governments, particularly in peace-time.

Quote:
The government has no intrinsic limit on spending, because it doesn't produce anything it spends.

Except where the government runs industries, which I believe, is not its purpose anyway.

Quote:
Since all the resources come from individual citizens, the current fiscally omnipotent government

A govenment can only be ominpotent (fiscally or otherwise) where it is not subjected to periodical mass consultations (like elections) which can put it out of office.

Quote:
Because of this, the whole branch of industry is not normal business, but rather a branch of government - one that is free to pass political money to the hand that feeds it.

Industries considered by a country as important to its national security (as the military industry, but many other industries as well) often get preferential treatment by government. And while this doesn't make them a branch of government it does make them too close to political power than is tolerable.
But that doens't make them the worst enemies of democracy. Public apathy such as low-voter turnout, or movements bent on destroying democracy, are much worse enemies.

Quote:
I would not place too much faith in legislation to stop political funding. Either it will fail to work (due to loopholes), disrupt desireable democratic process and constitutional rights, get twisted into a partisan political weapon, or most likely a mixture of all these. The right solutions are to make the voting process such that money will play a smaller part in politics,

Whiile not very familiar with the various voting processes, I suspect there are countries with a living standard close ot that of the US, where the per-eligible-voter cost of elections is lower. Changes to that effect could be achieved through legislation.

Quote:
A state *is* the sum of its citizens. It should have no interest other than the benefit of the citizens. If a foreign policy does not serve that end, it's probably harmful, neutral at best.

That course of action is sometimes chosen by countries (like Switzerland), some countries may not have that option; and many which chose it in the past ended up being less protected. Even big powerful countries note that if they are less involved in world affairs (as was the US in the nineteen-thirties) it leaves a free hand to ambitious militarist tyrannies, opening the door to greater international instability.
So, while it does not bring any tangible benefit to its citizens, a country will often opt to fostering complex partneships with other countries.
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post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by bunge
If the money is lopsided, what it's being spent on doesn't make the fact that it's lopsided OK or at least not as bad.

Do you agree or disagree?
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post #19 of 22
I don't feel like looking it up right now, but I believe the US gives more money to Arab countries, I assume Egypt and Jordan, than to Israel.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
I don't feel like looking it up right now, but I believe the US gives more money to Arab countries, I assume Egypt and Jordan, than to Israel.

That's what they would want you to believe. Apparently, their strategy is working.
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by bunge
Do you agree or disagree?

Disagree. There has to be a reason to spend money on foreign governments. This has nothing to do with how much the neighbors get, other than that the money comes out of the same budget.
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
I don't feel like looking it up right now, but I believe the US gives more money to Arab countries, I assume Egypt and Jordan, than to Israel.

Top Recipients

This year Iraq will be top with $18.4 billion. They call it 'aid' in all these cases but unfortunately in Iraq's case it won't be going towards rebuilding people's homes and restoring electricity.


Other than that, it's the usual suspects:

Israel The largest recipient of US largesse in 2003, getting $2.1 billion in military aid annually; $600 million in economic aid.

Egypt - Out of a US foreign aid budget of about $14 billion in 2003, Egypt was the second largest recipient with $1.3 billion in military aid; $615 million for social programs.

Colombia - Got $540 million to battle the drug trade, and local terrorist groups.

Jordan - Got $250 million in economic support; $198 in military financing.

Peru, Ukraine, Russia - Received approximately $200 million each in economic and military aid annually.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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