Perhaps it is now time to end United States military aid to Israel.
Was the attack in international waters on a boat carrying humanitarian aid, and the deaths and arrests of the passengers, the final straw? How much longer can we, as United States citizens, idly stand by as our own government finances the Israeli military to the tune of $3 Billion each year?
In response to international outrage over the attack, the United Nations has been asked to "punish" Israel for the killings. If the UN chooses to do anything, its response can amount to no more than a slap on the wrist. In contrast, having the United States immediately and completely end its $3 Billion annual military aid package would send a real message to Israel that its behavior will not be tolerated.
There are also many other reasons to end all military aid to Israel …
1. In spite of international opposition, Israel has continued to build more "settlements" further into East Jerusalem and Palestine.
2. Israel has, so far, gone unpunished for forging British and French passports and using those forged documents in their calculated murder of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in January.
3. Continued United States' military aid to Israel eliminates any possibility of allowing the United States to be a truly impartial agent for peace in the Middle East. This is not only a matter of how the United States is perceived by Israel's neighbors, but a matter of reality – we cannot be fair and impartial as long as we supply arms to Israel.
4. Continued US aid to Israel endangers American lives both at home and abroad. Military aid to Israel is interpreted by many people around the world as both the symbol and the reality of American support for Israel's outrageous actions on the high seas, in Palestine, in East Jerusalem, and in Gaza. The anger triggered by that support places American lives at risk in foreign lands and to terrorist attacks on American soil.
5. Three billion dollars per year is a lot of money that could be used productively. The United States is in a severe recession, and we have our own economic troubles. $3 Billion would support the creation of over fifty thousand American jobs. Alternatively, $3 Billion could be used to feed millions of hungry people in Palestine, Gaza, Haiti, or Africa.
We Americans need to re-evaluate our emotional ties and sympathies toward Israel. There are three primary reasons why many Americans have developed a strong bias toward Israel, and all three deserve to be re-examined …
1. The Jewish people were devastated by the mass murders of the Holocaust, and Americans have a tradition of coming to the aid of the weak and downtrodden. However, in 1948 Israel was carved, not out of the lands of Germany, but the land of the Palestinians. Further, and far more relevant today, Israel, far from being weak and downtrodden, is the most powerful country in its region. Israel holds an arsenal of atomic weapons. Israel holds its foot on the neck of Palestine.
2. Americans have tended to view Israel as a buffer against a perceived threat from Arab countries. It is time to ask whether America's strong bias toward Israel is not a major and justifiable cause of Arab anger toward America.
3. Christian Americans have tended to view Israel as a good caretaker for the city of Jerusalem — sacred to Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike. Ask again whether this view of good caretaker is still justified.