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America’s Lawmakers — Misguided or Treasonous Supporters of Israel?

Is Washington’s unconditional support for Israel hurting America and Americans around the world?

Hossein Askari
21st Century Wire

First, brief details of America’s support for Israel:

– The United States has provided financial and military aid to Israel totaling about $300 billion (adjusted for inflation) since 1948. Also, the United States has agreed to give Israel another $4 billion a year through 2028. The U.S. Congress is considering an additional $14–15 billion in the midst of the Gaza War. The U.S. has prepositioned millions of dollars more in lethal weapons in Israel, which can be released at a moment’s notice. Such unprecedented support for a country that is richer (per capita) than France and Germany must be assessed. The Israeli armed forces are among the ten best equipped forces in the world, all from the generosity of the United States.

– The U.S. also provides Israel with something that money cannot buy — unique and unprecedented political support around the world to limit global criticism of Israel. Most visible have been instances at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) where the U.S. has cast its veto 83 times, of which 42 have been to protect Israel — vetoes that most of the world has opposed and reduces global respect and confidence in the institution. Less visible, the United States supports Israel in other fora, such as at the IMF and the World Bank. On a bilateral basis, the United States has pressured or ‘bribed’ Arab countries to establish diplomatic relations with the Jewish state and persuaded its close allies, such as the UK and Australia, to support Israel.

– The U.S. media has been seriously biased in its reporting of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Several well-known and indisputable facts are rarely broadcasted to limit the exposure of Americans to the realities, such as the illegal annexation without compensation of Arab lands since 1948, the permanent banishment of Palestinians who were forced to flee their homes, the illegal occupation of territories such as Jerusalem, the Golan heights and the West Bank, illegal settlements on the West Bank where about 750,000 Jews occupy Palestinian land and mistreat and denigrate Palestinians. Much of the world sees Israel as an apartheid state with Gaza as the largest outdoor prison that has ever existed.

– The United States boasts about the right of free speech under the Second Amendment, but that right is explicitly limited when it comes to discussing Israel, Zionism and Judaism. Most criticism of Israel, Zionism and Judaism are invariably labeled anti-Semitic or racist with corporate sponsorship and job offers rescinded, professors denied tenure and others not hired in the first place — practices that are most apparent in the entertainment industry, the media and in academia. Criticism is silenced resulting in Americans being less informed.

Why does America protect Israel and Judaism above all other countries and other religions?

Does Israel afford the United States added security around the world?

NO. Israel is ostracized around the world, in large part because of its criminal treatment of Palestinians since 1948. America’s over-the-top support for Israel not only does not buy America friends but instead makes more enemies for the U.S. On November 15, 2023, the Guardian newspaper removed a 22 year-old open letter by Osama bin Laden from its website. It is a letter written in 2002 after 9/11 wherein bin Laden gives his reasons for planning the terrorist massacre, namely, America’s support for Israel and the presence of American troops on Arab land. It was bad then, it is bad today but could get much worse with nearly 500 million Arabs and 1.9 billion Muslims (24% of the global population) in the world. The United States is not popular in much of the world (see the Pew Research Results) and our strong embrace of Israel will continue to make matters worse. How many would-be bin Ladens will emerge from the increasing reporting of the expansion of settlements in the West Bank, the unfathomable number of casualties in Gaza and America’s continued supplying of Israel with 2,000 pound bombs and other lethal weapons, be it among Palestinians or in the broader Arab and Muslim community? Will the new generation of Arabs turn the table on the ‘cozy’ relationship of Arab rulers with the United States? Will this war and the massacre of thousands of women and children horrify younger generations of Americans to reject America’s blind support for Israeli crimes? Are we already seeing a rumbling of this on U.S. college campuses? Will a generation of younger lawmakers in Europe and elsewhere attack our blind support for Israel? Are we seeing the beginnings of this trend in Europe? (see video below)

Does Israel reciprocate America’s support?

NO. In June 1967, an unarmed American flagged ship, the USS Liberty, was attacked by Israeli forces in the Mediterranean Sea. This was a blatant unprovoked attack by Israeli sailors and aircraft where 34 Americans were killed and 171 were wounded and there is no doubt that this was a deliberate attack by the Israeli military on a defenseless U.S. ship (https://medium.com/@wfspi/the-day-israel-attacked-the-usa-f2165b231102). After Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the United States asked its allies to join the U.S. resolution condemning Russia’s aggression. The U.S. tried to get Israel to be a co-sponsor of said resolution. Israel refused, but 81 other countries signed on as co-sponsors. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush wanting to give a little more balance to U.S. support for Israel, withheld U.S. loan guarantees for money borrowed by Israel to make sure that the borrowed money would not go to Israeli settlements in the illegally occupied West Bank. Given the power of the Israeli-Jewish lobby in the United States, this was a risky move by a U.S. politician and, as expected, the lobby went after him. In the end, Bush got the needed assurances from Israel, but his standing up to Israel might have cost him his re-election. President Obama also faced an onslaught from the Israeli-Jewish lobby when he abstained and did not veto UNSC Resolution 2334 demanding that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory.”

What are the factors underlying America’s inexplicable support for Israel?

Is it because of the large number of Jews in Congress?

YES, in part. The percentage of the U.S. population espousing the Jewish faith is about 2.4%, while there are 37 Jewish members in Congress, 10 in the Senate (10% of the Senate) and 27 in the House (6.2% of the House). There are just 3 Muslim members serving in the House and none in the Senate. Jews are overrepresented by a large margin in the U.S. Senate and House. They might favor legislation that favors Israel.

Do political donations play a big role in the election of Jews to the U.S. Congress?

YES, in part. Jews have donated money to political campaigns, to favorite charities of important politicians and have possibly even extended employment opportunities to their family members. How much money has been donated over the years? Maybe a few billion. What have they received in return? Over $300 billion! Ponder the returns. Hundreds of billions in financial and military aid over the years for Israel, access to America’s intelligence services and unmatched political cover at the United Nations, in other fora and in bilateral support from other countries.

Does divided loyalty of dual Israel-American citizens (legal in the U.S. since 1967) play a role in the inexplicable support for Israel?

YES, I believe so.

In sum, we support Israel with money, military equipment and political backing as we do no other country. We do this not to our benefit, but to our detriment. America’s disadvantaged go without, we afford less help to those who are much needier than Israelis around the world and we add to our growing national debt. We get little in return back from Israel, but instead generate more and more America haters around the world. In the future, Israel and the United States (by association and in complicity with Israel) could receive the biggest black eye from an indictment at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) considering South Africa’s case of genocide against Israel, which is supported by dozens of other countries.

The only explanation for America’s inexplicable support of Israel is the pro-Israeli stand of U.S. lawmakers who are supported by the Jewish-Israeli lobby.

Hossein Askari is an economist and author on reform and institution building in the Middle East and the Muslim World, economic development and social justice. See more of his writings on Medium.







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Get Your Copy of New Dawn Magazine #203 - Mar-Apr Issue