US claims Jewish settlements are an obstacle to peace, but continues to give Israel generous foreign aid http://www.culturesocietyblog.com/2013/03/us-claims-jewish-settlements-are.html
Benjamin Netanyahu's Definition of "Defense" Illustrated http://www.culturesocietyblog.com/2013/03/benjamin-netanyahus-definition-of.html
Democracy Now: Brokers of Deceit: As Obama Visits Israel, Scholar Rashid Khalidi on How the U.S. Undermines Peace...
AMY GOODMAN: You argued for a two-state solution for years.You say it is almost impossible now. Why?
RASHID KHALIDI: Because for decades Israeli planners have systematically acted in ways to make a state impossible, by building settlements in regions that make it impossible to create a contiguous, viable Palestinian state—the settlement of Ariel, the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. These are designed to cut the West Bank into strips, such that Israel controls most of it, if these so-called settlement blocs stay where they are.
And we are bankrolling this. We give Israel $3 billion, with which it defends its occupation. I mean, these are weapons supposedly just for self-defense, but defending an illegal occupation is not self-defense. And a lot of those weapons are used for that purpose. And through 501(c)(3) so-called charities, which funnel money to extremist, violent, radical, racist settlers in the Occupied Territories. We—our tax dollars, in effect, are being used to subsidize the very settlements themselves.
So, all of this has created a reality, which—I mean, Tony Judt once said, what any politician has done, another politician can undo. Any one of our politicians could stop those policies. Any Israeli politician could start to reverse that process. I just don’t see that happening. That’s why I say it’s virtually impossible. We’re stuck, in effect, with a one-state outcome right now. There’s one state between the Mediterranean and the sea—sorry, between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River.
AARON MATÉ: So what should people who want peace be pushing for, then, here in the U.S.?
RASHID KHALIDI: We should be pushing for a change in our country’s policies, OK? You can’t force the Israelis to do anything at this stage. You can’t force the Palestinians to do anything, either. But what you can do is change your own policies. I mean, are our weapons being used for self-defense? That’s $3 billion a year of our weapons. $115 billion in aid have gone to Israel, most of it since 1973. That’s the most any country has gotten. Don’t we have the obligation to investigate how that money is being used, for what purposes?
The second thing we can do is to see to it that tax dollars that are going to these so-called charitable organizations are in fact going to charities. I mean, if it’s going to a hospital in Tel Aviv, fine. If it’s going to the Occupied Territories, I don’t understand why the IRS and the Treasury Department aren’t cracking down on that the way they’re cracking down on other things. So, I think there many things we, as citizens, can do to ensure that the United States is no longer the enabler and the bankroller of policies that most Americans—and, for that matter, most Israelis, actually—find reprehensible.
On The Psychology Of Giving Foreign Aid NonTransparently Foreign Aid Presented By Ron Paul (Click here for Daily Show overview of Ron Paul)
1. Ron Paul - 'For me this is taking money from poor people and giving it to rich people and it becomes a weapon of war'
That aid often goes to war lords, dictators or politicians is well known (i.e. the rich of that area). That it often contributes to regional instability is less known publicly but is well known otherwise: Rather, in countries ravaged by both humanitarian catastrophe and civil war, international aid may inflame or prolong the conflict. In a devastated country with no other income, the money spent by aid organisations in rent, per diem payments, taxes to governments or rebel warlords, bodyguards, gasoline, bars, whores and restaurants turns the "aid industry, supposedly neutral and unbiased, into a potentially lethal force the belligerents need to enlist". Even food becomes "a form of arms delivery". Polman gives a case of international NGOs (non-governmental organisations) paying warlords a tax on each child they vaccinate.
2. I would cut all foreign aid, I would treat everyone equally. Giving more aid to one nation and less aid to another can cause jealousy and even create suspicions of favoritism which would make attempts at diplomacy during a crisis difficult (unless more aid is given... it's a vicious cycle) We know its OK to treat siblings unequally but fairly. however, the US is not the parent to any other country nor should it assume such responsibilities (as being a 'world policeman' suggests, with 900 bases in 150 countries).
3. Issue of cutting aid to Israel Israel would be better off without US aid anyways. Full explanation is here.
4. Would you condone Ronald Reagan's tactics of negotiating for hostages (The not 'Sovereign nation argument for negotiations', if accepted, does apply to Palestine as Israel was given statehood through the UN but Palestine wasn't, technically, accept it or not, Palestine is a 'state'.) Among the most pressing foreign affairs problems facing the U.S. during Reagan's tenure was the activity of various rogue terrorist organizations. In 1980, Reagan campaigned on a pledge to take a firm stand on terrorism. Under his watch, he promised, the U.S. would never negotiate with terrorists. During Reagan's eight years in office hundreds of Americans, including 241 Marines stationed in Beirut, were killed by terrorist acts. Particularly troubling to Reagan was the plight of several U.S. citizens who had been kidnapped and tortured by Muslim extremists in Lebanon. In an effort to win release of the hostages, Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North, along with members of the National Security Council and the CIA, sold weapons to Iran. Iran, at the time engaged in a war with Iraq and considered a terrorist nation by the U.S., was believed to have influence with the hostage-takers. The Iranians were overcharged for the weapons, and North then funneled the extra proceeds from the arms sale to the contras in Nicaragua. The operation resulted in several direct violations of stated U.S. policy and congressional mandate.
Palestinian Human Rights Lawyer on U.N. Statehood Bid & Interview with Jeremy Ben-Ami (Israeli Lobby Group) http://www.culturesocietyblog.com/2013/03/palestinian-human-rights-lawyer-on-un.html
Breaking Down Society & Social Structures Leads To Anarchy AND Violence http://www.culturesocietyblog.com/2013/03/breaking-down-society-social-structures.html