US Aid to an Illegal State

FourMaps2

$3 billion.

What do you suppose the United States does with that much money a year? Help pay off its over $18 trillion in loans? Provide free education to the thousands of low-income students unable to afford college? Assist homeless individuals by supplying them with food and shelter? No, no and no. Instead, the United States chooses to unrightfully give this copious amount of money to the state of Israel, a state that prospered at the expense of ethnic cleansing and the unrightful occupation of an indigenous land and its people.

The aid that the United States provides to Israel is different than any other aid it allocates worldwide. First off, the money is given in a block at the beginning of each fiscal year instead of being distributed quarterly as is done with other states. In addition, once the money is transferred, the United States has no say as to how that money is appropriated; the aid goes directly into Israel’s general funds and accounts for about 20% of its defense budget. Therefore, American tax dollars are most likely being used to further establish illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land and promote settler colonialism. Moreover, despite its small population of about 6 million and its high per capita income, Israel receives about one third of the US foreign aid budget, exponentially more than any deserving nation currently receives. In fact, the Unites States had given Israel at least $75 billion in the past 25 years, which is about $55 billion dollars more than the United States offered to all of Europe, including the Soviet Union, after WWII, as part of the 1947 Marshall Plan. Finally, claiming that the United States only allocates $3 billion to Israel is is an understatement. The said $3 billion only refers to direct aid and disregards an additional $3 billion in indirect aid distributed throughout the year.

In other words, the United States is promoting and sustaining an illegal state built on stolen land as a result of a military occupation of the Palestinian people which violates international law. But because Israel gets away with being charged for war crimes, the US assumes it can ignore the ethnic cleansing, pretend the genocide doesn’t exist and wipe its hands clean of the guilty consequences of its military funding. But looking away and disregarding the issue at hand is not the solution.

The United States must halt its aid to the settler colonialist state of Israel immediately.

There is nothing ethical about the creation of the state of Israel nor about its current order. Since its inception in 1948 when Zionists secured full control over UNallocated lands in Palestine and its Arab territories and over 700,000 Palestinians were forced to flee their homes in what became known as the Nakba, or the Palestinian exodus. Israel has profited off labor trafficking Palestinians, settler colonialism through the creation of illegal Jewish settlements, theft of Palestinian lands and resources, the construction of the illegal apartheid wall, the siege–better known as the open-air prison–in Gaza, its use of weapons of mass destruction such as the biological weapon of white phosphorus on the Palestinian people, and much more. Philip Luther, with Amnesty International said that “there is strong evidence that Israeli forces committed war crimes in their relentless and massive bombardment of residential areas of Rafah…displaying a shocking disregard for civilian lives.” This destructive event that occurred in the Palestinian city of Rafah in 2014 is only a fraction of the ruination Israel has caused for the Palestinian people. Israeli crimes range from the murder of innocent children to the debilitation of the Palestinian people and the demolition of their homes. Despite the fact that Amnesty International and the United Nations accuse Israel of war crimes, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu disregards such accusations by claiming defense against Palestinian forces such as Hamas. But, after a close examination of the numbers of the 2014 Gaza war, it is clear that Israeli offenses are perpetrated for a reason other than defense. While there were only about 73 Israeli deaths and 1,600 injuries, Palestinians witnessed about 2,251 deaths and 11,231 injuries. And it isn’t very comforting to know that our American tax dollars financed many of these crimes, death and illegal settlements.

Section 502B of the US Foreign Assistance Act reads that “no security assistance may be provided to any country the government of which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.” The question now is, what makes Israel the exception to this act since it clearly “engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights”? And when can we, as Americans, stand up to our government and demand that it stop supplying the illegal state of Israel?

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