Cutting aid to Israel is quickly becoming conventional wisdom
by Adam Horowitz
Business Week writer Celestine Bohlen makes a case for cutting US financial ties with Israel:
The advantages for the U.S. are obvious: It would save money at a time when the federal debt is zooming out of sight. The sums aren’t great — a drop compared with the $1.4 trillion budget deficit in fiscal 2009 — but it would take some of the sting out of Israel’s stubborn opposition to U.S. policies.
Severing the financial links could also correct the perception that the U.S., as Israel’s patron, can’t be an honest broker in the Middle East.
That assumption, widely held in the Arab world, was put on the record by General David Petraeus, head of the U.S. military’s Central Command, when he told the U.S. Congress that the festering Israeli-Palestinian conflict “foments anti- American sentiment due to a perception of U.S. favoritism toward Israel.”
Similar words have been used by James L. Jones, the U.S. national security adviser, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
The message is clear: Failure to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians isn’t just about Israel anymore. It’s about U.S. national-security interests.
And she ends with a zinger:
Back in 2007, when U.S. President George W. Bush pushed through a 10-year military aid agreement with Israel, Nicholas Burns, then undersecretary of state, said the U.S. considered the cumulative $30 billion in assistance to Israel “to be an investment in peace — in long-term peace.”
Now may be a good time to check the return on that investment.