If you haven’t read him, you should

gaza strip rubble after bomb

The official aid package of billions of dollars every year is just the tip of the iceberg. Many more billions are given in the form of military aid. The headline I see today is that the United States and 30 other nations are joining to donate money to aid in the reconstruction of the recently destroyed Gaza Strip. Our share is around half a billion dollars.

So, let me understand this. America gives diplomatic cover to Israel during their bombing campaigns in Gaza and enables them to do this huge amount of damage. Now, we spend $500 million dollars to help the Palestinians rebuild. If that diplomatic cover had been withdrawn, and the UN was allowed to do its job by sanctioning Israel when it became obvious that they were going too far, then much of this destruction would not have happened. Not only that, America gives $5 billion in "aid" to Israel every single year. So in effect, we paid for those bombs AND picked up the tab for most of the Israeli campaign.

It really irks me that my tax dollars go to Tel Aviv instead of education and healthcare in THIS country or to some of the other undeveloped nations that actually do need our help. Funding a modern industrialized country that is one of the world's major exporters of military equipment is NOT a good way to spend foreign aid dollars. This wealthy and prosperous state with a per capita income roughly equal to South Korea or Spain cheerfully accepts every dime and then puts their hand out for more.

The Palestinians are an oppressed people and have been oppressed for generations. Put yourself in their shoes. They are under the thumb of the state of Israel in every aspect of their daily life. There is no Palestinian state. No functioning federal government that collects taxes, builds, and maintains infrastructure. The Israelis allow goods in but rarely out. The Palestinians are not able to export any products that might bring them income or enable them to develop economic ties with the outside world. Their movements are restricted; they have no control over their airspace or their borders. Every time they attempt to rebuild, the Israelis knock down what little they have in yet another offensive.

All the while, Israel keeps building settlements deeper and deeper into the “disputed” territory and shrinking the area of what little land the Palestinians have left. When the Palestinian people try to organize, to push back at their oppressors be it through Hamas or other groups, they find themselves labeled as terrorists.

The Israeli security situation is the direct result of the occupation. There can be doubt about that. If Israel withdrew tomorrow and gave support to an independent state of Palestine, then the rockets would stop and people would simply get on with their lives.

It may be unpopular to say but Israel is clearly the aggressor in this situation and yet America continues to run interference for them at every step. The primary reason apart from the intelligence and military advantage of having an ally in the area is the amount of influence that these darned evangelical Christians have with our leaders. They preach to their sheep that Israel is so important in biblical prophecy that it ought to be defended at all costs lest the second coming be deferred or God be offended. If the killing of women and children, the destruction of people’s homes and everything they hold dear does not offend God then I’m not sure what it take to offend Him.

This hugely expensive support Israel at all costs idea may be okay in the eyes of the religious right and it may profit some of the big defense contractors but what about the little guy? What does the average American get out of the deal apart from higher taxes? Not a darn thing and there's something very wrong with that picture.

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