AIPAC prepared congressional ‘airlift’ to go back home and explain why we’re spending $ on Israel

Israel/Palestine
on 3 Comments

I love honest journalism. Joshua Mitnick in the Christian Science Monitor on the neverending scandal: Why one-fifth of the Congress spent their summer recess in Israel, the “virtual airlift” of Congresspeople to Israel by AIPAC affiliate American Israel Education Foundation.

While such visits are routine, the unusual size of this year’s delegation reflects several factors ranging from the UN vote and rising criticism of White House policy toward Israel, to the bumper crop of freshman representatives who don’t have to spend the summer campaigning for reelection. AIPAC wants to use the visit to make the case to newcomers for continued US foreign aid of about $3 billion at a time of fiscal austerity.

“The question isn’t so much going away with a different attitude, it’s going away with more information,” says David Kreizelman, who heads AIPAC’s office in Israel. “They have to go back to their constituents who are saying, ‘We want [government help] and you are voting to give money to Israel.’ “

And remember what my congresswoman, Nan Hayworth, wrote to her constituents?

It can certainly be said that the cost of deployment of an Iron Dome unit is far lower in dollars than the cost of the damage from a terrorist rocket. The savings in lives is, of course, incalculable. Iron Dome is an example of how smart technology can help us to defeat evil without bloodshed. We need to do a lot more of this in a lot of places in the world, and we can, but if we’re going to afford it we need to manage our American resources better.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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3 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    August 26, 2011, 1:00 pm

    Follow the money? “the cost of deployment of an Iron Dome unit is far lower in dollars than the cost of the damage from a terrorist rocket. ” COST TO WHOM? WHY DO WE CARE? WHY SPEND US-MONEY for this?

    Isn’t the cost of preventive medicine (think medicare, medicaid, Obamacare) much cheaper than the cost of treatment for undiscovered diseases? what’s THIS Congressperson think about spending US-MONEY for health care?

    And Iron Dome doesn’t work (or not very well, per recent volleys of iron-dome-testing (quality-assurance) measures issuing from co-operative folks in Gaza.

  2. Sumud
    August 27, 2011, 12:51 am

    It can certainly be said that the cost of deployment of an Iron Dome unit is far lower in dollars than the cost of the damage from a terrorist rocket. The savings in lives is, of course, incalculable.

    While you can’t put a price on human lives (Israeli or Palestinian) I do not believe her statement about the cost of damage done by the rockets. Iron Dome cost in the order of hundreds of millions of US dollars, and for the most part the rockets do minimal damage. Bear in mind that rockets from Gaza have claimed less than 30 lives in 10 years.

    What about the US gives an Iron Dome system for Gaza? At least 3000 Palestinian lives have been claimed by the IDF in Gaza from 2005-now. Even more if you added in all those killed between 2000 and 2005.

    • Sumud
      August 27, 2011, 1:10 am

      And for some comparative examples of the damage inflicted by Israeli vs Gaza rockets (and other munitions) see photos 7 and all the rest here:

      Boston Globe / The Big Picture: Scenes from the Gaza Strip

      While I’ve seen damaged from Gaza rockets do more damage than this, in some cases they pierce the roof of a building, you can see in general how pathetic they are, not even powerful enough to do damage a bitumen road. See also the pictures of IDF units firing unguided artillery shells. When Gazans do this Israel claims it is a war crime and Palestinians are terrorists, but when the IDF do it – killing hundreds – it’s OK.

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