Israel gets away with it because it is a global arms supplier — Halper

Middle East
on 43 Comments

Jeff Halper grew up in the 1960s, and as a 60s radical he knew there was “a problem with Israel and the Palestinians”. So deciding to take up his Jewish ‘Right of Return’ in the early 1970s and become an Israeli was hardly the most obvious life choice. “I wanted to go to a place where I could be politically active,” Halper explained as we talked at the Greenbelt Festival in Kettering, England at the end of August. “I wanted to be in a country where I would have a voice”. Activism turns out to be Halper’s defining characteristic.

In the early 1970s Jeff Halper didn’t call himself a Zionist despite his decision to make his home in the Jewish State. Today he’s quite clear where he stands, “I’m an anti-Zionist”.

That “anti-Zionism” has expressed itself in the last 18 years through his work as Director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions which he co-founded in 1997. Since 1967, 48,488 Palestinian homes and other buildings have been demolished by the Israeli authorities, 450 so far during 2015. This is not an exercise in collective punishment for alleged terrorist activities, but rather the playing out of a policy that makes home building for Palestinians almost impossible in Area C of the West Bank but remarkably straightforward if you are a Jewish Settler. ICAHD has chosen to focus its educational and campaigning work on an issue that makes plain Israel’s strategy for the West Bank.

Not every activist gets to coin a phrase that encapsulates their cause and then enters the lexicon of the conflict. Halper has achieved exactly that with his ‘Matrix of Control’.

“It’s the regime; it’s the laws; it’s the concept of one group dominating –institutionally, and permanently –another group. And we’re “Judaizing”the country.  We’re turning Palestine into the land of Israel. It’s a Kafkaesque bureaucracy. The entire Occupied Territory is being run by about 2,000 military orders that make up a corpus of law that isn’t really law!”

Halper’s ‘Matrix’ isn’t hard to spot if you take the trouble to visit the area and speak to both Palestinians and Settlers. As I saw again for myself this summer, the integration of the West Bank into Israel ‘proper’ continues a pace. The ever expanding Settlements; the major new highways connecting them together and back into Israel; the new light railway. There is nothing temporary about any of this. Permanence is the clear objective.

Meanwhile, the destruction of the Palestinian agricultural economy through Israeli control of water supplies, the route taken by the Separation Wall, and the inability to reliably export produce, has left thousands of Palestinians reliant on the Settlements and Israeli construction projects for employment.

Halper sees all this as the explanation for the lack of resistance and ‘pacification’ of the vast majority of the Palestinian population on the West Bank.

“The Palestinians are so embedded in this, that they can’t resist. That’s the whole concept of the Matrix of Control.”

 

Having spent years documenting, explaining and campaigning against ‘the Matrix’, Halper’s new book War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians and Global Pacification attempts to set the Israel/Palestinian situation in a wider context, one that will, as Halper frames it, answer the question: ‘How Does Israel Get Away With It?’.

His short answer is: the global arms industry.

Cover of War Against the People

Cover of War Against the People

How else, Halper argues, can you explain why Israel does not receive the wrath of the international community for its actions against the Palestinians.

Typically, Israel’s critics point to America and the pro-Israel lobby in Washington or the influence of right wing Christian fundamentalists to explain the lack of international pressure to resolve the conflict. In Western Europe, we assume it’s guilt over the Holocaust that inhibits criticism by our governments.

But in many of Israel’s key, and emerging, trading relationships none of this applies. There’s no Jewish lobby in India or China, nor is Christian fundamentalist Zionism a political force in Thailand or Colombia. And what explains Saudi Arabia’s willingness to do business with Israel despite its long-standing criticism of the Jewish State?

 “It seemed to me there was an elephant in the room that we’re not seeing.  And, casting around, I think that it’s the military security connection.”

Halper calls it ‘Security Politics’, which is different from normal everyday politics.

“You can’t explain why Israel would be close to Saudi Arabia. They’re very close, in all kinds of ways; politically, and militarily; and they co-operate. It seems counter-intuitive if you take normal international relations. There’s nothing in common, and they’d be enemies if you talk about the Arab/Israeli conflict.”

Over the last couple of decades, Israel has become a leading exporter of security, surveillance and military equipment. It’s one of the top ten arms exporters in a global market worth $2.5 trillion a year. Israel’s share of that in 2012 was $7 billion. And Israel, according to Halper’s analysis, has an advantage over some of its commercial rivals – its own real time military laboratory, a testing ground with real life targets.

 You’ve got 4.5 million Palestinians that you can test these weapons and security devices on. And that’s what’s given Israel this cutting edge in the market. So that if you insert that, the whole world looks different.  All of a sudden, countries that seemed to be your enemies are your friends. There’s all kinds of interests that come out.”

For Halper, Israel has succeeded in ‘globalising Palestine’ but in a very different way than the Palestinians had hoped for. And Israel doesn’t mind who it trades with.

 “Israel is very amoral. So they’re willing to deal with anybody, sell anything to anybody; they don’t care about the context. Israel’s very involved in Southern Sudan, in the civil war. In Equatorial Guinea, Israel will help you pacify your own people. So it works from the biggest hegemons to the littlest ones. It’s become the go-to place for that kind of control.”

Halper’s research also shows how arms deals then open up trading relationships in all sorts of other areas, from mobile phones to pharmaceuticals.

But if the global arms industry is the ‘big picture’ that explains Israel’s immunity to serious criticism and sanction, what hope does the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign have? Why bother, surely it doesn’t have a hope of making any difference?

 BDS is not going to hurt Israel economically; I mean, that’s not the point of it.  Caterpillar’s not going to fold because there’s a boycott campaign against it, or divestment. But there’s also a moral level for this.

“Companies are starting to really not reinvest in Israel, or pull their business out. Veolia just pulled out of Israel.  And you simply create a moral climate among the people, with changes of public opinion, that makes it very hard for businesses, corporations, and eventually governments, to do business as usual. So from that point of view, BDS does have the potential of being a game-changer.”

There are other things that need to happen if the boycott campaign is to be the “game-changer” Halper believes it could be. He offers a criticism of BDS that’s expressed by both pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian camps. BDS fails to be clear about the political outcome that will be required for its goals to be achieved.

It’s a political agnosticism that Halper believes will ultimately hold back the campaign and leave it ill prepared to take advantage of changes in the situation such as the potential collapse of the Palestinian Authority. For Halper, only a single bi-national state will go anywhere near to addressing the fundamental issues of justice and civil rights. It’s a position he’s reached with some reluctance as neither side gets the national self-determination they desire.

The two-state solution was far from being fair and equitable, but it would have given –in a way –self-determination to both groups. I supported it for many years. I’m not opposed to the two-state solution. That’s not the issue. The issue is, it’s gone. Whether it’s good, or bad, or whether both sides would want it or whatever; the reality is that Israel deliberately and systematically ended it.  You have such a mass of Israelis living in the Occupied Territory; like I said, the whole country has been reconfigured; there is no more West Bank!  It is Judea and Samaria, with Palestinians in little, tiny little pockets; there is no more East Jerusalem! It’s gone. There are more Israelis living in the Palestinian side of the city than there are Palestinians. And with the highway systems and everything else, there is, today, one state. It exists.

Halper believes it is time to “bite that bullet”.

“If there’s another option that I’m missing, tell me! It seems to me, if the two-state solution has gone, there’s two options; one is apartheid, and one is a single democratic state. Give me another option!”

The critical factor for Halper is that ‘Activists’ have to play their part and be the ‘agents of change’.

Halper’s parting words to me are a challenge to all those who see themselves in solidarity with the Palestinian cause or who want a way out of the Jewish cul-de-sac of Zionism.

 “Without agency –without us formulating a just and workable solution, and then pushing it strategically, we’re not going to be able to get that just peace implemented.”

Jeff Halper’s new book is published by Pluto Press

This post first appeared on Patheos last week.

About Robert Cohen

Cohen is a British writer. He blogs at Micah's Paradigm Shift. http://micahsparadigmshift.blogspot.co.uk/

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43 Responses

  1. Kay24
    October 15, 2015, 11:18 am

    Jeff Halper has a good point. Not only is Israel one of the top arms manufacturers in the world (what chance do stone throwing kids have against them?), they are also in bed with nations like SaudI Arabia, who is certainly not fly fishing in Yemen.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      October 18, 2015, 11:48 am

      What I find most remarkable in the close cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia is the apparent incompatibility of their official ideologies. Both privilege one religion over others, but while Israel discriminates against non-Jews the Saudis discriminate against non-Moslems, including Jews, who are denied freedom of public worship and access to Mecca and Medina. Saudi Arabia treats Jews much worse than Iran does, but the Zionists make hardly any fuss about it. How wide the abyss between professed ideology and the reality of power politics!

      • Tal
        October 19, 2015, 9:48 am

        You forgot one small thing – Saudi Arabia does not constantly call for the extermination of Israel like Iran does.

  2. a blah chick
    October 15, 2015, 11:30 am

    Nation states rarely (if ever) display altruism towards one another. Their support is predicated on “what can you do for me?” It’s nothing personal, it’s just business. As soon as Israel begins to collapse from within and the brain drain starts it will be dropped like a sinking hot potato. When support for them becomes more trouble than it’s worth they’ll discover just who their real friends are and it will be a small group.

    • Emory Riddle
      October 15, 2015, 1:03 pm

      Exactly.

      Halper’s conclusion is nonsense and serves as cover for the Lobby in America and Europe. He wants to underplay the influence of The Lobby. Consciously or not.

      India and China do business with Israel because it makes business sense. You don’t see those nations giving Israel billions per year and protection in the UN. You don’t see leaders in those nations constantly referring to the need to protect Israel and what a great friend and ally Israel is. You don’t see their media serving up Zionist propaganda as fact.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        October 18, 2015, 12:01 pm

        Emory Riddle: Halper is pointing out that there is more than one elephant in the room. His focus on Elephant B does not necessarily reflect a subconscious (let alone a conscious) desire to distract attention from Elephant A. Both matter.

        Israel rightly worries that its influence over America and Europe is gradually declining and in particular that the time may be coming when Israel can no longer count on US support. Cultivation of Russia, India and China is a deliberate strategy to insure against that eventuality. Israel’s relations with those countries are not solely economic. In particular, all three countries also face secessionist and “terrorist” threats from forces that are viewed as Islamic (Russia in the Caucasus, India in Kashmir, China in Xinjiang) and this creates a basis for security cooperation.

      • a4tech
        October 18, 2015, 12:35 pm

        Stephen, for Israel to leverage any diplomatic gains from these countries, it has to first have a strong and stable domestic civilian support of the state. You are right to assess the potential for cooperation based on similar secessionist threat, but Israel’s main threat is it’s illegitimacy in state ideology and practice. Once the civilian population are sufficiently made aware of the fact, it will be impossible for Israel to even leverage support domestically, let alone from foreign nations.

        We are already seeing the monumental growth of such awareness among youths today, including Israelis and Americans through exposure in various real-life institutions and perhaps more significantly, the internet and social media. In light of this fact, it is simply implausible to think that there will an Israel at all in the future to develop these diplomatic relations.

      • Emory Riddle
        October 20, 2015, 10:12 am

        Stephen S.

        “Halper is pointing out that there is more than one elephant in the room”

        How do you arrive at this conclusion based on this article?

        Here is what is says

        ‘How Does Israel Get Away With It?’. His short answer is: the global arms industry.”

        Further:, the article then goes on to discredit the idea that The Lobby is the reason: Typically, Israel’s critics point to ….the pro-Israel lobby in Washington …. But in many of Israel’s key, and emerging, trading relationships none of this applies. .”

        It seems to me Halper is drastically downplaying the Lobby’s role — by focusing on Israel’s “emerging relationships” with India, China, etc. These relationships are clearly far less important than Israel’s relationship with America. And, quite clearly, America is in no need of Israel’s weapons (Hell, most of them are made in America and paid for by the American taxpayer).

        There is only one elephant in the room and it is The Lobby. There is no elephant B — maybe a mouse B when it comes to nations other than America. Halper is being disingenuous.

      • SQ Debris
        February 5, 2016, 1:05 pm

        Maybe Jeff, an actual principled human being, is sidelining Elephant A – the Lobby – because he’s worried about getting “Alison Wier’d.” Talk forthrightly about Jewish zionist political power in the U.S. and .. welcome to the shunning.

  3. ivri
    October 15, 2015, 3:20 pm

    Israel had to find a way to compensate for its smallness and to finance a relatively large and cutting-edge military and related industry. It kind of also made a very small nation a bit of a “world player” since arms-trade is still a prestige sector of the industrial-commercial world and is also immune to BDS (normally done clandestinely). It has been about survival – forces by circumstances – and it had its windfall.

    • Mooser
      October 15, 2015, 5:05 pm

      Israel had to find a way to compensate for its smallness….”

      Wrong thread, “Irvi”. You want the “hectoring would-be archaeologists” thread.

      • ivri
        October 15, 2015, 5:52 pm

        @Mooser
        Well, I admit I can actually relate to your general pervert sense of humor – it is not unusual in “the tribe” but then again I may ask: what on earth made a “good Jewish boy” join the losers of this world?

      • Mooser
        October 15, 2015, 6:42 pm

        “but then again I may ask: what on earth made a “good Jewish boy” join the losers of this world?”

        Well, I’m sure I’d be more than glad to answer your question, as soon as you tell me who “the losers of the world” are. And how many of them you think there are.

      • talknic
        October 15, 2015, 7:01 pm

        @ ivri “…. I may ask: what on earth made a “good Jewish boy” join the losers of this world?”

        You don’t know why you support a state in breach of more UNSC resolutions than any other country in the world?

      • Citizen
        October 16, 2015, 11:33 am

        @ ivri

        Yeah, Got it: Remember everybody, Jewish Israelis Boast They Are Not Friers, Suckers; everybody else is “fair game.” http://mondoweiss.net/2009/09/would-any-prime-minister-in-the-world-declare-i-wont-be-a-sucker via @sharethis

        Ya gotta jump to the head of the line! Show some chutzpah! Don’t be a chump! Park your car right in front of the parked car, oblivious the owner is blocked in by you, or you don’t care, owner can wait; proceed to saunter into the store on your own time. “There’s a sucker born every minute!”

    • inbound39
      October 15, 2015, 9:49 pm

      The price of that military cutting edge for Israel has been that the military waste from the manufacture of all these weapons has over the years seeped into the soil and into Israels own Sovereign water supply and made it unusable hence it steals Palestinian water.

    • Emory Riddle
      October 16, 2015, 11:06 am

      “…a relatively large and cutting-edge military and related industry ”

      Based primarily on American built and supplied weapons largely paid for with American tax dollars, no?

      As far as Israel being “immune” to BDS I an only say — Huh? Judging from the attempts by The Lobby to attack and stop BDS, I would have to conclude they don’t agree with you. Plus I am curious how you feel any nation can be immune to international boycotts and sanctions. How would that work?

  4. Mooser
    October 15, 2015, 7:57 pm

    what on earth made a “good Jewish boy” join the losers of this world? – ”
    Catalan: “His wife. He has written a lot about it. She is Christian.

    You are a class act, “catalan”. And brave!
    So, the “Christian” people are “the losers of this world”?

    “He has written a lot about it”

    Care to provide a quote? And we still haven’t heard from “Irvi”. Who are “the losers of the world, “Irvi”?

    • catalan
      October 15, 2015, 8:55 pm

      So, the “Christian” people are “the losers of this world”? – Mooser
      No, Christians are by most objective criteria the winners. People who think they are better than everyone else and lecture all the time are the losers. Especially when they do it out of insecurity.

      • Mooser
        October 16, 2015, 10:56 am

        “People who think they are better than everyone else and lecture all the time are the losers. Especially when they do it out of insecurity.”

        I know exactly what you mean, “catalan”!
        I very much dislike those people.
        You know, the kind of people who talks about “the losers of the world” and takes the nastiest kind of swipes at “Christians” (Hey, look, ‘Jewish racism’! Right on cue!) And is so brave at the end of a wire.

        And can’t provide a single word in support of it. (“He has written a lot about it” Bullshit.)

        And then the lecture stops and the whining starts and you reveal that you are the loser, and “Christians are by most objective criteria the winners.” That sounds like insecurity, doesn’t it?

        Yup, I can’t stand that kind of person, especially when the nastiness and insecurity is made ridiculous by a complete lack of self awareness.

      • eljay
        October 16, 2015, 11:10 am

        || catalan: … People who think they are better than everyone else and lecture all the time are the losers. Especially when they do it out of insecurity. ||

        That is a truly excellent description of aggressor-victimhood Zio-supremacists!

      • Mooser
        October 16, 2015, 1:17 pm

        “That is a truly excellent description of aggressor-victimhood Zio-supremacists!”

        Oh, you know it. “Catalan” I have always felt, is just the person to save the day if the machinery at the local Cinema-Plex breaks down!

      • Stephen Shenfield
        October 18, 2015, 12:07 pm

        catalan: The world is a diverse place. Christians are not the winners in Iraq. Christians are not the winners in Syria. Christians are not the winners in Indonesia. Christians are not the winners in Palestine… And plenty of people in “Christian” countries are losers in terms of wealth and power despite being Christians.

      • a4tech
        October 18, 2015, 12:18 pm

        Christians have been losing from the dawn of Christianity in Rome.

      • Mooser
        October 18, 2015, 1:15 pm

        “Christians have been losing from the dawn of Christianity in Rome.”

        Yeah, those poor friers. Imagine spreading all over the world just to have people persecute you. It’s almost not worth it. But we should give Rome credit for starting Christianity. Jesus spent a lot of time in Rome.

    • catalan
      October 16, 2015, 12:53 pm

      And can’t provide a single word in support of it. (“He has written a lot about it” Bullshit.) Mooser

      Mooser,
      The glorious prose of Phillip Roth has you described in American Pastoral. Anyway, I am interested in how people get to be the way they are. Of course they are not going to come out and say, I like my sister that way, or I am a racist, or I have a thing about sheep, or I am ashamed of my legs. We still can make assumptions about these things. It is a valid question to ask, what makes an American Jew so hateful of a country where most Jews live and those that don’t have relatives. How does one come up with the belief system that if there was not Israel there would be no war and people would live happily ever after.
      Now, since you have spoken in glowing terms of your wife, referred to her as Christian, it seems to make sense. Like I said, I am no Roth or Steven King, and cannot put it into awesome prose. But you have to admit it’s plausible.

      • Sibiriak
        October 16, 2015, 1:33 pm

        catalan: How does one come up with the belief system that if there was not Israel there would be no war and people would live happily ever after.

        ————————

        Well, I’ve been very interested in that belief system myself. On the surface, it sounds absurd. Stupid. Just plain silly. Yet it’s quite widespread. Especially among the self-haters. Your explanation is very convincing. Thanks.

      • Kris
        October 16, 2015, 2:20 pm

        @catalan: “The glorious prose of Phillip Roth has you described in American Pastoral.”

        OK. The glorious prose of JRR Tolkien has you described in The Lord of the Rings.

        That’s an interesting observation I’ve just made, at least as interesting as your observation, but it adds nothing to anyone’s understanding of I/P. If this were a book club, we could go on to discuss whose prose is more “glorious” (Tolkien’s, obviously), but this isn’t a book club.

        It would be nice if you’d actually read the articles we’re discussing, and then concentrate on discussing the issues instead of just attacking other commenters.

      • catalan
        October 16, 2015, 4:12 pm

        but it adds nothing to anyone’s understanding of I/P. – Kris
        I cannot understand “I/P” at all and cannot help anyone in that direction. But I do think it is relevant to the broader discussion to understand how a well educated, middle class Jewish person – with a sense of humor – becomes absorbed by all things negative in Israel.
        […]

      • Annie Robbins
        October 16, 2015, 7:30 pm

        stop spamming the site catalan.

      • Kris
        October 16, 2015, 7:18 pm

        @catalan: “I cannot understand “I/P” at all and cannot help anyone in that direction. But I do think it is relevant to the broader discussion to understand how a well educated, middle class Jewish person – with a sense of humor – becomes absorbed by all things negative in Israel.”

        What “broader discussion”? I can’t find a mention of any “broader discussion” in the mondoweiss Comments Policy. From the policy:

        One of the goals of this site is to promote critical discussion and debate on US foreign policy and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We want Mondoweiss to be a place that everyone feels comfortable visiting, to read and comment, regardless of political perspective.

        Your speculations about why a Jewish person would adopt an anti-Zionist perspective are just that, speculations, and aren’t helpful for further understanding I/P and U.S foreign policy.

        Lots of links come up when you google for “why some Jews oppose Zionism” and “why Jews turned away from Zionism.” If you really wonder why Jews would be antiZionist, google.com is a good place to start finding out.

      • Keith
        October 16, 2015, 9:37 pm

        CATALAN- “But I do think it is relevant to the broader discussion to understand how a well educated, middle class Jewish person…becomes absorbed by all things negative in Israel.”

        Even more interesting is how a well educated, middle class American Jewish person becomes very devoted to and supportive of a foreign country which engages in reprehensible behavior, and does so out of a misguided sense of tribal solidarity.

        I applaud your interest in the basis for human behavior- how people get the way they are. Perhaps this would be an opportunity for self-reflection. Why, for example, do you project wildly exaggerated belief systems onto others (no Israel = happily ever after, etc)? Are you distorting for humorous effect, or do you have a darker purpose?

      • RoHa
        October 16, 2015, 11:30 pm

        “We still can make assumptions about these things.”

        But it is usually wiser not to.

      • Mooser
        October 18, 2015, 1:11 pm

        “how a well educated, middle class Jewish person…”

        Yup, it’s open season on Mooser. Fire away! Any insult acceptable!

  5. Mooser
    October 16, 2015, 1:11 pm

    “And can’t provide a single word in support of it”

    Yup, not a single word* (Catalan: “He has written a lot about it”)

    Catalan:” what makes an American Jew so hateful of a country where most Jews live”

    Got a single goddam quote in support of that “hateful”? And most Jews don’t live there.

    You, “Catalan” are nothing but a goddam liar.

    *No, not stream of crap from you! chump, you said I wrote about it, “a lot”

    Now, would either “Irvi” or you like to specify who “the losers of the world” are?

    • Mooser
      October 16, 2015, 1:25 pm

      “Mooser, The glorious prose of Phillip Roth has you described in American Pastoral.”

      Feh! on Phillip Roth. He barely scratches the surface. Try Thornton W. Burgess, instead, in “The Animal Book”! There was a writer who knew and appreciated us!

  6. JWalters
    October 16, 2015, 8:10 pm

    Halper’s focus on the weapons industry’s role in maintaining Israel and its manufactured, so-called “War on Terror” is welcome. It’s been said that a day of war is as profitable as a year of peace. Those windfall profits buy a lot of media companies, and a lot of members of governments. That combination lets them cover the public discourse with a blanket of lies. The mechanics of this are shown vividly in the anti-corruption classic “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”.

    Thomas Paine complained about war profiteers back in 1790. So this is nothing new. It would be good for the human race to establish a mechanism to block their influence permanently.

    For readers who haven’t seen it yet, here’s Colin Powell’s former Chief of Staff, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, saying that W was a pawn of war profiteers, and the current crop of GOP candidates are also pawns of war profiteers. He was deeply inside the loop.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=br0mu7r-ak0

    Another insider, Kay Griggs, ex-wife of a U.S. Army director of assassination training, talked bluntly about the war profiteers’ systematic use of blackmail to control members of Congress. Her key comments are extracted here.
    https://consortiumnews.com/

    War profiteers were also involved at the very start of Israel and its so-called “War on Terror”, recounted in “War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror”.

  7. DaBakr
    October 16, 2015, 10:03 pm

    So-Halpern is complaining that Israel made some very sound business decisions back in the 90s which are bearing fruit now. I remember reading many ‘pundits’ as well as sound thinkers discussing the way the winds were shifting slowly away from the west and how israel best develop a strategy to deal with their dependence on US military loans (@ em.rd) which of course come from US taxpayers and then return as profits from Israeli repayment and how do you think the American arms industry stays on top? They keep 100000s of Americans working on the most lethal and expensive weapons the world has seen. While conservative I am completely opposed to to sick interdependent relationship between Israeli Business/Gov’t and American Gov’t/Arms industry. I was for cutting these ties back in the 90s and still am. Israel can survive w/o the loan guarantees. (and fyi: these loans are not the same as the 100s of billions of dollars the US has handed out to various and assorted Arab and Muslim client states -the list is very long- that either default or have gone broke. Israel actually pays their loans back. Surprise)

    • Elliot
      October 16, 2015, 10:28 pm

      “the 100s of billions of dollars the US has handed out to various and assorted Arab and Muslim client states -the list is very long- that either default or have gone broke.”

      Link?

      Israel has been given many tens of billions of dollars by the US as an outright gift.

    • Kris
      October 16, 2015, 10:33 pm

      @DaBkr: “…and how israel best develop a strategy to deal with their dependence on US military loans (@ em.rd) which of course come from US taxpayers and then return as profits from Israeli repayment…”

      But as you already know, Israel never repays any loans to the U.S. (If you have an evidence to the contrary, please share your links.)

      Further, friends of Israel never tire of saying that Israel has never defaulted on repayment of a U.S. government loan. It would be equally accurate to say Israel has never been required to repay a U.S. government loan. The truth of the matter is complex, and designed to be so by those who seek to conceal it from the U.S. taxpayer.

      Most U.S. loans to Israel are forgiven, and many were made with the explicit understanding that they would be forgiven before Israel was required to repay them. By disguising as loans what in fact were grants, cooperating members of Congress exempted Israel from the U.S. oversight that would have accompanied grants.

      On other loans, Israel was expected to pay the interest and eventually to begin repaying the principal. But the so-called Cranston Amendment, which has been attached by Congress to every foreign aid appropriation since 1983, provides that economic aid to Israel will never dip below the amount Israel is required to pay on its outstanding loans. In short, whether U.S. aid is extended as grants or loans to Israel, it never returns to the Treasury. http://www.ifamericansknew.org/stat/cost_of_israel.html

  8. gracie fr
    October 17, 2015, 11:58 am

    Some investigaive journalists with a green conscience should survey and calculate Israel’s serious environmental over- consumtion and greenhouse gas emmesions surplus . Just consider the energy it takes to maintain electronic surveillance, the border fence panopticon, the entire water and electricity grid, not to mention daily sorties by the Air Force in fly-overs with sonic booming and those so often deadly helicopter gunshipt patrols….

    • Kris
      October 17, 2015, 12:29 pm

      But, but, but—on NPR’s “To the Point” with Warren Olney last night, the audience learned that Israel is an environmental beacon, a light of environment sustainability that can illuminate the whole world!

      Drought is a fact of life in the Western United States, and water shortages are predicted in many parts of the world. Israel is an unlikely place to look for solutions.

      Although 60% of the State of Israel is a desert, Israel has no lack of water. In fact, there’s a surplus. That’s a consequence of how Israel came to be and how it can help other places survive water shortages inevitable in the future.

      That’s the theme of Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World. The author is Seth Siegel, who’s a lawyer, activist and entrepreneur as well as a writer.

      http://www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/to-the-point/is-recycling-really-effective#seg- can-israels-water-be-a-model-for-a-thirsty-world

      Imagine that, a water “surplus” in Israel! Oddly, the only mention of Palestinians is that Israel “gives” them water!!!! Nothing about Israel stealing Palestinian water and selling it back to them!

      The amount of pro-Israeli propaganda that NPR is putting out now is a veritable tsunami of hasbara. My local NPR affiliate has played the same interview about a new Holocaust museum over and over again for the past few days, and of course the “news” reporting is all hasbara all the time.

  9. Kathleen
    October 18, 2015, 5:27 pm

    Harper ‘The two-state solution was far from being fair and equitable, but it would have given –in a way –self-determination to both groups. I supported it for many years. I’m not opposed to the two-state solution. That’s not the issue. The issue is, it’s gone. Whether it’s good, or bad, or whether both sides would want it or whatever; the reality is that Israel deliberately and systematically ended it.”

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