Last modified: 7:58 AM Saturday, 14 January 2017

Israel’s million-dollar men

How, you may have wondered, can our Congress vote with such lockstep consistency in support of everything Israel’s government says or does, even when armed services commanders report from the field that its policies endanger American troops? How is it that when Richard Goldstone presented a report on the 2008-9 Operation Cast Lead, suggesting that both Israel and Hamas may have committed war crimes, which was accepted as factual and impartial by virtually the rest of the world, our Congress promptly and lopsidedly condemned it?

Sen. Joe Lieberman (left) hugs Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu

Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT), above left, hugs Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
[ Image Source ]

The answer, as it happens, is not far to seek.

As is generally true in Washington, money invested in a politician by lobbyists (foreign or otherwise) pays strong returns. As this page shows, Israel has contributed generously to many senators and members of the House. Featured above are its two “million-dollar men”: Senators Joe Lieberman and Mark Kirk, who top the recipient list with over a million dollars in contributions from the Israeli lobby.

To see what kind of legislation — or opposition to legislation — Israeli money has bought, click on the “Bills supported and opposed” tab. Note, however, that the resulting page is rather sparse; it is hard to imagine that this list is complete. Really getting to the bottom of this question may be a job for WikiLeaks.

But when I say “strong returns,” I mean not only in political influence, but also in securing additional financial and military aid; in effect, Congress supplies the American Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC) — the largest and most powerful such lobby — with the money that it will later use to lobby for more. How successful AIPAC has been in this is well documented: Washington Report on Middle East Affairs lists the aid packages here.

Meanwhile, If Americans Knew explores both the causes and the costs and consequences of the U.S.’ outlay of $8.5 million a day in earmarked aid to Israel:

“Since the October War in 1973, Washington has provided Israel with a level of support dwarfing the amounts provided to any other state. It has been the largest annual recipient of direct U.S. economic and military assistance since 1976 and the largest total recipient since World War II. Total direct U.S. aid to Israel amounts to well over $140 billion in 2003 dollars. Israel receives about $3 billion in direct foreign assistance each year, which is roughly one-fifth of America's entire foreign aid budget. In per capita terms, the United States gives each Israeli a direct subsidy worth about $500 per year. This largesse is especially striking when one realizes that Israel is now a wealthy industrial state with a per capita income roughly equal to South Korea or Spain.”

—John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt
“The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy”

Source: The Congressional Research Service’s report “U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel,” written by Jeremy M. Sharp, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs, dated April 11, 2014.

Note that this is just direct aid.

Appearing on the same page are details of some of the other ways Israel gets an enormous competitive advantage over its neighbors. For example:

Contrary to ordinary U.S. policy, Israel has been and continues to be allowed to use approximately 25% of this military aid to purchase equipment from Israeli manufacturers. According to [the Congressional Research Service], “no other recipient of U.S. military assistance has been granted this benefit.” Thanks in part to this indirect U.S. subsidy, Israel’s arms industry has become one of the strongest in the world. “Between 2001 and 2008, it was the 7th largest arms supplier to the world with sales worth a total of 9.9 billion.”

Sen. Mark Kirk is proud of his work on behalf of his donors.

Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) proudly campaigns on the merits of his work on behalf of his Israeli benefactors.
[ Image Source ]

Meanwhile, Israel’s high-tech industry has also famously prospered, in part by stealing American technologies, gaining in the process a competitive edge against American companies, as reported by former CIA officer Philip Giraldi:

[...] And there is another aspect of Israel’s growing high tech sector that [New York Times commentator David Brooks] understandably chose to ignore because it is extremely sleazy. That is the significant advantage that Israel has gained by systematically stealing American technology with both military and civilian applications. The US developed technology is then reverse engineered and used by the Israelis to support their own exports with considerably reduced research and development costs, giving them a huge advantage against American companies. Sometimes, when the technology is military in nature and winds up in the hands of a US adversary, the consequences can be serious. Israel has sold advanced weapons systems to China that are believed to incorporate technology developed by American companies, including the Python-3 air-to-air missile and the Delilah cruise missile. There is evidence that Israel has also stolen Patriot missile avionics to incorporate into its own Arrow system and that it used US technology obtained in its Lavi fighter development program, which was funded by the US taxpayer to the tune of $1.5 billion, to help the Chinese develop their own J-10 fighter.

The reality of Israeli spying is indisputable. Israel always features prominently in the annual FBI report called “Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage.” The 2005 report states, “Israel has an active program to gather proprietary information within the United States. These collection activities are primarily directed at obtaining information on military systems and advanced computing applications that can be used in Israel’s sizable armaments industry.” It adds that Israel recruits spies, uses electronic methods, and carries out computer intrusion to gain the information. The 2005 report concluded that the thefts eroded US military advantage, enabling foreign powers to obtain expensive technologies that had taken years to develop.

Elsewhere in the article, Giraldi tells of specific cases in which Israeli companies have been caught in such deeds as “monitoring a Department of Defense telecommunications system to obtain classified information,” but apparently fewer investigations have been completed than ordered dropped by the Department of Justice.

So, what do we get for $8.5 million a day?

Corrupt, or at least “compromised,” senators. Spies and double agents. A Navy ship fired upon by Israeli planes, disabled and nearly sunk, 174 of its crew wounded and 34 killed. Military and industrial thievery. A craven Congress, voting in lockstep for the interests of a “sleazy” foreign power at the expense of American voters. Relentless propaganda brought to us by not-so-independent mainstream media long ago cowed by Zionists’ political clout, and their will and ability to terminate the careers of journalists who won’t play along. More enemies and less security. And at the end of the day, the return of a tiny fraction of all our aid, in the form of fresh bribes to keep this cycle of iniquity spinning for another year.

Perhaps it’s not startling, after all, to read that Israel is no longer a ”trusted ally in the U.S. ‘War on Terror.’” Now all we have to do is unsell our country.

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