Thanks to the fact that much of the western media deliberately avoids exposing Israeli criminality, probably for fear of being accused of anti-Semitism, much of the brutal ugliness of the Jewish state remains unknown to millions of Europeans and North Americans.
This is the reason that many people in the west are still buying the big, obscene lie that Israel is a western democracy which upholds basic human rights and civil liberties. But the facts on the ground are much uglier than many people think, irrespective of how vociferous and dogged Israeli Hasbara operatives get when defending and justifying Israeli misdeeds and crimes.
The truth of the matter is that institutionalized oppression, racism and terror against the Palestinians have always constituted and continue to constitute Israel’s modus operandi.
Israeli propaganda will concoct a thousand lies and point to a thousand red herrings to divert attention from the subject. They would invoke the holocaust, Auschwitz, Bergen Belsen, Treblinka, the Jewish origin of Christianity in an effort to justify or more correctly distract attention from the real issues.
(Treblinka is widely regarded as the second most important German wartime extermination center. Only Auschwitz-Birkenau is supposed to have claimed more lives. http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v12/v12p133_Allen.html
The misinformed and often gullible westerners believed that Israel has to behave the way it does because otherwise its very survival would be in danger.
But the truth remains sufficiently plain for anyone willing to call the spade a spade. The task is certainly not easy, but not quite impossible, provided one maintains a respectable degree of honesty.
There is no refuting the fact that Israel has illegally invaded Palestinian land, demolished their homes, destroyed their villages, burned their fields and then expelled them to the four winds.
The presence of Jewish settlers violates the requirements of the Fourth Geneva Convention regarding protection of civilian populations under occupation. International Humanitarian Law – Treaties & Documents Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949. http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/full/380
Jewish nationalist ideology, Zionism, led to claims on Palestine for the Jewish people. Zionism began in Europe, in reaction to pogroms in the east and assimilation in the west. Early in the 20th century, Zionist leaders began planning for Jewish settlement in Palestine, and the removal of the indigenous population. After Britain captured Palestine from the Ottomans in 1917, UK Foreign Secretary Balfour made a declaration promising to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine. This pledge was enshrined in the UK’s Mandate for Palestine under the League of Nations, which granted to the Jewish Agency the task of Palestine’s economic development.
The Holocaust transformed international attitudes on Palestine by creating substantial sympathy and support for the aspirations of surviving European Jews. In November 1947 the United Nations partitioned Palestine, awarding Jews – who were then only one-third of the population – over half of the territory. Arabs rejected the plan and fighting erupted almost immediately. Jewish forces were better organized and equipped; they quickly prevailed, expelling a majority of the Palestinian population in the process.
Israel’s Jerusalem Post newspaper published an article calling Israel “The New Golden Country” for young people from around the world. It reports that Israel boasts an ever-increasing GDP, a strong currency, and “a lower unemployment rate than the U.S.”
WOW!!!! How nice for them!
The article fails to mention the well over $3 billion a year that American taxpayers have given Israel for years, nor the fact that some of this money has been used to develop industries that compete with U.S. companies, costing thousands of American jobs and adding to the American unemployment rate.
The story also omits the fact that Israel has periodically stolen U.S. technology, hurting the U.S. economy still more, and fails to note that support for Israel has cost Americans in the range of $3-$6 trillion and that these costs continue to escalate. US taxpayers have contributed more to the Israeli defense budget than Israeli taxpayers. American taxpayers give Israel more to them than any other nation, despite the fact that Israel is smaller than New Jersey and is in the top 30 richest countries in the world.
The article reports that many young Jewish American singles “are realizing that their future is in Israel. Since 2002, over 7,000 students and young professionals have made aliyah from North America and the UK … bringing with them their skills.”
Many of these new Israeli citizens, the article reports, then “telecommute to their home countries, commute to Europe, or consult globally,” adding to Israel’s economy.
The Israeli story states: “Many students and young professionals are drawn by the incentive of free tuition for a bachelor’s or master’s degree,” comparing this to the United States, where obtaining a degree can put many into significant debt.
According to the article, “Israel sits, quite literally, at the nexus of the world.” The newspaper reports: “This tiny nation is not only in the geographical heart of the globe and at the center of international attention. Israel is also at the very core of innovation, a leader in global commerce and technology.”
Again, the story fails to report the U.S. subsidy of such “innovation.”
In the past 10 years alone, Americans have given Israel the equivalent of approximately $200,000 per Israeli family of five. In addition, there have been weapons subsidies, loan forgiveness programs, special trade preferences, and other generous gifts from American taxpayers to Israel. In fact, despite being one of the world’ smallest nations, Israel receives more U.S. tax money than any other country.
On top of this, a multitude of organizations contributing money and assistance to Israel have been given tax-deductible status in the U.S., removing still more money from the American economy. For example, donations to the “Birthright Israel” program that takes Jewish American students on fun-filled holidays to Israel, convincing many to then “ascend” to Israeli citizenship, are deducted from taxes owed to the U.S.
When Americans become Israeli citizens they retain their U.S. citizenship, allowing them to continue to vote in U.S. elections. Such dual citizenship used to be illegal in the U.S., where it was felt that a citizen could have only one primary national loyalty (for example, in a war or other situations where interests diverged between two nations, an individual would have to choose which to support). It was only after Israel became a nation and many Jewish Americans wished citizenship in both countries that a 200-year American tradition was changed.
The Jerusalem Post article also neglected to mention Israel’s attack on a U.S. Navy ship that killed and injured approximately 200 Americans and caused the ship to be scrapped. Despite all evidence to the contrary, Israel termed this a “mistake” and gave the U.S. $6 million “compensation” for a ship valued at $40 million.
While U.S. news media, which are highly Israel-centric in their coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict and portray Israelis as victims, the Jerusalem Post reports that “a recent Gallup survey on global well-being ranked Israelis seventh in the world in terms of happiness and satisfaction with their lives” (well ahead of the U.S.).
In considerable contrast, the Palestinian Territories, where the population has been living under Israeli occupation for almost 45 years, is listed as the 12th-lowest population in this well-being survey.
Miami Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the extremely pro-Israel head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee who has just introduced yet another bill on Israel’s behalf, has proposed that the U.S. end assistance programs to the Palestinian population, despite considerable poverty among Palestinian families, while continuing the American dole to Israel, even though Israel is listed among the world’s wealthiest nations.
The Jerusalem Post crows, “The back pages of daily newspapers are overflowing with last-minute vacation deals within Israel and abroad, and it is completely normal to find that your friend or coworker has just found a great deal to fly off to Europe for a long weekend.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to suffer a growing economic crisis, numerous Americans have lost jobs and homes, schools are being closed, businesses have gone bankrupt, and many military families are subsisting on food stamps.
An increasing number of Americans are calling for an end to U.S. taxpayer subsidies to Israel. Some go even further, suggesting that it is time to reverse the money flow and demand that Israel begin sending back some of the billions of dollars it has received from American taxpayers over the past 60-plus years.
According to the CIA World Factbook, Israel’s current account balance is 29th in the world; the U.S. comes in at 196th.
The London-based human rights organization, Amnesty International, published its 2012 report about the status of human rights all over the world.
Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories
The Israeli authorities continued to blockade the Gaza Strip, prolonging the humanitarian crisis there, and to restrict the movement of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the authorities continued to construct the fence/wall, much of it on Palestinian land, and to expand settlements, breaching international law. They demolished Palestinian homes and other facilities in the West Bank, and homes of Palestinian citizens inside Israel, especially in “unrecognized” villages in the Negev. The Israeli army frequently used excessive, sometimes lethal force against demonstrators in the West Bank and civilians in border areas within the Gaza Strip. Israeli military forces killed 55 civilians in the OPT, including 11 children. Settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank increased, and three Palestinians were killed by Israeli settlers. Israeli settlers and soldiers accused of committing abuses against Palestinians generally escaped accountability. The authorities failed to conduct independent investigations into alleged war crimes by Israeli forces during Operation “Cast Lead” in 2008-2009. The Israeli authorities arrested thousands of West Bank Palestinians. More than 307 were administrative detainees held without charge or trial; others received prison terms following military trials. Israel held more than 4,200 Palestinian prisoners at the end of 2011. Reports of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees continued.
International efforts to restart negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) failed. Israel opposed the PA’s application for full UN membership and temporarily withheld tax revenues due to the PA after Palestine became a full member of UNESCO.
Palestinian armed groups in Gaza fired indiscriminate rockets and mortars into southern Israel, killing two Israeli civilians (see Palestinian Authority entry); Israeli forces carried out attacks targeting Palestinians they deemed responsible. An Israeli high-school student was fatally injured in April when a missile fired from Gaza struck a school bus in the Negev. Eight Israeli settlers were killed by Palestinians in the West Bank, including one by PA security forces. Seven other civilians were killed in Israel, including six by armed militants who entered Israel from Egypt in August.
In October and December, Israel released 1,027 Palestinian prisoners, including some sentenced for killing Israeli civilians, in exchange for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit on 18 October. He had been held captive in Gaza and denied access to the ICRC by Palestinian armed groups since 2006. Israel also released 25 Egyptians in October in exchange for the release of an Israeli-US national imprisoned in Egypt.
From July to October, hundreds of thousands of Israelis participated in peaceful protests calling for lower housing costs and improved health and education systems.
Israel maintained its military blockade of Gaza, imposed in 2007, and closed the Karni crossing in March, leaving Kerem Shalom as the only entry point for goods, despite its lack of capacity. The blockade prolonged the humanitarian crisis faced by Gaza’s 1.6 million residents, more than 70 per cent of whom were dependent on humanitarian aid. A near-complete ban on exports continued, stifling the economy, and severe restrictions on imports fuelled shortages and high prices. The blockade constituted collective punishment – a breach of international law – and particularly affected children and the sick. The Israeli authorities hindered or prevented hundreds of patients from leaving Gaza to obtain medical treatment.
Egypt opened the Rafah crossing to Gazans in May, but strictly controlled movement into and out of Gaza. At least 36 Palestinians were killed in accidents in or Israeli air strikes on tunnels used to smuggle goods between Egypt and Gaza.
Israel’s navy blocked several international flotillas seeking to break the Gaza blockade. In September a UN Panel of Inquiry ruled that the naval blockade of Gaza was lawful but did not address the legality of the overall closure regime imposed on Gaza.
More than 500 Israeli military checkpoints and barriers continued to hinder Palestinians’ access to workplaces, schools and hospitals in the West Bank, and Israel continued its construction of a 700km fence/wall, mostly on Palestinian land within the West Bank, separating thousands of Palestinian farmers from their land and water sources. West Bank Palestinians with Jerusalem entry permits were allowed to use only four of the fence/wall’s 16 checkpoints.
Palestinians were denied access to areas surrounding Israeli settlements, established and maintained in breach of international law. The construction of settlements increased. Settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, had more than 500,000 residents at the end of 2011.
Movement restrictions compelled some 200,000 Palestinians from 70 villages to take detours between two to five times longer than the direct route to reach the closest city, undermining their access to basic services.
The Israeli authorities generally withheld construction permits from Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank, where Israel retains full authority for planning and zoning, impeding their right to adequate housing. The Israeli authorities intensified their demolition of Palestinian homes and other facilities in the West Bank that had been built without permits, demolishing more than 620 structures during 2011. Almost 1,100 Palestinians were displaced as a result, an 80 per cent increase over 2010; more than 4,200 others were affected by demolitions of 170 animal shelters and 46 cisterns. Vulnerable Bedouin and herding communities were particularly affected, with some at risk of permanent displacement due to severe restrictions on their movement, repeated demolitions and violence by settlers.
- In June, Israeli forces carried out repeated demolitions in Hadidiya, a herding community in the northern Jordan Valley, destroying 33 structures and making several families homeless. An appeal to the High Court of Justice resulted in a temporary injunction against further demolition orders that were issued in November.
The authorities also intensified demolitions of Palestinian homes inside Israel, particularly in officially “unrecognized” villages, where all construction is banned. In September, the cabinet approved plans to regulate “illegal” Bedouin construction in the southern Negev region; if implemented, these could lead to the forced eviction of thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel.
- Shacks and other structures in al-‘Araqib, an “unrecognized” village in the Negev, were demolished at least 20 times in 2011, following other demolitions in 2010. In July, the Israeli authorities brought a legal claim against the village residents seeking 1.8 million NIS (approximately US$500,000) to meet the costs of the repeated demolitions and evictions.
Israeli forces used live fire and other excessive force against Palestinian demonstrators in the West Bank and protesters at the Lebanese and Syrian borders, and to enforce the “exclusion zone” within Gaza and along its coast. They killed 55 Palestinian civilians in the OPT, including 11 children. Among them were 22 civilians, including nine children, killed by Israeli fire in Gaza’s land and sea restricted areas. The army initiated internal investigations into some of these incidents, but these were not independent or transparent.
- Up to 35 people were reportedly killed and hundreds injured when Israeli soldiers fired at thousands of Palestinian refugees and others who protested on 15 May and 5 June at the Lebanese border with Israel and the Syrian border with the Israeli-occupied Golan. Some protesters threw stones and some crossed the border in the Golan Heights, but demonstrators did not have firearms and did not appear to pose a direct threat to the soldiers’ lives. Israel disputed the numbers killed and the circumstances.
- Israeli soldiers regularly used excessive force against Palestinians demonstrating against the fence/wall, and those demonstrating against settlement expansion in the West Bank village of al-Nabi Saleh. On 9 December, they fatally injured Mustafa Tamimi, aged 28, who was struck in the face with a tear gas grenade fired at close range, in violation of military regulations, after he threw a stone at a military jeep.
In January, Israel’s Turkel Commission concluded that Israeli forces had not violated international humanitarian law when they attacked a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in May 2010 and killed nine Turkish nationals, but failed to account for the nine deaths.
The authorities again took no steps to conduct credible, independent investigations into alleged war crimes and possible crimes against humanity committed by Israeli forces during Operation “Cast Lead” in 2008-2009, in which hundreds of Palestinian civilians were killed, although a few military police investigations into specific incidents continued.
Israeli settlers and security forces accused of abuses against Palestinians generally escaped accountability. The Israeli authorities routinely opened investigations, but these rarely resulted in prosecutions. Yesh Din, an Israeli NGO, reported that almost 90 per cent of official investigations into alleged settler violence that it had monitored since 2005 were closed, apparently because of investigatory failures, and that only 3.5 per cent of complaints to Israeli military authorities made by Palestinians alleging rights violations by Israeli soldiers between 2000 and 2010 had resulted in indictments.
The Israeli authorities held at least 307 Palestinians from the OPT without charge or trial during 2011, under renewable administrative detention orders based on secret information withheld from the detainees and their lawyers. Three women administrative detainees were among the Palestinians released in exchange for the release of Gilad Shalit by Hamas.
- Writer and academic Ahmad Qatamesh was arrested in April and held under a six-month administrative detention order which was renewed in September; he was still detained at the end of 2011. He was a prisoner of conscience.
The Israeli authorities continued to bar families from visiting Palestinian prisoners from Gaza held in Israeli prisons, maintaining a policy in force since June 2007. Although more than 200 prisoners from Gaza were released during 2011, some 440 remained in Israeli prisons at the end of the year. Relatives of West Bank prisoners were also frequently denied visitor permits by the Israeli authorities on unspecified “security” grounds.
Palestinians in the OPT continued to be tried before military courts and routinely denied access to lawyers during pre-trial interrogation. On 27 September, Military Order 1676 raised the age of majority for Palestinians being tried before Israeli military courts from 16 to 18. Previously, 16 and 17 year olds had been tried by these courts on the same basis as adults. The new order failed to require that child detainees be provided with access to legal counsel during interrogation or that children over 16 be held separately from adults.
Allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, including of children, continued to be reported. Among the most commonly cited methods were beatings, threats to the detainee or their family, sleep deprivation, and being shackled in painful positions for long periods. Confessions allegedly obtained under duress were accepted as evidence in Israeli military courts.
- Islam Dar Ayyoub, aged 14, was arrested at his home in the West Bank village of al-Nabi Saleh at around 2am on 23 January. Blindfolded and handcuffed, he was transferred by military jeep via the nearby settlement of Halamish to the police station in the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, where he was interrogated for hours without the presence of a lawyer; he was not allowed to rest, eat, or go to the toilet. Information obtained from him during interrogation was used to incriminate al-Nabi Saleh protest organizer Bassem Tamimi (see below).
- In February, Gazan engineer Dirar Abu Sisi was forcibly transferred to Israel from Ukraine and held at Shikma Prison, near Ashkelon, where he was denied access to a lawyer for 25 days. In April, he was charged with developing rockets for Hamas’ military wing; the Israeli authorities said he had confessed but his lawyers alleged that his confession had been obtained under torture. He was still held, reportedly in solitary confinement, at the end of the year.
The Knesset, Israel’s parliament, passed laws restricting freedom of expression and association, including one which made it an offence to advocate a boycott of Israeli individuals or institutions in Israel or Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Another penalized commemoration by institutions or municipalities of the Nakba (catastrophe), a term used by Palestinians to describe their dispossession in 1948. The Knesset also discussed, but by the end of 2011 had not passed, proposed legislation to limit or prevent the receipt of funds from foreign governments by Israeli human rights NGOs, particularly those that provided information to the 2009 UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict.
Palestinian activists in the West Bank who mounted protests, some peaceful, against the fence/wall and the presence of illegal Israeli settlements continued to face arrest and trial before Israeli military courts. The Israeli authorities arrested at least 14 Palestinian journalists, two of whom were held as administrative detainees.
- In January, a military appeals court extended the sentence of Abdallah Abu Rahma, a non-violent activist against the fence/wall from the village of Bil’in, from one year to 16 months. He had been convicted of incitement and organizing illegal demonstrations on the basis of statements made by children under duress. He was a prisoner of conscience. He was released in March after serving his full sentence.
- Bassem Tamimi, a long-standing activist and peaceful critic of Israeli policies, was arrested on 24 March and later charged with organizing protests in the village of al-Nabi Saleh. He remained in custody as his military trial continued at the end of 2011. He was a prisoner of conscience.
The Israeli authorities continued to deny access to refugee-determination procedures to Eritrean and Sudanese asylum-seekers, who comprised about 80 per cent of the approximately 45,000 asylum-seekers in Israel. They were provided only with temporary documents and were not allowed to work or access public health and welfare services. Only a small number of asylum-seekers from other countries were granted refugee status.
Tough new measures to deter future asylum-seekers progressed through parliament. In March, the Knesset approved the first reading of an Anti-Infiltration Bill under which undocumented migrants and asylum-seekers would be liable to imprisonment for three or more years. In September, the National Council for Building and Planning published plans for a 10,000-bed detention centre for asylum-seekers near Israel’s border with Egypt. Despite an Israeli army decision in March to suspend the practice of “hot returns” of asylum-seekers entering Israel from Egypt without first checking their asylum claims, NGOs documented further cases of forced returns to Egypt until July.
At least three Israeli conscientious objectors were imprisoned during 2011 for refusing military service because they opposed Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.
The group accused Israel of a long list of violations, including torture, restricting movement, limiting freedom of speech, detaining people without charge or trial for prolonged periods as well as maintaining a siege that strangles 1.6 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
The truth of the matter, however, is that quasi-academic reports of Israeli human rights violation, even those published by respectable human rights groups, remain quite insufficient to fully communicate the ugly reality of the Israeli state. In the final analysis, Israel is sinking in a sea of racism, fascism (it doesn’t matter if it is blunt or insidious racism), oppression and terror. One Israeli cabinet minister declared that “we are already a fascist state.”
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Jewish circles, such as the Bnai Brith organization left no stone unturned, protesting a local Baptist minister who claimed that God didn’t hear prayers of Jews since Jews didn’t recognize Jesus as their personal lord and Savior. After an avalanche of protests, the priest apologized.
Today in Israel, there are prominent politicians and religious leaders who shamelessly claim that non-Jews are donkeys in human shape, whose lives have no sanctity and who are not entitled to human dignity. There are rabbis who issue fatwas or edicts allowing Jewish doctors to let non-Jews injured in a car accident die of their wounds rather than give them medical treatment.
Unfortunately, such scandalous abominations raise very few eyebrows in Israel. This happens at a time when Jewish leaders routinely, even innately, hurl the charges of hate and immorality at anyone and everyone who mentions Israeli criminality.
But so what? Israel and Jews have nothing to fear or worry about as long as the US, its government, congress, and media, are in the Jewish pocket. The fact that the powerful and intimidating Jewish lobbies have succeeded in morphing most American politicians into absolutely docile political WMD’s (whores of mass destruction) readily at Israel’s beck and call.
Interestingly, this had a profound insolent effect on Israel. It was rumored that former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon sought to silence Shimon Peres, then foreign minister, telling him “don’t worry about American pressure on Israel. We control the American people and the stupid Americans know it.”
Besides, the ruling elite in Israel seems to have discovered that the more extremist and the more criminal and murderous Israel becomes, the more support and backing it receives from a disgracefully pliant Washington.
It is difficult to explain this strange phenomenon from the point of view the political sociology or political psychology. The only plausible explanation is that Jewish money and power have thoroughly corrupted American political culture so much that the U.S. is sinking down the drain, definitely though no dramatically.
The Palestinian people may never be able to deliver themselves from the clutches of Zionist Israel as long as America remains thoroughly enslaved, beguiled and manipulated by world Zionism.
Zionism might soon switch alliance to China the moment China’s ascendancy to the helm of the world and America’s demotion to the status of second or third-class global power is asserted.
In any case, the peace and stability of the world depends to a large extent on the world community’s willingness and ability to check the cancerous growth and lebensraum of Zionism.
To be sure, Zionists will not raise the white flag upon the first clash with a determined world community that is serious about justice and peace; they are too powerful and too arrogant to do that.
However, a meaningful transformation in the willingness of the international community to check the Nazi-like Zionist hegemony and supremacy will definitely make Zionism think twice before pursuing it genocidal drive toward world domination.
Zionist Israel is based on oppression. It carries the seeds of its own destruction.
Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories: Amnesty International’s updated assessment of Israeli and Palestinian investigations into the Gaza conflict
Index Number: MDE 15/018/2011
Date Published: 18 March 2011
Categories: Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories
This document presents Amnesty International’s updated assessment of the Israeli and Palestinian investigations into allegations of crimes under international law committed during the 22-day conflict in Gaza and southern Israel between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009. It analyses some of the flaws in Israel’s system of investigations which are relevant to all the Israeli investigations conducted to date. Amnesty International concludes that both the Israeli government and the Hamas de facto administration have failed to conduct investigations that are credible, independent and in conformity with international law.
General Assembly Security Council
Tenth emergency special session
Agenda item 5
Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the
rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territor:
United Nations addressed to the
Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council Oct. 8, 2012
I regret to inform you that Israel, the occupying Power, is continuing its military campaign against the Palestinian people in the besieged Gaza Strip, in grave breach of international law, including international humanitarian law and the relevant provisions regarding the protection of civilians in armed conflict and the prohibition of reprisals and collective punishment against the civilian population under occupation. The intensification of Israel’s aggression against the Gaza Strip threatens to further destabilize the situation on the ground and to fully ignite yet another round of deadly violence. This demands the attention of the international community, particularly of the Security Council, which is duty-bound to act to maintain international peace and security.
The present letter is in follow-up to our previous 434 letters regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, since 28 September 2000. These letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (A/55/432-S/2000/921) to 6 September 2012 (A/ES-10/562-S/2012/689), constitute a basic record of the crimes committed by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people since September 2000. For all of these war crimes, acts of State terrorism and systematic human rights violations committed against the Palestinian people, Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.
U.S. tax dollars fund Israels crimes against humanity:
“U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel” characterizes the historical financial relationship, types of military spending and current trends.
Among the highlights of the report are:
- To date, the United States has provided Israel $115 billion in bilateral assistance. It is currently the second largest recipient of aid worldwide, with Afghanistan now first.
- The fiscal year 2013 budget request “includes $3.1 billion in Foreign Military Financing [FMF] for Israel and $15 million for refugee resettlement. Within the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s FY2013 budget request includes $99.8 million in joint U.S.-Israeli co-development for missile defense.”
- In January 2013, if the provisions in the Budget Control Act of 2011 hold and 8.5% of most discretionary spending is cut, the annual aid to Israel, if not exempted, would be reduced by roughly $263.5 million.
- In 2007, the Bush Administration signed a 10-year, $30 billion military aid package that raises Israel’s annual FMF grant from $2.55 billion to $3.1 billion.
- “The United States and Israel announced in 2010 that Israel will purchase 19 F-35s, the fifth generation stealth aircraft considered to be the most technologically advanced fighter jet ever made, at a cost of $2.75 billion. They will be paid for entirely using FMF grants…. As part of the F-35 deal, the United States agreed to make reciprocal purchases of equipment from Israel’s defense industries estimated at $4 billion.”
- In 2012 Israel’s portion of the total FMF account of the U.S. was 60%. Sixteen separate annual FMF grants to Israel represent 18-22% of the overall Israeli defense budget.
- The value of the U.S. materiel stored in Israel increased to $800 million in 2010 and is expected to rise to $1.2 billion. By agreement, Israel may ask for permission to use these arms and equipment, and the country drew on these reserves in its 2006 conflict with Hezbollah.
- “Over the past several years, the United States has sold Israel several variants of smart, ‘bunkerbuster’ bombs that could be used to strike buried targets, including the GBU-28 Hard Target Penetrator, a 5,000 pound-class smart bomb that can penetrate up to 20 feet of concrete.”
- In non-military aid, between 1973 and 1991, the United States gave $460 million for resettling Jewish refugees in Israel. Annually, this figure has been between $12 million and $80 million.
We now have more poverty, more hunger, more homeless in our own country and the numbers are incresing daily. We face cuts to our military, our social programs, our educational system and even Social Security and Medicare – and yet our federal government can give Israel $700 MILLION of our tax dollars?
And, yes, the timing is very suspect – on the very day that Romney visits Israel our president signs over $700 MILLION to the Israeli government for a short-range rocket shield!
The middle class in America is being absolutely shredded! “84 Statistics That Prove That The Decline Of The Middle Class Is Real And That It Is Getting Worse!”
Here’s another reason why-
AIPAC-Drafted US Aid to Israel Illegal
Israel’s nuclear weapons render it ineligible for US aid
September 24, 2012
The Israel lobby’s biggest and longest-running Washington boondoggles are the massive annual weapons and economic packages to Israel. Tightly coordinated campaign contributors (both individuals and political action committees) and the Israeli government’s own quiet demands manifest themselves within AIPAC-drafted foreign aid legislation. The U.S.-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012 forces Americans to fork hard-earned tax dollars over to Israel’s coffers on the pretext that it is in eminent danger. Yet declassified documents reveal that even the current prime minister once worked inside the state’s clandestine nuclear arms smuggling rings. Transferring foreign aid to the Middle East’s sole nuclear weapons state — which can obviously take care of itself — is not just unseemly and unnecessary. It is illegal.
AIPAC’s publicly available tax return [.pdf] reveals it has now become as seamlessly linked to its foreign principal as its parent organization — the American Zionist Council — was when it was finally ordered by the Kennedy administration to openly register as an Israeli foreign agent in 1962. AIPAC spent $1,541,572 maintaining its Jerusalem office. The office, led by Wendy Senor Singer, is described as the official location for daily meetings with senior Israeli government officials. It is also used to coordinate the visits of supplicant U.S. politicians with funding from a mysterious captive charity of no employees claiming to be an educational organization [.pdf]. The Israeli government’s desires are seamlessly transcribed into legislation at AIPAC’s headquarters in Washington — raising the perennial question why AIPAC is not registering as Israel’s foreign agent.
In relation to the sheer volume of American taxpayer dollars it transfers to Israel, on paper AIPAC is a rather thinly-funded and top-heavy organization. In its latest schedule of contributors, filed in late April and just obtained by special request from the IRS, AIPAC reported that only 1,949 individual contributors provided 61% of its $64 million in total contributions and grants.* The top-tier donors each gave on average $20,206, with the top donor chipping in an impressive $6,610,181. Although contributions to 501(c)(4) organizations like AIPAC are not tax-deductible, corporations and partnerships can write off contributions as a business expense. One AIPAC donor, an attorney in New York City whose confidential data the IRS didn’t successfully scrub, presumably paid AIPAC with funds from his law partnership, which AIPAC listed as the contributor’s address.
AIPAC claims in mandatory disclosures filed with the clerk of the House of Representatives over the same time period that it spent approximately 4% of its total budget on actual lobbying. AIPAC’s core lobbying mission hasn’t changed much since AIPAC’s founder left his Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs post in New York in 1951. Isaiah Kenen’s mission was to obtain U.S.-taxpayer-funded weapons and aid by lobbying from a Jewish Agency funded front group of “concerned Americans” rather than working openly as Israel’s officially registered foreign agent. In Kenen’s day, Israel first obtained massive amounts of surplus WWII conventional weapons simply by stealing or purchasing [.pdf] them to be scrapped and instead smuggling them from the United States in violation of the Arms Export Control and Neutrality Acts. The smuggling networks were established and funded by small numbers of wealthy Zionists who were curiously immune from criminal prosecution. When less enfranchised citizens later demanded warranted prosecutions, the Justice Department simply ignored them, establishing a policy that has held fast to the present day.
The AIPAC-sponsored U.S.-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012, signed into law by President Obama on July 27, 2012, makes unprecedented demands on U.S. taxpayers and diplomats. It mandates American economic largess to Israel via high technology, agriculture, medicine, health, pharmaceutical, and energy transfers. It demands funding for Israel Aerospace Industries (a corporation only recently linked to Israeli espionage activities against the U.S.) missile-defense programs and air-refueling tankers and munitions Israel could use to unilaterally set off a wider war with Iran. Israel even won a detour of used weapons from U.S. forces departing Iraq. The aid law extends already generous loan guarantees to Israel.
However, the package also requires the U.S. president to issue to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and House Committee on Foreign Affairs a report on the status of Israel’s “qualitative military edge” by Jan. 23, 2013. It is finally time for some hard truths. An honest presidential response to this AIPAC-mandated reporting rider would wipe clean all current and future U.S.-taxpayer-funded obligations to Israel. A truthful presidential assessment would finally tell the American people the following: “Israel has deployed a clandestine nuclear arsenal with some components and materials stolen from the United States. Our foreign aid laws therefore make Israel ineligible for further taxpayer dollars.”
Such a truthful declaration would turn the tables on AIPAC and its small group of donors now pushing Americans to steal from themselves by systematically violating the Symington and Glenn amendments to U.S. foreign aid laws. Ending aid would disentangle unwitting Americans from Israel’s unending conflicts, illegal settlements, systematized abuse of Palestinians, and clandestine nuclear proliferation in the Middle East.
*As reported in 2011, in previous years AIPAC filed contributor schedules with the IRS that improperly listed only two donor entries. After numerous complaints were made to the IRS, AIPAC has apparently been forced to again file proper schedules listing every contributor donating more than $5,000. by Grant Smith
Unconditional U.S. military assistance to Israel has contributed to this deterioration, sustaining the conflict and undermining the long-term security interests of both Israelis and Palestinians. This is made clear in the most recent 2011 State Department Country Report on Human Rights Practices covering Israel and the Occupied Territories, which details widespread Israeli human rights violations committed against Palestinian civilians, many of which involve the misuse of U.S.-supplied weapons.
“Continued U.S. military assistance to Israel offered without conditions or accountability,” the signers conclude, “will only serve to sustain the status quo and Israel’s military occupation of the Palestinian territories.”
The full text of the letter, dated Oct. 5:
Dear Member of Congress,
We write to you as Christian leaders representing U.S. churches and religious organizations committed to seeking a just peace for Israelis and Palestinians. Our organizations have been deeply involved in this pursuit for decades, inspired by the call and promise of Jesus Christ who said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
In response to our Christian call to be peacemakers, we have worked for decades to support both Israelis and Palestinians in their desire to live in peace and well-being. We have worked alongside our Palestinian Christian sisters and brothers to help build a peaceful and resilient Palestinian civil society by supporting hospitals, schools, clinics, and social service agencies. These ministries include cooperative efforts with Israelis and Palestinians as well as with Jews, Muslims, and other neighbors here in the United States. Through our presence in the region, and regular visits to our partners there, we see first-hand the impacts of the conflict on both Palestinians and Israelis and hear from them directly about the reality of their lives.
We have also witnessed widespread Israeli human rights violations committed against Palestinians, including killing of civilians, home demolitions and forced displacement, and restrictions on Palestinian movement, among others. We recognize that each party—Israeli and Palestinian—bears responsibilities for its actions and we therefore continue to stand against all violence regardless of its source. Our stand against violence is complemented by our commitment to the rights of all Israelis, as well as all Palestinians, to live in peace and security.
It is this experience and these commitments that lead us to write to you today to express our grave concern about the deteriorating conditions in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories which threaten to lead the region further away from the realization of a just peace.
Unfortunately, unconditional U.S. military assistance to Israel has contributed to this deterioration, sustaining the conflict and undermining the long-term security interests of both Israelis and Palestinians. This is made clear in the most recent 2011 State Department Country Report on Human Rights Practices covering Israel and the Occupied Territories, which details widespread Israeli human rights violations committed against Palestinian civilians, many of which involve the misuse of U.S.-supplied weapons.
(Weapons in this instance include “crowd control” items such as tear gas. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (P.L. 112-74) which is included in the US Foreign Military Financing regulations stipulates that “not later than 90 days after enactment of this act and 6 months thereafter, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations detailing any crowd control items, including tear gas, made available with appropriated funds or through export licenses to foreign security forces that the Secretary of State has credible information have repeatedly used excessive force to repress peaceful, lawful, and organized dissent.” )
Accordingly, we urge an immediate investigation into possible violations by Israel of the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act and the U.S. Arms Export Control Act which respectively prohibit assistance to any country which engages in a consistent pattern of human rights violations and limit the use of U.S. weapons to “internal security” or “legitimate self-defense.”
(While this letter focuses on US-Israel relations and the Israel-Palestine conflict, these are laws that we believe should be enforced in all instances regardless of location. All allegations regarding the misuse of US supplied arms should be investigated.)
More broadly, we urge Congress to undertake careful scrutiny to ensure that our aid is not supporting actions by the government of Israel that undermine prospects for peace. We urge Congress to hold hearings to examine Israel’s compliance, and we request regular reporting on compliance and the withholding of military aid for non-compliance.
In addition to specific rights violations, we see a troubling and consistent pattern of disregard by the government of Israel for U.S. policies that support a just and lasting peace. Specifically, repeated demands by the U.S. government that Israel halt all settlement activity have been ignored. Since 1967, every U.S. administration has decried Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories as obstacles to peace. Despite this stance, Israel continues to expand its settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, claiming territory that under international law and U.S. policy should belong to a future Palestinian state. The Oslo peace process, which began in 1993, was publicly promoted as leading Israelis and Palestinians to a just peace based on a two-state solution. Instead, since 1993, the number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, has more than doubled. Rights violations resulting from Israeli settlement activity include separate and unequal legal systems for Palestinians and settlers, confiscation of Palestinian land and natural resources for the benefit of settlers, and violence by settlers against Palestinians.
According to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem and the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, there has been a dramatic rise in settler attacks against Palestinians this year. They report that these attacks are often intended to drive Palestinians from areas the settlers wish to take over, and that Israeli authorities have failed to take significant action to stop the violence or hold the perpetrators accountable. We believe that these actions directly undermine peace efforts and threaten, rather than support, Israel’s long-term security interests.
We want to be clear that we recognize that Israel faces real security threats and that it has both a right and a duty to protect both the state and its citizens. However, the measures that it uses to protect itself and its citizens, as in the case with any other nation, must conform to international humanitarian and human rights law.
As Christian leaders in the United States, it is our moral responsibility to question the continuation of unconditional U.S. financial assistance to the government of Israel. Realizing a just and lasting peace will require this accountability, as continued U.S. military assistance to Israel — offered without conditions or accountability — will only serve to sustain the status quo and Israel’s military occupation of the Palestinian territories.
We request, therefore, that Congress hold Israel accountable to these standards by making the disbursement of U.S. military assistance to Israel contingent on the Israeli government’s compliance with applicable U.S. laws and policies.
As Israel is the single largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid since World War II, it is especially critical for Israel to comply with the specific U.S. laws that regulate the use of U.S.-supplied weapons. We also encourage Congress to support inclusive, comprehensive, and robust regional diplomacy to secure a just and lasting peace that will benefit Israelis, Palestinians, and all the peoples of the region, and the world.
With respect and gratitude, we offer you our prayers.
In addition to Parsons, the letter was signed by Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; United Methodist Council of Bishops President Rosemarie Wenner; Peg Birk, transitional general secretary of the National Council of Churches; Shan Cretin, general secretary of the American Friends Service Committee; J. Ron Byler, executive director of the Mennonite Central Committee U.S.; and Alexander Patico, North American secretary for the Orthodox Peace Fellowship.
Also, Diane Randall, executive secretary of the Friends Committee on Legislation; American Baptist Churches General Secretary A. Roy Medley; United Church of Christ General Minister and President Geoffrey A. Black; the Rev. Sharon Watkins, general minister and president of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); the Rev. Julia Brown Karimu, president of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Division of Overseas Ministries; the Rev. James A. Moos, executive minister for the United Church of Christ’s Wider Church Ministries; Eli S. McCarthy, justice and peace director for the Conference of Major Superiors of Men; and Kathy McKneely, acting director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.
|The central piece denied and evaded by Israel is the Nakba (“catastrophe” in Arabic) of 1948, when Palestinians were ruthlessly attacked, massacred and driven from their homes into refugee camps by Zionist terror groups, and never allowed to return in violation of international law. This is the deeply flawed foundation upon which Israel was established and upon which its entire subsequent society remains structurally unsteady, morally corrupt, legally culpable, and psychologically damaged. Israel has inevitably suffered from a “spoiled identity” (a concept of sociologist Erving Goffman) against which it defends by outright lies, hysterical accusations of “anti-Semitism” and other transparent defense mechanisms, and the consequences to its Palestinian victims remain tragic and ruinous.This pathological system has been aided and abetted by the United States, which stands alone in the world as a supporter and defender of Israel. Without understanding this pathological relationship, leading to an alteration in US policies toward Israel, no just or enduring solution will be possible.
This conflict is typically framed as a contest between “two sides” or “two narratives” that either blames the Palestinians as “terrorists” or implies a non-existent symmetry: equivalence of violence, blame for the conflict, suffering, legitimacy of claims, and responsibility for finding a solution.
In truth, the Palestinians are an invaded, dispossessed, occupied, brutalized, blockaded, and segregated people who have the right to resist under international law and have steadfastly done so for many decades in largely non-violent ways.
A fictitious account omitting Israeli lawlessness and ignoring the lonely and rightful Palestinian struggle for justice has been relentlessly recited and perpetuated by the American press and entertainment media under influence of the pro-Israel lobby and social influence network.
Rachel Corrie was a 23-year old American peace activist who was run over and killed by an Israeli on a bulldozer, on March 16, 2003 in Nablus, Palestine. Corrie was protesting Israel’s systematic destruction of Palestinian homes. http://www.israelvworld.com
Footage from Rachel’s interview conducted by Middle East Broadcasting Company on March 14th, 2003, two days before she was murdered by the Israeli Defense Forces.
Funding Genocide: Israel Receives Over $3BN Annually from US Taxpayers Despite Being One of World’s Richest Countries
The Israeli army’s chief of staff states that in the past three years, “US taxpayers have contributed more to the Israeli defense budget than Israeli taxpayers,” according to a report in the Jerusalem Post, a prominent Israeli newspaper.
According to the report,Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi made the statement during a speech on September 11th. In it he emphasized: “We must preserve ties with the United States. I believe this is a security necessity.”
According to the newspaper the speech was at the Calcalist Conference, which appears to be an annual event in Tel Aviv sponsored by the Calcalist newspaper, an Israeli Hebrew-only daily financial newspaper. It is is part of the group that publishes Yedioth Ahronoth, the largest circulation newspaper in Israel.
American taxpayers give Israel over $3 billion per year (over $8 million per day), more than to any other nation, despite the fact that Israel is smaller than New Jersey and is in the top 30 richest countries in the world.
Per capita, Israelis receive $10,000 more U.S. tax money than average.
Some of the other top recipients of US tax money, Egypt and Jordan, were provided this assistance in return for diplomatic recognition of the Israeli state.
According to the Congressional Research Service, Israel is given this money in a lump sum at the beginning of the fiscal year. Americans then pay interest on money they have given to Israel, while Israel makes interest on it.
In recent years Israel has reported a lower unemployment rate than the US and a better account balance.
Ashkenazi’s statements are extremely significant, since this is the first time that an Israeli leader has pointed out that American taxpayers pay more to Israel’s defense budget than do Israelis.
If the costs of the Iraq war, which was largely pushed by Israel partisans in the Bush administration, were added into the equation, the American tax money on behalf of Israel would quite likely dwarf the amount paid by Israeli taxpayers.
Some top economists predict that the cost of the Iraq war will be $3 trillion.
Israel has a population of about 7 million people.
Today, Israel partisans are similarly pushing attacks on Iran.
Ashkenazi and War Crimes Accusations
IN 2010 Turkey issued an arrest warrant for Ashkenazi for Israeli forces’ killing of 9 civilians, including one who held American citizenship.
On 27th December 2008, the suspect, Chief of Staff, ordered the Israeli army to attack densely populated areas in the Gaza Strip. For three weeks, 1,500 tons of bombs were dropped from the air on residential neighborhoods in Gaza and tens of thousands of artillery shells were fired from tanks. For 3 weeks, the army damaged and destroyed houses, schools, hospitals, infrastructure, water and electrical plants, killed more than 1,300 people, hundreds of them children, and injured about 5,300 people. Thousands of houses were bombed or shelled and 50,000 residents were made homeless, without shelter.
Prior to this, the suspect was part of a group, which implemented a siege on 1.5 million people in the Gaza Strip, denying them a regular supply of food, water, medicine, fuel and electricity for 18 months.
According to international law, it is absolutely prohibited to bomb residential areas in a way that interrupts the lives of civilians; to carry out executions without trial, to collectively punish; to destroy or damage hospitals, schools and homes. The prohibitions against collective punishment were enshrined in the Geneva Conventions after the behavior of the Nazis in Europe during World War II when they destroyed entire villages to punish residents for sheltering the resistance. 194 countries agree with the prohibitions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
In December 2008, a complaint was filed in the Hague against the suspect, on suspicion that he had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity for ordering the siege of Gaza.
Comment: The US is sending money to one of the richest and most warmongering nations in the world while the US economy is tanking, millions of children are living in poverty and the US infrastructure is crumbling. And in addition, the pathocrats are funding this transfer while threatening to make cuts to social welfare programs. See anything wrong with this picture?