The Daily Life of Kawther Salam
..: Future of the Relationship between Israel and the US ? :..
August 31, 2004
... I have direct knowledge of senators and congressmen being afraid to speak
out on Israeli issues because of AIPAC's reputation for targetting representatives
for un-election if they dare do so.
Illegal jewish settlers in Hebron. Each one of them is worth, to the U.S. government,
lavish subsidies, an M16 plus ammo, and the right to shoot and kill people indiscriminately.
Does the U.S. government allow U.S. citizens to own and bear assault weapons ?
Most of my readers are Americans, and I have received many manifestations of sympathy from Americans in the past. I write this article because you will soon vote for a new government. And I write because you Americans and we Palestinians have a matter of grave concern in common: Israel. As a Palestinian, I know enough of Israeli politics to know what to expect from them.
I also write because with your vote in the coming elections you can help to end the criminal behavior of Israel against Palestinians and at the same time help to correct some of your countrys problems, among them the bad reputation your country has gained because of your unrelenting support of this rogue nation.
You may not care much about Palestinians or human rights or even about Israel, perhaps you know nothing about all of this. But there are compelling reasons why you should know and care about your governments dealings with Israel. To care about the situation in Palestina is to care about your country and your community. A short explanation follows.
Israel and its "special relationship" with America need to be discussed in public by Americans urgently, but your politicians prefer to deal with this subject hidden away in expensive clubs and secretive offices, because they know that this "special relationship", while highly lucrative and favorable to Israel and themselves, is detrimental to the U.S. and to all Americans. I write to you because, while you Americans can still vote and to some degree influence the policies of your government, we Palestinians do not have this privilege.
The occupation of Palestine by Israel is total. Our government, our political institutions, media, banks, industry, commerce do only exist with the consent of the Israeli occupation and with the understanding that the interest of Israel will be served first. In addition to this, a vast network of spies, informants, collaborators, traitors, murderers has been set up in our society with the help of money, shame, intimidation. Almost nothing escapes their attention or control. And if all this does not help, they can shut down all activities in Palestine, anywhere and anytime, with the help of military checkpoints and arbitrary curfews.
In the same way, the occupation and subjugation of America by Israel is total. The difference is that you are not (yet) subject to arbitrary curfews and shootings at checkpoints. If you do not stand up to this danger, that is exactly what will happen in your country very soon. The American government, your political establishment, your military, justice, banking, media, commerce and other sectors of your society have been hijacked and subverted so as to serve Israeli interests in first place. No politician in your country can aspire to a career if he or she has not first been approved by pro-Israel interests, and these same interests actively prevent your politicians from taking any decisions which would favor you. Presidential candidates, senators and representants, government officials from all over the political spectrum in your country must swear by rote that they will "staunchly protect Israel" first and foremost. Just like for the traitors and informants in Palestine, it has become compulsive for your politicians and government officers to visit and swear eternal allegiance to Israel or to "find" a jewish ancestor, before any steps in their career can be undertaken. This is actually praised as espousing "Dual Loyalties".
President Bush seen praying at the wailing wall in Jerusalem in 1998, while he was governor of Texas.
Taken from page 18 of the Arabic edition of Newsweek Nr. 95 of 1998 (Credits: http://all.at/ahmed).
Lets us look at some numbers. The USA sends about $3 Billion (that is $3.000.000.000 written out, or three thousand million dollars) of fresh financial aid to Israel every year. This is about $10 for each American and about $600 for each Israeli of jewish faith (we Palestinians only get American aid in form political backstabbing, of bullets, tank shells and rockets shot at us), every year since about 1950. $10 may not look like much, but they are only part of the story, and then there are some other costs to Americans coming from giving money to these "friends", which may make you think twice before wanting to give even these $10.
But the estimated 3 Billion Dollars are not everything Israel gets from you. On top of that money, US taxpayers carry the costs to repay the debts the US government must incur in order be able to send this money to Israel. On top of that, the US signs as collateral for credits which the Israeli government takes up in the international financial markets. They sell "Government Bonds" and leave the American taxpayers to pay the debts incurred in this way when the bonds mature. This is written in law in the USA. It is known as "Cranston Amendment". And there is still more: Many private persons, companies and organizations make substantial donations to Israel, which are tax deductible, meaning that the cost of these "private" gifts are paid by you, the American taxpayer. It is also reported that many labor unions buy Israeli government bonds, meaning that the strike monies of these unions are used, at the expense of all American taxpayers, to make profits for the Israeli government.
The total financial cost of this "staunch support" to the US is thought to be between 5 and 10 Billion Dollars per year. So those $10 per year per American, which don't look like, much are probably more like $30 to $50 per American per year, but nobody knows for sure because nobody is supposed to know. To put the generosity of the US government in perspective, the hurricane which recently destroyed Florida reportedly caused damages calculated to be about $15 Billion, or fifteen thousand million dollars. The immediate help of the US government to Floridians reportedly was all of $2 Million.
The damage to you and your country goes further than just money lost to bad company. Through many "cooperation projects" actively promoted by pro-Israel institutions in the US as "opportunities to penetrate the Israeli market" or to make use of "the deep pool of know-how available in Israel", many American universities and high-tech companies get involved into joint ventures with Israeli partners. Fact is that Israel has no market of much interest. A country of about 5 Million whose main occupations are genocide against Palestinians, espionage and reportedly drug trafficking, and which otherwise subsists on the largesse of America and other countries, Israel has no sustainable economy of its own. A big part of the legit economy of Israel, tourism, was effectively shut down due to the first Intifada. While these cooperations may throw off some financial or other benefit for the American partners, a critical look will probably show that many of these "cooperation efforts" are but schemes to acquire technology and know-how generated in America. As many Israelis go to American universities, the technology and know-how they sell as "Israeli" may with some probability have been generated in the US. These technologies and know-how are then sold by Israel to American rivals, like for example India or China, or they are sold back to other American companies or to the American government. Americans pay for such schemes in the form of subsidies and in the form of jobs lost to the competition in far-away countries. All this makes valid the question: why set up joint ventures at a considerable risk in Israel if you can get the same benefits at home ?
One aspect which is probably never included in considerations of the American companies taking part in joint ventures in Israel is that American companies, just like German banks and companies who pay restitution until this day to survivors of the Holocaust 60 years ago, could become liable under international law and future national laws in different venues to pay restitution to Palestinian families upon whose robbed lands they have set up shop. While the Holocaust against Jews, for all its depravity, happened during a relatively short period of time, the genocide of Israel against Palestinians has been going on for over 50 years, and the crimes of Israel are ongoing as I write this. The moral debasedness of Israels genocidal actions against Palestinians is in every way equivalent to, or worse than, the crimes of Nazi Germany against Jews, and the world should strive to hold Israel and its supporters to the same standard to which Germany is still being held today: Never Again ! Most Palestinian families in the diaspora around the world do still have the legal titles of ownership for the lands and the keys of the houses which were stolen from them. Even if restitutions to Palestinians are symbolic or not awarded at all, such claims could more than ruin the reputation of a company or University.
In the same way as the name I.G. Farben is known until today throughout the world in disgrace for having made the Holocaust more "efficient", big names like Intel, Caterpillar or McDonnel Douglas, known to operate facilities in Israel or to supply weapons and equipment which Israel uses in its slow-motion genocide against Palestinians, could find themselves confronted with restitution claims from Palestinians while having their name associated with profiteering from the genocide of Palestinians. The insurance industry will in all probability seek to disassociate itself from business risks associated with the possibility of claims revolving around genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity. In any case, nobody should count on the current disgraceful state of injustice against Palestinians to remain forever in this way. Despite all current difficulties and vagaries of politics, some solution including the right of return for Palestinians must and will be envisioned. The US is probably near the financial and military breaking point right now, and it seems but a matter of time that their ability to continue supporting Israels crimes will cease to exist.
How Israel deals with civilians: here two IDF soldiers
detaining a Palestinian boy aged 12 (Credit: Al-Quds)
In the military sector, a similar picture emerges for anyone to see. In all the pictures you see here, the IDF uses only American equipment. Radios, guns, ammunition, airplanes, helicopters, ... and the technology behind this equipment are of American origin, the equipment is payed for by you through various military aid programs. It is reported that Israel not only receives the best and most advanced of US military equipment, but that they modify high-tech items like airplanes with control software developed in Israel, which makes these airplanes superior to the originals. While the Israeli technology is not given to the US, nations like China, Iran and India are reported to be developing airplanes based on US technology they acquired in some form through Israel. It is known that Israeli units train together with American Units, and that the Israeli IDF has training camps in the US. While Israel acquires knowledge of military matters developed by the US military at the expense of US taxpayers, the IDF, not having much real battle experience, can only teach their American counterparts techniques for repression of mostly unarmed civilians, which they have developed during the decades of abuse and crime against Palestinians. These "techniques" of terror are considered crimes of war and crimes against humanity in most parts of the world. Scandals recently reported in the media worldwide, like the concentration camp at Guantanamo, torture of prisoners at Abu-Ghraib, and the behavior of US troops against civilians in Iraq are some examples of what this "technology transfer" between your military and their israeli counterparts has brought to the US. Do not think that the same methods of repression and terror which Israel has developed in their genocide against us Palestinians will not be used against you one day soon.
IDF detains and humbles an old Palestinian. Will Americans soon
be treated like this by the US Army ? (Picture Credit: Al-Quds)
You may think that taking your money by the truckload, corrupting your politicians and government officials, hijacking your political process and your economy and endangering your workplace is enough, that for all your support and endurance, your country would get back some proof of loyalty. That is not the case. While writing this, the latest scandals of Israel spying against the US has come to the public attention. And there is a long history of Israel spying against your country, even shooting your troops when they stood in the way of Israel. While somehow Israelis involved in crimes against your country somehow always manage to get away scot-free, the voices implying Israel in the 9/11 crimes do not stop, and a high Israeli politician stated shortly after this disaster that Israel would benefit greatly from its horrible crime. After almost three years, those who attacked your country have not been found, and your government has stated that this is not important. Instead, you now have two wars which are of no benefit at all to your country.
American troops are still stationed in Afghanistan and nobody knows why or for what, and in March of last year the US invaded Iraq. Various "Israel First" figures have been reported stating that this war is for the benefit of the Israel Likud party, who at once needed a disintegrated Iraq and coveted its oil. Currently, plans are underway to build an oil pipeline between Iraq and Haifa in Israel. The price to the US taxpayer ? About $130 Billion and counting only for the Iraq war, plus irreparable damage to the image and the standing of the US all over the world, plus increased danger to Americans everywhere. But not even that is enough for your special friends in Israel. At the time of this writing, American commentators warn that the same gang of pro-Israel war profiteers and criminals esconced high in your government, who pushed for the invasion of Iraq at any price, are now pushing for a war against Iran which could result in a nuclear shootout between the US and Russia. It is not like they, or Israel, would pay the consequences.
Jewish squatters in Hebron. Each one of them gets at least $600 of American tax money per
year. Would these people be allowed at home in the US to block a main street just to pray ?
You may want to know what is done with all this money which goes to Israel. The main result of the generosity of your government is that Israel has an overblown military, out of proportion with any legitimate defense needs of the country. Israel uses this excessive military capacity not only to commit genocide against my people and protect a minority of depraved religious extremists, but to continuously threaten all neighboring countries as well as Europe and lately Iran.
Another result of the generosity of your government and the priorities set by Israel for you is that Americans find themselves increasingly deprived of access to affordable public services like housing, medical care, unemployment and retirement money. Money which could be invested in making housing, quality schools or medical service affordable to you is being thrown after Israel by the truckload or spent in wars which your military fights for Israel. While many americans must sleep on the street because affordable housing is less and less affordable, your government is giving money to finance more and more posh but illegal "settlements" for jewish religious extremists on Palestinian lands. While extremists who proclaim "truths" like "The difference between us and the Goys is greater than the difference between Goys and cattle" get beautiful houses on the stolen hills of Palestine with help of your money, veterans from various American wars sleep on the street, find their food in trash bins and receive no medical treatment.
You may have heared of the plan by the current israeli government to vacate some of the illegal settlements in Gaza. Well, one part of the discussion relates to compensation to be given to the poor squatters who will have to leave for Israel proper. The compensation discussed is between three hundred thousand and five hundred thousand dollars for each house. There are thousands of houses in the jewish settlements in Gaza, and the squatters are constructing many shacks which would be subject to be compensated the same as a full house. The bill for these compensations will most probably be footed with US tax money. Has your government ever given you, or anybody who you know, half a million dollars just for the asking ?
Perhaps you think that the generosity of the US government helps the average Israeli. It does not. Most of the American largesse is spent by Israel in weapons and war-related activities, and for benefit of the jewish terrorists who squat in Palestinian territory. Reportedly, an increasing percentage of Israelis live under the poverty line. While the squatters in Palestinian terrirory are doing just fine, many Israelis have to fish their food out of garbage cans, just like so many Americans neglected by their government.
Perhaps the most damaging result of the stubborn support for Israel is that the USA, and not only the government, is increasingly seen around the world as bankrolling a rogue country which knows no solution to social issues but extreme violence. The continued support of Israel and its genocidal policies is perhaps the principal factor contributing to the decay of american prestige around the world, not only in Muslim countries.
What you can do for your country
It does not matter for who or for which party you vote. If by now you are convinced that the relationship between your country and Israel is not in your best interest, there are some things you can do:
* Talk about these issues with friends, neighbors, in your church, ...
* Question your senators and representatives about the money they receive from pro-Israel lobbyists. Ask them in very clear terms to stop accepting money from pro-Israel lobby groups.
* Ask your Senator/Representative or Candidate why they are voting to give money to a country which has brought so many troubles to America while Americans are going to sleep hungry.
* Find out about pro-Israel lobby groups active near you, and ask them explain their activities to you. Ask them about the legality of their activities. Write down what they tell you and discuss it with friends or a lawyer.
* Tell your Senator/Representative or Candidate that you will only vote for them or give money to finance their campaign if they will first pledge in public to not vote for any laws clearly benefitting Israel before America.
* If your Senator/Representative or Candidate has taken money from pro-Israel lobby groups, ask them if he or she will consider giving this money back. Explain that you will only give them your money or your vote subject to this condition.
* Ask your political Senator/Representative or candidate if he or she knows for sure whether the pro-Israel lobby groups from which they received money were in compliance with all laws and regulations regarding the activities of foreign influence groups in your country at the time they received this money.
* Ask your political Senator/Representative or Candidate to pledge to introduce a resolution or bill to measure Israels actions by the same standards by which it measures other countries actions.
* If you are a Jew, please stand up to the bullying of the pro-Israel influence groups. Make your voice of opposition to their shameless actions heared. Do not let these people continue smearing your good name and hide behind their and your jewishness. If israel has any right to continue existing as a country in Palestine, they should show it in a peaceful way. Nobody has any intention of "throwing Israel into the sea" but the extremist fringe, a minority like everywhere.
* Vote !
* Give money to your preferred candidate, but dont give away your money for just a warm handshake !
Find out how to contact your Senator or Representative.
WRMEA has more information about the politicians who make Americas "special relation" with Israel look legal.
This site has more information about other aspects of the US support to Israel.
A list of politicians who are known to have taken money from pro-Israel influence groups is here.
I wish you the best luck for your future and whatever you decide to do.
What does the American first family think of you ?