You're Paying for That War in Gaza

Don't ask whether the U.S. will get involved—ask how it's involved already.


Your taxes, but not your war budget.
War Production Co-Ordinating Committee

Of all the ways to frame America's role in the latest war between Israelis and Palestinians, the most bizarre might be the Bloomberg headline "Will the U.S. Get Involved in Israel-Gaza Conflict?" What do you mean will, folks? The U.S. has been deeply involved with this war from the beginning, because the U.S. is underwriting it.

Sen. Rand Paul has been pushing a bill to eliminate America's aid to the Palestinian Authority. I have seen no comparable attempt, though, to remove the much more substantial assistance that the U.S. gives to Israel: more than $3 billion a year, almost all of it for military purposes—about a fourth of Jerusalem's military budget. Bloomberg's video segment acknowledges the aid, yet somehow the site's editors came up with that headline, instead of, say, "The IDF's Biggest Benefactor Mulls What to Do Next."

You can read a detailed breakdown of where that aid goes in the Congressional Research Service's April report on the subject. Some critics of Israel's actions in Gaza might be tempted to parse the document for which sorts of assistance they approve of and which they don't, distinguishing a defensive project like Iron Dome from the weapons currently killing civilians. But money is fungible, and every sheqel that Washington donates to an anti-rocket system frees up a sheqel to be spent elsewhere. (Israel could certainly afford Iron Dome on its own.) The most relevant figure is the total amount.

You hear two sets of arguments for the aid packages. The first is the one you'd expect: With some exceptions, which we'll note in a moment, people who back Israeli policy tend to want America to fund it. The second comes from the folks who feel the aid gives Washington leverage that it can use to work for peace. America's checks do give D.C. a greater ability to insert itself into the conflict, a fact that has led a number of Israel's supporters as well as its critics to call for ending American aid. (Needless to say, that doesn't mean they'd want the money to stop while the war is in progress.) Despite that power, Washington's ability to tamp down the tensions has been, shall we say, rather limited. As my colleague Shikha Dalmia wrote a few years ago, "If money could buy peace, Israelis and Palestinians would now be holding hands and singing kumbaya." Instead we've been subsidizing war.

I have my own notions about what a just peace in the Levant would entail. But I have no illusions about Washington's willingness or ability to impose such ideas, and I know that positive developments that last are most likely to emerge from the actions of people who actually live in the region. The best thing we can do to encourage that is to pull our fingers—and our funds—out of the conflict.

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  1. Oh boy, this is going to start a completely rational discussion.

    1. You’re the main instigator, shithead.

      1. Playa Manhattan, skeptical of government and its agencies, unless they are Israeli!

        1. Yup, that sounds like the starting point for a completely rational discussion to me.

          1. And yet calling someone a sh*thead sparked no interest.

          2. Fuck you.

            There, I feel like I’ve steered this back to civil and enlightening discorse.

            1. Hitching your mind to a political TEAM is a pretty sad thing, but hitching it to a ‘internet community’ is exponentially more sad.

              1. Where does “trolling an Internet forum I don’t have anything in common with” fall on your asshole-sadness scale, Bo?

                1. I’m a libertarian, active member of the LP and can’t recall disagreeing with a Reason writer since I’ve been coming here.

                  The real question is why so many self professed non-libertarians who often criticize the Reason writers (as ‘cosmos’ and worse) hang out here all day.

                  1. Um I hate to break this to you, but the LP doesn’t represent all libertarians and especially many on this site that are more AnCap-ish than minarchists, which is where the LP tends to fall.

                    Also, the LP doesn’t represent about half of the libertarians I know when it comes to abortion, circumcision and a plethora of other issues.

                    Take,your,LP credentials and shove them up your ass, contrarian.

                    1. Aw, come on sloopy! Bo is a True Libertarian!

                    2. “but the LP doesn’t represent all libertarians ”

                      No, just the philosophically consistent ones.

                      But again, that’s beside the point, which is that I agree with our hosts and many here critical of me do not. What are they doing here?

                    3. No, just the philosophically consistent ones.

                      See? He’s a True Libertarian because he agrees with people who are True Libertarians! Go TEAM!

                    4. So to be philosophically consistent, we have to be pro life, anti death penalty and change our views like the party did when they nominated Barr, again when they nominated Root and a third time when they nominated Gary Johnson.

                      Sounds like the party has a much bigger problem with philosophical consistency than the individuals on here do.

                    5. I’m not talking consistency on anything other than the platform.

                    6. You’re trying to tell me that the LP has a more consistent platform that each of us individually has had over the past couple of decades?

                      Hahahahahaha. That’s fucking hilarious. Totally fucking hilarious if you’re being serious. Because I can assure you my morals have not changed a bit in the past two decades and neither have my political or social beliefs.

                  2. can’t recall disagreeing with a Reason writer since I’ve been coming here

                    And you call yourself a libertarian? I don’t think even reason staff would expect obeisance.

                    1. We’re a contrarian lot, but agreement doesn’t mean obeisance.

                    2. Reason staff disagree with each other; anyone who claims to never disagree with them has no thoughts period, or is a liar.

                    3. I’m saying I’ve yet to see one I disagree with in my year posting here.

                  3. You’re an active member of the LP, call them “philosophically consistent” and made this comment at the same time:

                    Bo Cara Esq.|7.21.14 @ 1:38PM|#

                    Hitching your mind to a political TEAM is a pretty sad thing, but hitching it to a ‘internet community’ is exponentially more sad.

                    So,which is it? Are you sad for hitching your mind to,team LP. Or are you just being philosophically consistent? Please show your work.

                    1. I’m more than willing to criticize the LP when it blunders, for example it does so strategically all the time. And I don’t attack someone who is not in the LP while ignoring the exact same thing in a LP member.

                    2. So,you,can criticize the LP when it blunders but we can’t criticize reason writers when we think they do?

                      Hmmm. Perhaps if reason offered a paid service such as a subscription then we could criticize them like a dues-paying LP member can criticize his,party.

                      Well I donate a lot annually and I think that gives me every right to complain just as your paid membership in the LP (I let mine lapse after they made a fucking disaster out of the best presidential candidate they’ve had in forever) let’s you gripe about them.

                      You’re starting to spin like a top in this thread, Bo. It may be time for you to disappear for a while.

                    3. Wait, what!?! The LP made a disaster out of Gary Johnson?

                      I watched the campaign closely and thought he did that to his own self…

                  4. “can’t recall disagreeing with a reason writer since…”

                    Really? There are numerous examples of Reason Writers taking diametrically opposing views of the same subject. Your normal mode is to come on here to argue pedantic points and troll.

                    That’s why you get called names and told to fuck off.

                  5. I’m a libertarian, active member of the LP and can’t recall disagreeing with a Reason writer since I’ve been coming here.

                    If everyone is thinking alike some one is not thinking. I nominate you.

              2. I see it the other way around, Bo. A TEAM member is either a crony or a useful idiot, after all.

                Chilling in on-line discussions, well, certainly doesn’t make you a crony, and may or may not be an act of useful idiocy.

                1. Chilling is fine, but witness Old Man and Sloopy here:

                  Outsider: This is not going to be a rational discussion.

                  Insider: You’re a sh*thead!

                  Outsider: Ah yes, the skeptic of government speaks!

                  Old Man/Sloopy: Ah-ha outsider, you aren’t being very rational!

                  It’s like the second post just whiffed by them.

                  1. Maybe we just took offense to your smarmy accusations that we can’t hold a rational discussion on a very divisive issue.

                    And how does something “whiff” by someone?

                    1. And how does something “whiff” by someone?

                      Like a white plastic ball with holes in it.

                    2. Like a white plastic ball with holes in it.

                      Wouldn’t that wiffle by someone?

                    3. It would fly by while the person whiffed at it.

                      Unless Bo is talking of another definition of whiff. Like ” the whiff of Tony and Bo went past us like a rotten sulphur fart on a hot, summer say.

                    4. I lol’ed out loud at that.

                    5. So you LOLOLed??

                    6. The fact the comments sections of Libertarian websites have nothing to do with the subject at hand seems to only lend credence to the argument that Libertarians are just a punch of young white (95%+ of libertarians are white, less minorities than the GOP and that says something) kids.

                      Let me be the first to discuss the issue at hand and say that, Rand Paul, unlike most libertarians understands BABY STEPS are needed for any great shift in policy. Cutting off funding for our enemies, like Palestine, is a good first “baby step” in the right direction. If you try to take a huge LEAP and cut off funding for everyone, enemies AND allies, you will lose all support.

                    7. Sloopy, this whole comments section is proof of those accusations. Bunch of cussing, ridiculous talk and so forth. It also gives credence to the “accusations” that Libertarians are just white potheads. Once they stop smoking pot, get a family, go to church/mosque/whatever, or get a job they become conservatives or liberals generally depending on the family/faith/job they have.

                      It generally stems from the realization that free markets only work when good morals are in place. Take strict morality out of the marketplace and fraud/corruption takes root (i.e. third world markets).

    2. You’re right, Bo. Your comment really did start a completely rational discussion. Congratulations.

      Oh by the way, I’m still waiting on your reply to the cigarette sub thread in the AM Links.

      1. I haven’t been online in a few hours and didn’t see your question, but you’ve obviously been obsessing over it for hours, so what was it?

        1. You can start with your idiotic and irrelevant comment and go from there.


          1. Just pose your question, I’m not going on a link trip.

            1. “Please find an American tobacco ad post-1976 where a claim was made as to the health benefits of smoking. Now, show how that had a profound and lasting impact on the victim in the face of all other evidence at the time that showed the physical dangers and potential harm that smoking causes.

              After that, go fuck yourself.”

              -sloopyinva (previously-inca), 10:03 AM

              1. I don’t endorse anything in the above quote.

              2. As is often the case the question is framed in a stilted way. Tobacco companies lied about their products being healthy for decades, and then later they lied about how bad they were for you. They acknowledged strategies to engage in deceptive advertisements in their own internal memos and such.

                Saying ‘my product is healthy for you’ is one way to misrepresent the truth, but ‘my product is not healthy for you, but this new version is not that bad’ is another.

                As to justifiable reliance, that’s proved at trial.

                1. So,them saying they have a new and better filter (that was approved by the FDA as new and better) and posting the surgeon generals warning on every ad still counts as misrepresentation?

                  I’ve changed my mind about you. You’re going to make a great attorney. Because you are an amoral jackass that would abrogate a clients responsibility in an effort to steal money that they are not entitled to for something that happened to them for engaging willfully in a fair and legal transaction.

                2. Also, I asked you to find a specific ad that would show deception and fraud that would lead a reasonable person to take up and continue smoking. And I’m still waiting for it.

                  1. An ad deceptive about how their product is less bad than it really is fits that bill. Like a deceptive food label that says ‘with less fat’ or something similat

                    1. If it has less fat than their previously packaged product then it is on no way deceptive. Especially if it has a very prominent ad from the government saying that the product is dangerous.

                      You don’t think there is such a thing as personal responsibility, do you? You really believe people should not be responsible for their own actions when they consciously purchase and ingest a product with a giant warning label on the package that says the product is bad for you.

                      You’re no libertarian. I’m sorry, and I hate to pull a “no true” argument out here, but there is no libertarian person in the world that would not say the user is wholly responsible for his,own actions…especially after the SG warning was put on every pack of smokes. You belong over on HuffPo or KosKids with all the other responsibility-dodgers.

                    2. there is no libertarian person in the world that would not say the user is wholly responsible for his,own actions


      2. “Bo Cara is a great debater. He has a sharp mind and is highly persuasive. He is very likable and will make a great lawyer someday”

        -Nobody, ever.

        1. Lol!

          Q) What do you call someone who graduates at the bottom of their class in law school?

          A) “Your honor.”

          Bo is on his way to a judgeship.

          1. I don’t know what is more sad: Playa’s playground level retort ‘no one likes you anyway!’ or sarcasmic channeling his inner 14 year old with Lol!

            1. I can tell you what is more sad: That someday someone may be paying your stupid ass for legal services. That is sad. Really sad.

              1. I doubt it. Assuming he ever argues in a courtroom, he is going to end up in cuffs on a contempt charge. Part of being a good lawyer is knowing when to shut your fucking mouth.

                1. What about Al Pacino in And Justice for All?

                  1. This whole thread is out of order!

                2. “knowing when to shut your fucking mouth.”

                  How many posts do you have in this one sub thread? The lack of self awareness is stunning

            2. Here’s a clue for you Bo: When nobody likes you, it’s probably you not them.

              1. He’ll never acknowledge that. It’s part of his defense mechanism. His panties are always the whitest and freshest smelling, but other people just can’t see it!!!

                1. And the nice, 8th grade homophobic retort, he’s got all the bases covered.

                  Look, if you went to Daily Kos or even the Volokh Conspiracy you’d probably find few that liked you. It would probably have more to do with people disliking your strange Team Red version of libertarianism than with you, and I imagine you’d understand it that way.

                  1. 8th grade homophobic retort


                    Do kids not say “panties in a twist/bunch” anymore?

                    And technically that’d be more sexist than homophobic. He didn’t say jockstrap or European-cut man-briefs or something.

                    1. Don’t confuse Bo with facts.

                    2. Talking about a mans ‘panties,’ yeah nothing homophobic there!

                    3. I wouldn’t get your panties in a twist on this, Bo. “Panties” is a colloquial diminutive for underwear, not a gay thing. If anything he’s calling you a girl not a fag.

                      Doubling down on the gay thing just makes it seem like you believe panties and homosexuality are inextricably linked, which would be …annoying.

                  2. Panties,is,a,homophobic,slur now?

                    Jesse, can we get a ruling on this?

                    1. Jesus sloop, you’ve caught db-itis.

                      I know of more straight guys who wear gf’s or wife’s panties than gay guys who wear panties, but I couldn’t tell you comparative population distribution. It would never occur to me that making a panties reference would be a homophobic remark unless someone went out of their way to make it one: “I bet you wear panties because you like men!” which would just be retarded.

                    2. Yeah, my space bar to accidental comma ratio has reached Michael J Fox levels.
                      Your point still stands and I also suffer from the dreaded no-refresh syndrome too apparently.

                      I guess it’s just not my fucking day.

                  3. Look, if you went to Daily Kos or even the Volokh Conspiracy you’d probably find few that liked you


                    Tulpa (LAOL-VA)|10.13.13 @ 1:52PM|#

                    It only shows that there are multiple commenters who toss insults about because they can’t argue their way out of a paper bag.

                    If you went to Kos and made libertarian comments, dozens of people would accuse you of being a troll too.

            3. I don’t know what is more sad: Playa’s playground level retort ‘no one likes you anyway!’ or sarcasmic channeling his inner 14 year old with Lol!

              Fight fire with fire.

              You are a complete fucking pedantic asshole, who likes the sound of his own voice, always needs to be the center of attention and has a psychological problem admitting he’s wrong. You are an arrogant little child-man. You are like arguing with a 14yo.

              People have given up trying to reason with you because you are unreasonable. You have made yourself the object of their disdain and they are treating you as you’ve forced them to.

              You won’t argue in good faith and it’s much easier to call you a fucking asshole and be done with it. And don’t delude yourself…people aren’t avoiding arguments with you because you are good at it…it’s simply because you are a fucking asshole and you aren’t worth the time.

              1. But, but, but Bo’s mom said he’s the most cleverest ever, and the only reason anyone might not like him is their being jealous of his most cleverest cleverness! HIS MOM SAID SO!

                1. Perfect sarc.

                  Bo is THAT kid.

                  I’m betting only child raised by his overprotective mother.

                  Think Thrones Robin Arryn sucking his mother’s tit at the age of 10.

                2. Well, I have to admit that this wasn’t the hundred comment thread I was expecting on this article…

    3. Bo, I agree with the sentiment, but you are about the last person with the credibility to say that.

      1. Do you see even an equivalency between people calling someone a sh*thead, *ss, etc., and my responses?

        1. Ooh, ooh, I’d like to buy a vowel!

        2. Bo if you seriously think that your arguments in these threads have been totally rationally based, then you really need to take some time to take a good long look in the mirror, so to speak. “They did it too!” is not a valid defense.

          1. What should my rational response be to someone calling me a ‘sh*thead’ right out the gate?

            1. You made the first post in this thread. You got called a shithead for that, because your comment implies that you had absolutely nothing to do with those past threads not being rational debates.

              1. I think that holds me to a standard not being applied generally here

                1. If you didn’t pretend to hold yourself above others then I wouldn’t be holding you to any standard. You set the standard with your first comment in this thread

            2. You made your bed. Lie in it.

        3. So pathological, Bo. Cali offered you a muted olive branch, and you can’t help but shit all over it.

          1. You’re deranged. I asked him a question.

            1. Bo, on the cigarette issue, no. You’re wrong and sloop is right.

              1. Hey Libertymike ~ I finally caught Ray Lewis’ role as an NFL commentater on ESPN last December and you were right: he’s a very interesting speaker.

                (Remember I had serious doubts of his capabilities…)

  2. It should be our explicit aim to terminate all governmental aid to all foreign nations, no matter where they are. That includes Israel.

  3. Isn’t there some kind of league rule against one owner having two teams?

  4. What are we actually getting for that money? Intel we can’t get ourselves? “Wet” work? Arms purchases? A useful proxy to keep the oil flowing? Secret bagel recipes?

    And what form does the aid take? Loan guarantees, direct aid… what?

    1. According to scripture, the Rapture will happen after the Chosen People take back the Promised Land!

      So we’re hastening the Prophesy!

      1. “God” is in control of the timing of the “Rapture”, not Rick Warren or Glenn Beck

    2. The spending on Israel generates additional money in the form of campaign contributions to politicians. I expect every million in aid produces a few thousand in contributions.

      Additionally, a portion of the aid returns to the U.S. in the form of purchases from the U.S. arms industry (this is true of much foreign aid and not unique to Israel).

      For little people like you and me, it’s like ten bucks extra in taxes per year.

    3. I had a similar question.

      assistance that the U.S. gives to Israel: more than $3 billion a year, almost all of it for military purposes?about a fourth of Jerusalem’s military budget.

      I looked it up and Israel had expenditures of ~$75B in 2011. Unless that $3B takes the form of something like direct military aid (it may for all I know) I was wondering how to make sense of Jesse’s statement “…almost all of it for military purposes…” Money is fungible after all…

      1. My understanding (from a decade ago) is that the aid permits the Israeli state to maintain the settlements on the West Bank. That absent such aid, the Israelis would have to cut their welfare state, give up the settlements or endure massive inflation.

        I haven’t paid any attention to the situation for 10 years, so I don’t know if that’s true still.

        1. Their high tech economy has been booming. I doubt they are really reliant on our aid now.

      2. I was wondering how to make sense of Jesse’s statement “…almost all of it for military purposes…”

        I mean that it is provided for the purpose of aiding the Israeli military. The CRS report that I linked to in the post has the details.

        1. Put money is still fungible. Without the aid, Israel would probably spend just as much on the military, which is good. It is their welfare state we prop up, not their awesome military.

  5. The second comes from the folks who feel the aid gives Washington leverage that it can use to work for peace.

    Doesn’t seem to be working, does it?

    For the record, I’m on board with cutting off all aid to foreign nations, whether cash or in kind. That includes closing overseas bases.

    1. Doesn’t seem to be working, does it?

      We successfully bought off Egypt with aid monies. So it’s at best mixed results for an expensive program.

  6. Watching TV people defend Israel basically from a script is painful. They look like they’re experiencing pain. Pushing that much bullshit through a mouth hole would do that, I guess.

    1. Well, at least people defend the Israelis aren’t marching on mosques, torching cars, or rioting.

      So, there’s that.

      1. Yeah, they’re too busy funnelling billions in shells to be dropped on kids on beaches.

        1. You’re a mendacious cunt. You are exactly like the hoplophobes who get off on school shootings and cannot wait to wield the bodies of dead children as political cudgels.

          1. How much does Canada spend on Israel?

    2. I think it would be even more painful to watch islamofascists rain rockets down on civilians while Israel sits there and does nothing, don’t you agree?

      1. Violence only counts as terrorism when it’s poorly funded.

        1. That’s far and away the smartest thing you’ve ever said.

          That’s not saying much though…

        2. Ha. I might be stealing that bon mot.

    3. Pushing that much bullshit through a mouth hole would do that, I guess.

      You would know.

      1. Stretch marks on his lips?

        1. Those are from fellating fallacies.

    4. HAHAHAHA!!!!

      Speaking of scripted, I have a few friends who are militantly pro-palestinian. Funny, they all picked it up when they were 19-20 years old and at affluent liberal arts schools. Why do you think that is?

      1. Speaking of scripted, that word pretty much defines every supposed ie fabricated IDF ‘massacre’ ever.

  7. Regardless of which side you take here, I’m always amazed that people don’t seem to realize how unbelievably restrained Israel has always been in this conflict.

    If they let loose and went in with the sort of genocidal war in mind asshat Islamofascists accuse them of all the time, a quarter of the world’s Muslim population would be dead by lunch.

    1. They are acquainted with the virtues of a proportional response. One Israeli = 500 Palestinians. I think that’s the current calculation.

      1. Your obfuscatory powers are without compare, fuckbreath.

      2. Hamas can dig mile long tunnels. Why don’t they just dig bomb shelters like Israel does?

        Or simply make a new government regulation that all new buildings will have bomb shelters, like Israel does?

        I’m curious why they get a pass on that.

    2. I’m always amazed that people rush to give them so much credit for their restraint. If they ‘let loose’ they would lose their big supporters and donors like us. They’re walking a line, racking up body counts in the hundreds while convincing enough people in the West of their angelic restraint to keep the shells and fighter planes coming.

      1. Also, even if they do show restraint, that doesn’t mean we have to fund their military. I mean, they could probably show even more restraint if we didn’t give them all those fancy toys!

        1. +1.

      2. 1) “Giving credit”, the way I see it, presupposes that I hold a latent support for Israel I don’t actually hold. I don’t give a fuck what those people do to each other. I’m speaking in purely practical terms.

        2) Your statement implies that Israel is dependent on us for its power. It really isn’t. Outright warfare, especially, would be an effective demonstration of how trivial in ultimate terms our contribution to their budget really is.

        3) They’re responding to warfare with warfare. Would you have them keel over and plead with the Islamofascists sworn to obliterate them from the human gene pool for shreds of mercy?

        4) They’re not convincing anybody of anything, as if that were necessary. You’ll find Israel’s always not given much of a shit about how it’s portrayed externally.

        1. I wouldn’t say they depend on us for their power, but they don’t want to become South Africa either.

          “Would you have them keel over and plead with the Islamofascists sworn to obliterate them from the human gene pool for shreds of mercy?”

          Let’s remember the timeline of this current conflict.

          1. 3 Israelis kidnapped and killed, probably by two Hamas members.

          2. Israel engages in essentially an invasion of Palestinian territory, killing several, searching thousands and arresting and imprisoning hundreds. Also, Israeli extremists kidnap and kill a Palestinian.

          3. Palestinian groups respond with rocket attacks.

          4. Israel engages in a full ground invasion.

          1. “I wouldn’t say they depend on us for their power, but they don’t want to become South Africa either.”

            In Israel’s case, that’s not really relevant. This isn’t some distant empire wagering on turf far from home. As they see it, they’re defending their very right to exist, all in a homeland sitting precariously in the middle of an ocean of enemies bent on their destruction. If lethal threats they perceive as genuine arise, and the choices they’ve faced with are to ignore it to retain the foreign aid they receive or to fight, they’ll fight. If this were your mindset, wouldn’t you?

            “Let’s remember the timeline of this current conflict.”

            “This current conflict” is as old as Israel itself. There’s no neat chronological demarcation for this clusterfuck that allows us to just class the present spat as some separate incident. Palestinian separatists have been attacking Israel for years and years, and Israel’s current actions are, AS ISRAEL SEES IT, a justifiable escalation of an already-raging conflict.

            And again, restraint. Restraint, restraint, restraint. Whether it’s by virtue or because they want their handouts make not a lick of difference. If this were a real invasion, Palestine would be vacant.

          2. Israel engages in essentially an invasion of Palestinian territory

            In response to aggression in the form of the kidnapping you just mentioned. Why are you retarded Bo? Extra chromosome?

        2. To your number three: yes, yes they would.

      3. And to clarify, fuck both sides. No support from us is justifiable. Let them fight their own conflicts in their own way, whether Israel acts barbarically or otherwise. The same goes for the Palestinians.

        It’s none of our business.

      4. So, Bo, if you were supreme leader of Israel how would you respond to Hamas launching hundreds of rockets at your country?

        1. Not by begging the Big Satan for a quarter of my military budget…

          1. ok, so the US cuts all funding, then can Israel obliterate Gaza?

            1. I don’t see why they would. I doubt that’s in Israel’s interest.

        2. I wouldn’t have tossed and searched thousands of homes and imprisoned hundreds to start with

          1. Ok, other than saying what you wouldn’t have done, how would you respond to Hamas launching rockets into your country and killing civilians?

            1. Nuke Gaza!

    3. This is what I say all the time.

      The IDF could absolutely scour Gaza clean of all life if they were so inclined.

  8. I just don’t understand why we need to give money to the country with probably the most intelligent, well educated population in the world. Can’t they figure it out without our help?

    1. And this is why I am certain that extraterrestrial aliens do not exist.

      Because, if they did, we’d be giving them billions in aid as well.

  9. “Israel accepted an Egyptian call for an unconditional cease-fire last week, but resumed its offensive after Hamas rejected the proposal.

    Hamas says that before halting fire, it wants guarantees that Israel and Egypt will significantly ease a seven-year border blockade of Gaza.

    Ismail Haniyeh, the top Hamas leader in Gaza… said the aim of the battle is to break the 7-year-old blockade of the Palestinian territory.* The blockade was imposed by Israel and Egypt after Hamas overran Gaza in 2007.

    “Gaza has decided to end the blockade by its blood and by its courage,” he said. “This siege, this unjust siege, must be lifted.”

    *Said blockade’s origin =

    “Following the 2006 elections, the Quartet (United States, Russia, United Nations, and European Union) conditioned future foreign assistance to the PA on HAMAS commitment to nonviolence, recognition of the state of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements. Hamas resisted such changes, leading to Quartet suspension of its foreign assistance program and Israel imposing economic sanctions against the Hamas-led administration.[32][33] Tensions over control of Palestinian security forces soon erupted into the 2007 Battle of Gaza,[34] after which Hamas retained control of Gaza while its officials were ousted from government positions in the West Bank.[34] Israel and Egypt then imposed an economic blockade on Gaza, on the grounds that Fatah forces were no longer providing security there.[35]“”

    1. Does Palestine have the right to resist and attack Israel in its stated intent to lift a blockade?

      Yes or no, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the question raised. We get endless reminders that Israel has the right to defend herself, but nothing on the rights of the resistance/terrorists to attack.

  10. I think Jesse missed a justification that is often deployed for aid to Israel. I’ve heard it from conservatives and members of my own family.

    It has to do the idea that Jews MUST have a safe homeland. That the Holy Land must be preserved for Judeo-Christianity. That there is a divine commission to protect the Holy Land. Kind of a modern (benevolent?) version of the crusades.

    When I ask them if they really want the FedGov to implement and carry out such broad Biblical commands, they either say yes or look at me blankly.

    A lot of bad decisions were made after WWII, while everyone was still reeling in horror from the holocaust. This is the origin of the religious justifications, in my opinion.

    1. Don’t forget Woodrow Wilson’s really, really stupid notion of covering the earth with nation states, each catering to a specific non-savage ethnic group.

      Join that with the deliberate British policy of setting the wogs at each other’s throats in order to make it easier to divide and rule them and with the anti-semitic refusal of much of Europe to allow Jews to return to the villages they were deported from, and the stage was set for disaster.

      1. Things would be so much easier if each religion had a unique and distinct Holy Land. Who’s idea was it to have so many Holy Lands overlapping each other in such a small part of the world? I mean, whoever did that must enjoy seeing conflict…

      2. You’re right tarran, it’s almost impossible to find a starting point for most of the failures of government power.

        And WWII was such a enormous cataclysm that the stage was set for a clusterfuck that will last for generations.

        1. I’ve always thought of WW-I as the cataclysm. WW-II was the aftershock. More deadly because all the houses were weakened by the first quake and ready to cave in.

    2. I don’t see any reason for them to have their own nation-states in that form for any reason. Just let Israel move to America (as in, its entire population). Problem solved.

      1. The Onion has the nation-state solution:…..700,36484/

        1. Howard Stern, years ago, offered the solution to move Israel to Baja California. It’s about the same climate and there are significantly fewer muslims.

          1. It’s also practically empty, except at the north and south ends.

            1. And there’s some cool racing to watch.

      2. But… WELFAREZ!

      3. Ditto for the Palestinians.

        And then after living here for a while, they would find common ground fighting the developer* trying to use eminent domain to drive their businesses away so that he can build a huge department store with a roller coaster on the roof.

        And we would have peace.

        *the developer’s evilness would be confirmed by the fact he has a world-class superhot girlfriend with a perfectly proportioned
        ass-to-breast ratio.

        1. Make it a Wal-Mart. The Judeo-Muslim conflict would be over by supper.

        2. I don’t get the reference, but pics plz!

      4. I would welcome the Israeli population with open arms. Do you have any idea how many Nobel Prizes in physics we would get!?

    3. Indeed, history has shown that Jews must have a safe homeland.

      And that’s not our responsibility as Americans, it’s the Jews’ responsibility as Jews.

      1. Also, Israel doesn’t seem particularly safe…

      2. Why? Why do they need a religion-based nation-state? Move to America. Problem solved.

        1. Why do they even want to be in the middle of millions of people who hate them. It’s like they’re poking a bear in the eye with (a really big, fancy, and well funded) stick.

          1. Precisely. What the hell’s the point?

            1. Precisely. What the hell’s the point?

              Isn’t it God’s chosen people, promised land?? I have no idea, but I thought that was the point of them getting that part of the world for their homeland.

              1. They didn’t rule/haven’t ruled that land for a very long time. It’s been ruled for thousands of years by multiple other groups.

                1. They didn’t rule/haven’t ruled that land for a very long time

                  I didn’t say they did. I said the reason they are in the land they are in (Israel), is because the land was promised to them by God. At least that is my understanding.

            2. Uh because they live their? They don’t want to and shouldn’t have to move? Because lots of other countries have turned on them ie Germany, Russia so they understandably want a homeland? It’s not like Arabs are competent enough to fight anyway. Israel is more secure today than ever.

              1. They live there now, but there’s been a tremendous influx over the last 70 years or so. The land that Israel currently encompasses has been a Jewish state for much less time than not.

                  1. I guess the point is that we fund a quarter of their military, and then get the argument that we must protect their homeland, but it’s only been a Jewish state since the late 40’s…

                    1. We’ve never protected their homeland. Nor have they ever asked us to.

                      Or perhaps I’m mistaken and you can tell me where the US military bases are there?

                    2. You don’t need US military bases when the US sends you billions of dollars for your military…

                    3. That’s fine and arguable, but the statement “we must protect their homeland” is plain out and out bullshit.

                    4. I didn’t make that argument and never would. It’s the argument I hear from people all the time on why we need to give them gobs and gobs of military money.

        2. It’s not religion, it’s tribe. That’s why Jews don’t go door to door trying to convert people.

          1. Which, BTW, is why although I am an atheist, I could emigrate there and be given citizenship. My religion is immaterial, it’s my ethnicity that matters.

          2. When I lived in downtown Cincinnati a bunch of orthodox Jews would come over every Tuesday and ask me if I would pray tefillin with them. I’m not sure if they were trying to convert me, but it was kind of interesting!

            1. Do you have a hooked nose?

              Unless you’re an ethnic Jew, Orthodox Judaism would find you praying tfillin to be a horrible blasphemy.

              1. Maybe they were heterodox?

                1. I think it’s more of a metadox or paradox deal.

              2. Then that’s super weird…

    4. This is the origin of the religious justifications

      Pretty sure the religious justifications go back a tiny bit further into the past then the holocaust.

      Speaking of which.

      The Jewish bible is sort of a history book that chronicles the Jews. Did they write new chapters yet describing the holocaust and the modern formation of Israel or really anything about the last 2000 or more years?

  11. Why don’t you cosmos just gay-marry Tulpa ?

    1. Dude, I had an underwear reference above. Bo didn’t like it, though.

  12. Picking sides in a fight that doesn’t involve us is pointless enough. Picking both sides seems to be objectively retarded by any standard.

  13. it’s really weird to see “libertarians” defend Israel. It is state-worship, at best. The country uses violence to enforce and promote a theocratic welfare state (ie “the jewish state”. 100% defense of either Israel or Hamas is irrational.

    1. The country uses violence to enforce and promote a theocratic welfare state

      That’s a lie.

      1. I mean, it definitely has a theocratic welfare system that’s pretty fucked up (but there’s progress toward reducing it), but that doesn’t make Israel a theocracy that spreads its religion through violence. I highly doubt Israel is trying to convert any of the people she attacks…

        1. There is a very bad no good religious welfare component to Israel where the government pays for Ultra-Orthos to do religious studies and no work, and it seems to be contributing to a ‘Jew Taliban’. But that’s not a theocracy.

        2. that doesn’t make Israel a theocracy that spreads its religion through violence

          That’s not what entropy-factor said.

          Anyways, I believe Judaism is actually against forced conversions. I.e., there is no such thing as “Jewish evangelism”.

          1. So in other words, it makes little sense to say that Israel enforces and promotes a theocratic welfare state through force or violence.

          2. “the Jewish state”

            why not just Israel? How come America’s official stance isn’t “a Christian state”? We don’t separate Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews etc here. Why does Israel? Oh, right, because “jew-only” is how their creators envisioned it… yes, tell me more about it being “the bastion of freedom in the Middle East” lol

            1. I think the issue is with the idea that it’s a theocratic state imposing its religious will through violence. I’m not dyed in the wool for Israel, and I can’t fucking stand Hamas, but I do know that Israel is not shoving Judaism down people’s throats by using violence. If that’s not what you were saying, then right on!

              1. never said conversion. I’m saying the state defines itself as a “jewish state”. Other states define themselves by a religion… Iran, Pakistan, etc etc “islamic states”. Guess I’m a huge believer in a wall between church and state, and not a religious-driven govt

                1. Hmm. So given that the “Jewish” state is so much better than almost every other “Muslim” state, what are we to conclude from your comments here?

                  1. Tone- “so much better”, “What can we conclude”

                    Not much, bro. Not a muslim, nor sympathizer. I simply believe in strong separation of church/state, and think that it’s weird to see “libertarians” siding with the State so strongly.

                2. And I would say that Israel is not a religiously driven government for the most part. Probably by far the least theocratic government in the area. It’s a democracy. Maybe not a perfect, free democracy, but they have a parliament, and you don’t have to be Jewish to be in it.

                  1. right, the govt maintains a sort of Jewish secularism, but I will bet my bottom dollar that no Arab would ever become PM or something. The leadership and culture are built for Jewish dominance over Muslim 2nd-class citizens. Oh sure, they may be allowed to exist in Israel, but the state is set up by Jews, for Jews.

                    Either way, this entire issue of religion dividing people legally within a nation state is some 3rd world shit that I can never support, from ANY religious group

            2. As if Italy isn’t a Catholic state, and as if the king or queen of England isn’t the actual head of the Church of England. As if the day commemorating the birth of the Christian messiah isn’t a federal, state, and municipal holiday in the entire US. As if.

      2. not really dude, look at it objectively. There is *zero* plan for a two-state solution. It will be annexation of both Gaza and West Bank, and Jewish settlers will be pumped in and Palis pushed out. It’s been said, written, and worked towards for 60 years.

        I’m not even a Pali sympathizer, but I think people’s weird emotional hangups about Israel prevent people from seeing the clear reality.

        When Natanyahu et al proclaim Israel to be a “Jewish state”, do you think they are leaving room for non-Jewish citizens in the future? Not really. That’s collectivist as all hell but some people here will willfully ignore that all day.

        1. I’ll tell you right now that I’d definitely rather be a Muslim or Christian in Israel than a Muslim or Christian in any Muslim country…And

          I don’t sympathize with either side. They both are killing civilians whether in the name of keeping the peace or Jihad.

          1. Israeli Arabs don’t want to live in the West Bank or Gaza.

        2. I can kinda see that argument for the West Bank but not all for gaza. All the settlements there were abandoned 10 years ago and I’m unaware of any plans to reestablish them. And even sticking to the West Bank where is Israel going to move those people? They can’t push then into Jordan without starting a war and becoming a complete pariah. How do you see that happening?

          1. 1) I didn’t say it’s currently happening. I’m talking 20 yrs out or more. Long term, IMO, there will be no Palestinian state. Israel will absorb them, outlaw political parties ie Hamas, and either a) grant citizenship (unlikely) or b) push out as many as they can.

            2) I think Gaza will be taken too. Again, not today, but eventually. Israel wants the seaport, otherwise it would’ve wanted Egypt to control it. US basically pays Egypt not to attack Israel as it is. Yes, a refugee crisis could spark war. But the ME is not new to war, either.

            3) What might happen in WB is the establishment of semi-autonomous Pali regions, mixed with Jewish-only settlements. There are too many as it is, the WB is not a continuous body that can become a separate state.

            1. Why not just hang on to Sinai then?

              1. Sinai is long gone. Not saying it is reasonable to annex WB and Gaza, I’m just saying I think I see the writing on the wall. The current borders/situation is completely untenable. Israel knows the Arab states are weak and will not fight it (Saudi and Egypt are paid not attack Israel w/ foreign aid, military aid, trade). Also US presence in ME is a huge deterrent for Iran to attack. So there are no repercussions if Israel just outright goes for it.

                1. Not so long ago he Jews owned it all & most of the Palestinians were fairly happy,safe & secure. If they dared they’d vote to return to those days in a nonce.

            2. I just think it is silly to assume 1) Israel is an honest negotiator in the process and 2) that Hamas et al will just civilize and stop the attacks.

              Neither one of those is true, and HIGHLY unlikely to ever come true. It’s time we drop the pretense, drop the state-worship of Israel, stop the blanket ad-hom of “anti-Semite” for calling a spade a spade, and look at ourselves in the mirror. The US has helped to drag this process out, and while we are not to blame for the situation completely, I think we add more problems than help. Israel will not ever feel secure without the territories falling under total Israeli state control. Ever, period. The only answer for that is 1) extermination (not happening bc of world community) or 2) annexation/occupation.

              1. Annexation and occupation won’t work either. The Soviets couldn’t even occupy Afghanistan so Israel sure as hell won’t be able to occupy the whole of the middle east, which would be necessary because as they move, they will share more and more border with Muslim countries that hate them.

                Annihilation, hmmm…I guess Israel could nuke everything and say it was an accident!

                1. not whole ME, simply WB and Gaza. Pretty much de facto situation now anyways. And see my above post re: Saudi, Iran, Egypt.

                  1. I’m just saying to be totally secure they would have to take over the whole middle east because theyll be attacked

                    1. I don’t buy that. Egypt, Saudi won’t attack bc they are paid off by us, and they counter Iran, who is also deterred by US presence in the Gulf. Emirates damn sure won’t piss off the US, neither will Jordan or Turkey, and Syria can’t even control it’s own country LOL. Who is gonna attack a greater Israel if annexation occurs? NO ONE.

              2. “The US has helped to drag this process out”

                What you may not be appreciating is that the longer this thing drags out, the better it is to the Palestinian cause.

                Long time ago these troubles would be sorted out by the Israelis, the Americans and some outfit like the Arab League, an assortment of regional powers. It was only at the insistence of the Americans, after a lengthy and high profile Palestinian terror campaign, that the Palestinians got a seat at the table and could talk directly to Israel.

                This would indicate the possibility of Obama insisting on direct Hamas/Israel talks. If the past history is anything to go by.

            3. Nobody wants Gaza as a seaport. Nobody ever wanted Gaza, it’s always been a hellhole of slums and criminality. I don’t mean that as any slur on the residents, it’s analogous to similar slums all over the world, and is probably the fault of the Ottomans and the British.
              Egypt was returned custody of Gaza along with the Sinai when they signed the peace treaty (having owned both prior to 1967), and they declined to take Gaza, to give some indication of how much everybody wants Gaza.

        3. Uh, yeah, it’s really easy to ignore things you just make up.

          There are at least four parties representing Arabs in the Knesset.

        4. Then why didn’t Israel just annex the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, if that’s their goal? Nobody would have batted an eye. The Arab countries weren’t any more nice to Israel for NOT annexing them, and the rest of the world was pretty much anti Palestinian until the oil crisis of the 70s awakened their slumbering sympathies.

  14. I not only support Israel fully but condemn them for their kids-glove approach to the belligerents while simultaneously believing all aid to Israel should be ended.

      1. You actually managed a good comment. Yay for you.

        1. I sincerely hope that someday you are on the receiving end of your cavalier attitude towards deadly force.

          1. Nuke Gaza! One state solution!

  15. Israel doesn’t NEED our money whatsoever. They have more than enough resources to pay for everything themselves. Their economy is booming and, on top of that, they recently discovered natural gas.

    The aid America provides is merely a replacement for our inability to sign an alliance or mutual defense agreement with Israel; regardless of whether such an agreement will be beneficial to both sides, those sorts of agreements generally require an agreement on borders and Israel can’t even come to an internal consensus as to what its borders should be.

    Also, as long as we are bribing Egypt to not go to war with Israel (disregarding how disastrous such a war would be for Egypt (judging on past experience)), there will never be enough political will to end aid to Israel. And aid to Egypt won’t end because we don’t want them to go to war with Israel. It’s a vicious circle.

    1. Actually I think much of the aid to Egypt is being held back cuz of the fall out from the Arab Spring boondoggle.

    2. We give Egypt just as much for no good reason.

  16. It’s not like “Palestine” was an independent nation before Israel existed anyway. It was part of the Ottoman Empire, then WWI happened and it got taken by the Brits, and then WWII happened and it got handed over to the government of Israel. What the fuck does it matter anyway? As an anarchist, I could see arguing for the abolition of the state entirely, but arguing about which state you wanna live under seems retarded.

    1. Man, I was about to take this comment seriously, and then I read the words “as an anarchist”.

      1. I think the comment was entirely reasonable. The leet-speak “Perl Hacker” username is what gives me pause.

        1. Absolutely. The comment was no problem at all. It’s just really difficult for me to stop laughing once I read “as an anarchist”.

        2. No. “leet” would have been p3rlh4x0r or something.

          You see, back in the old days, usernames used to be restricted to 8 characters…

      2. Why?

        Would you have preferred “From the anarchist perspective”?

        Is there some other way you would have had me introduce the concept of anarchism to the comment?

        1. It was just a joke big guy. I thought your comment was just fine 😉

          1. *weeps, wails, gnashes teeth*


            1. BJs work – for a while

  17. End all foreign aid, everywhere. If you’re feeling generous, phase it out over 5 years (so recipients can plan for it).

    So many problems fixed. Unfortunately only does a tiny dent in the deficit.

    1. Let’s decrease it by 10% for 10 years & then end it for our allies. End it now for our enemies.

  18. 150 comments of idiots arguing with each other about anything but the topic later…

    Israel and Egypt both receive their aid as bribery in return for sticking to the Camp David accords, correct?

    The “Palestinians”? Not so much. So cut them off. I’m sure they can get plenty of bullet and bomb money from Iran and Saudi Arabia.

  19. The US and Israel do some joint weapons development. The aid is more like a “bonus” for work accomplished than an outright gift.

    1. The aid is more like a “bonus” for work accomplished than an outright gift.

      So where does that bonus money go genius?

      Also if it is joint and it is Israel who gets the weapon system designed for their specific problem shouldn’t the bonus be payed by Israel to the US?

      1. Well, if the US has a need for a missile defense system and the Israeli one is the best…

        The bonus money mostly goes to US defense contractors.

  20. Israel could certainly afford Iron Dome on its own.


    Europe could certainly afford to defend itself.

    South Korea could certainly afford to defend itself.

    Japan could certainly afford to defend itself.

    1. When you get right down to it, their concerned Arabic brethren could certainly afford to help the Palestinians out, militarily, charitably, politically, diplomatically, ……. but that would ruin everything!!!

  21. Actually, Israel developed Iron Dome and installed the first 2 installations on it’s own dime. The US is now paying for further installations, in exchange for using the technology. And, last but most definitely not least, 50% of the US money has to be spent on US defense industry companies. As with most US military aid to Israel. A way to fund the defense industry from the foreign aid line item rather than defense.
    But of course, as you say, money is fungible.

  22. I guess I’m just dense. I have never understood the concept of foreign aid. Please explain to me in great detail (I’ll have my crayons at the ready!) why our tax dollars need to be given to any country for any reason. Its bad enough the United States has a suffocating tax structure, but to give our hard earned money to people who wouldn’t piss on the United States if it was on fire is beyond me. Fuck the rest of the world. Let every nation handle its own problems with their own damn money. Does any intelligent mortal really believe the rest of the world would help America if some sort of catastrophe would occur? Guess again if you believe that. The time is long over due for the United States to start following President Washington’s advice from his farewell address.

  23. I wrote this earlier in response to a litany of Hamas violence and rejection of ceasefire etc. I thought it bears repeating.

    Does Palestine have the right to resist and attack Israel in its stated intent to lift a blockade?

    Yes or no, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the question raised. We get endless reminders that Israel has the right to defend herself, but nothing on the rights of the resistance/terrorists to attack.

    1. Of course they have the right. But is it wise?

      1. It’s worked until now. Arafat reached the heights he attained thanks to his terror campaign and US/Israel appeasement. If Hamas can prove that Israel is incapable or unwilling to stop its mostly symbolic rocket barrage, they can claim victory, with some justification. If they can get some easing of the blockade, they’ll be doing even better.

        Has anyone read SunTzu? I believe he mentioned that besieging a walled city was the form of warfare that was most unfavourable and to be avoided. The Israelis seem to have embraced it even though they don’t seem to do well in these dustups.

  24. Me: US military industrial complex for $2000.
    Alex: This is the proper solution to the Israel – Palestine conflict.
    Me: What is offer Hamas their own Iron Dome?
    Alex: Correct!

    1. What they need is a 20Kt nuclear dome. At about 1,800 ft.

  25. The closest fictional situation I can think of that I (as a US citizen) can relate to would be to say that the modern United States is Israel and Native Americans are Palestine. Then to have the NA start shooting rockets into the US. Of course, the US would have also been around 2000 years ago and at various points through out history. No one is going to say what happened to the NA was right and good. But once the US nation was built up and strong, it’s hard to say anything other than those NA ancestors got screwed – but that is history that isn’t going to change. Life happened. Life is not fair. Working within the system or simply getting out are much better solutions than fighting to the death in what appears to be a hopeless cause.

  26. I’ll gladly pay a little more-where do I send the check?

  27. Not that you rhomites care, but the Muslims have been enemies of America since the republic’s founding. Israel’s fight is really our fight and western civilization’s fight; however, you may not realize that because of your drug induced haze. The Founding Fathers, starting with Jefferson and continuing through James Monroe, were sick of the appeasement of the U.S. regarding paying tribute to the Barbary pirates and decided to fight against them instead. Your sympathy for these Barbary pirates on steroids is keeping perfectly with your antisemitic, anti American nature.

    There’s no need to fear. Underzog is here.

    1. But occasionally we do have to take the side of Islamists to pursue other aims. Aiding the rebels in Afghanistan years ago helped break up the old USSR.

      And of course we should always be willing to take full advantage of the Sunni/Shia split to pit one against the other.

  28. Am happy as heck to help pay for the Gaza conflict. Reducing the influence of Islamists around the world is squarely in US’ national interests.

    1. You seriously think that killing a few hundred women and children in Gaza will ‘reduce the influence of Islamists around the world?’ Gotta plan B?

  29. And the Senate passed the resolution of support and the new $479m appropriation unanimously. I looked to see if maybe someone missed the vote but, alas, every Senator you can name was there and voted for it, including Rand Paul, Elizabeth Warren and even Bernie Sanders.

  30. Thanks on your marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you could be a great author. I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and definitely will come back very soon. (best neurologist in new york)

  31. it is very disheartening to see people in gaza suffer

  32. I have created a petition on

    Break US defense ties with Turkey and Qatar, who are supplying the missiles the Nazis of Hamas are firing at Israel!

    Israel is getting unjustly blamed for killing civilians because Hamas puts them in the line of fire. But Hamas, whose charter calls 12 times for killing all Jews, is a front for the governments of Turkey and Qatar, which are supplying the missiles and money. Israel should be shooting back at those countries, not at Gazans, but can’t because of US troops and US defense agreements with those countries. Why are we there, blocking Israel from doing justice? Turkey took the Russian side against Georgia and now against Ukraine. They are NOT our friends! Pull us out!

    Please sign here.

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