Israel

Death, Taxes, and American Aid to Israel

Three things you can count on: death, taxes, and American support for military contractors channeled through the tiny but prosperous democracy.

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Obama and Netanyahu
White House

According to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), considered by many to be the most influential lobbying group in the country, "Israel spends 75 percent of U.S. aid in the United States, purchasing military equipment." Supporters of Israel characterize this as necessary assistance to a stalwart ally, the only democracy in the Middle East, eternally besieged by enemies on all sides. Critics take the view that direct military support for Israel makes the U.S. culpable for the nearly half century-long military occupation of the stateless Palestinians, and sows mistrust for America's role in the peace process.

Many of those who lack a passion for either side in the conflict are simply cynical about the consequences of foreign aid, seeing the billions of dollars spent on Israel's security as the means for the U.S. military industrial complex to perpetuate itself. Meanwhile, Israel, with an economy that has more than doubled in the past decade thanks to its booming tech industry, is freed from bearing the full financial burden of its own military commitments to spend on things like a generous social welfare state and settlements on land in the West Bank that would be the foundation of any "two-state" peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Though it has long seemed like a fact of life, America was not always Israel's benefactor. During its War of Independence, it was the Soviet Union who came to the nascent Jewish state's aid. Though the notoriously anti-semitic Josef Stalin initially saw Zionism as a Western imperialist construct, he changed course in 1947, sensing an opportunity to hasten the decline of the British Empire in the Middle East. Under Stalin, the Soviet Union supported the UN Partition of Palestine, helped arm the Jews of Palestine during its battle against the Palestinian Arabs (and later the multi-national Arab League), and was the first nation to recognize the State of Israel, which Stalin hoped would be far more socialistic than it ended up being. 

Not too long after, the Soviets changed course, supporting socialist dictatorships in oil-rich Arab states. Filling the void as Israel's big brother and arms dealer was France. French troops fought side by side with Israeli (and British) troops against Egypt in 1956 over the Suez Canal, and they even helped the Israelis build their first nuclear reactor, which led to Israel's eventual (though never acknowledged) development of nuclear weapons.

This special relationship was also short-lived, as the Franco-Zionist bond began to fray in the 1960s, following a sustained war in Algeria that led to the French relinquishing their longtime colony. In the aftermath, French President Charles de Gaulle became increasingly interested in improving Franco-Arab relations, culminating in French support for the Arab belligerents (Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq) of 1967's Six Day War with Israel.

Though U.S. military aid to Israel began in 1962, it was during the Six-Day War that President Lyndon B. Johnson laid the groundwork for the client state relationship between the U.S. and Israel that endures to this day. Johnson, whose presidency was collapsing under the weight of Vietnam, said of Israel, "They haven't got many friends in the world, they're in about the same shape I am."

According to Ha'aretz, total U.S. military aid topped $100 billion this year. $3 billion of Israel's approximately $15 billion 2014 military budget came directly from U.S. taxpayers, and despite increasingly sour relations between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a U.S.-Israel breakup remains pretty much unthinkable.

Even in the bitterly divided U.S. Senate, not a single member supports cutting aid to Israel. There is never even a debate, it's just rolled into a larger foreign aid bill and effectively rubber-stamped.

Support for Israel knows no party. During the summer of 2014's Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip, the Senate's most left-wing member, socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), affirmed his support for Israel during a heated town hall meeting in his home state, going so far as to tell pro-Palestinian hecklers to "shut up." On the right, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), backtracked on his previously stated support for an immediate cessation of aid to Israel (and indeed, of all foreign aid), disingenuously telling Yahoo News "I haven't really proposed that in the past."

In fact, Paul not only proposed a budget in 2011 that explicitly eliminated foreign aid, he described aid to Israel as "welfare to a wealthy nation" and said "Israel's ability to conduct foreign policy, regain economic dominance, and support itself without the heavy hand of U.S. interests and policies, will only strengthen the Israeli community."

With a potential run for the Republican presidential nomination looming, Paul may have felt he had no choice but to deny his past positions in the face of all evidence. Still, even when proposing cutting direct military aid, Paul maintained, "I support Israel. I want to be known as a friend of Israel." Support for Israel and support for billions in military aid need not be mutually exclusive, as a number of prominent Israel proponents have suggested the very same thing.

In the Daily Beast, Eli Lake cited Noah Pollak, executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI), as saying the Obama administration's policies on Iran have demonstrated to supporters of Israel that aid can work against your interests "by giving presidents with bad ideas more leverage than they would otherwise have." Lake also cites Elliott Abrams, once a deputy national security advisor to President George W. Bush and a noted voice in the pro-Israel camp, as advocating for "an intimate military relationship and alliance, but no military aid." But Abrams cautioned that cutting aid during the Obama administration would send a message of "administration hostility to Israel and be seen as a weakening of U.S. support." Essentially, Abrams thinks the U.S. should cut all aid to Israel, but only when the leaders of both countries are on better terms than they are now. Such a scenario seems as likely as a debate on the Senate floor about military aid to Israel. That is, not very.

U.S. aid to Israel has averaged about $3 billion a year since the mid-1980s, when Israel's annual GDP was about $25 billion. Israel's GDP in 2013 was over $291 billion. Downsizing or eliminating military aid would no longer be a game-changer for Israel's defense. It would, however, signal Israel's maturation into a fully-realized independent state, allowing it to act in what it perceives as its own interests without oversight from Washington. The U.S. would also be freed from bearing the moral responsibility for Israeli actions that run counter to its own policies (such as settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem).

In 1996, Israel's prime minister addressed a joint session of Congress, offering thanks for "all that we have received from the United States (and) this chamber." He added, "But I believe there can be no greater tribute to America's long-standing economic aid to Israel than (to) achieve economic independence." He proposed "gradually reducing the level" of U.S. aid to Israel and ultimately ending it altogether.

That Israeli Prime Minster's name was Benjamin Netanyahu.

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  1. How about if we stop foreign aid to all foreign countries.

  2. “Foreign aid is the transfer of money from poor people in rich nations to rich people in poor nations.”

    The begged question in this article is, “Where does the other 97% of military aid go?”

    1. It was a poorly worded sentence. I had to reread it but I think it was saying Israel has received $100B in aid from the US over the years…

      1. No, it doesn’t say that.

        1. To clarify: it may or may not be true, but that sentence doesn’t say that.

  3. Shouldn’t the article have included the Egypt/Israel Peace deal which gives $1.3 billion a year of military aid to Egypt?

  4. “two-state” peace agreement with the Palestinians.

    Who are officially still at war with Israel and will not declare peace until Israel is no longer a Jewish State.

    You might also wish to look at Hamas’ official policy towards Israel. Or who the Muslim Brotherhood and the Mufti of Jerusalem sided with in WW2. The Arabs remember such things. The West prefers to forget.

    Mein Kampf is still a best seller in the ME.

  5. I don’t want to pay a rich nation more than $3 billion a year (more like $6 Bn when you add in non-military economic aid) because the Mufti of Jerusalem sided with the wrong people in World War II. So did Romania, and we’re not paying to turn them into an open-air prison.

    1. Romania was in the Soviet zone of control, they turned it into an open air prison intead of us.

    2. Aba Cab,

      The Arabs remember such things. The West prefers to forget.

      Mein Kampf is still a best seller in the ME.

  6. “Critics take the view that direct military support for Israel makes the U.S. culpable for the nearly half century-long military occupation of the stateless Palestinians, and sows mistrust for America’s role in the peace process.”

    That the best they got? I move for summary judgment in favor of continued aid, then.

    Seriously, though, THAT’S the counterargument?

    1. I think the problem for the Arabs is the fact they got their asses kicked over and over by a tiny country and look like pussys to much of the world

  7. Sounds like some pretty serious business dude.

    http://www.Anon-Wayz.tk

  8. a stalwart ally

    By what measure?

    1. By the number of American politicians who say so. Duh.

  9. I think you can make a non-trivial case that even friends of Israel should favor some loosening of ties. Right now, the U.S. and Israel are so strategically bound at the hip that the long-term interests of both parties are undermined by a lack of flexibility. The U.S. is faced with countries placing the “management” of Israel as a precondition of its objectives and the Israelis are faced with considering the wider implications for U.S. strategic policy in the evaluation of their national interests.

  10. You know who else sent military equipment to Jerusalem?

      1. The Great Khan?

    1. The Monroe Fein and crew of the Altalena.

    2. Titus?

  11. I believe some,if not all,goes back to the peace between Israel and Egypt.The terms gave both billions of aid from the U.S. Before that it was as needed,1967 and Yom Kipper war.

    1. BTW,I’m for cutting off all military aid to all countries,including the troop in Europe,Japan and Korea,that’s aid also.Let those bitches take care of their own defense.

    2. Yup. Israel gave up the Sinai Peninsula with 100 billion dollars worth of oil in it when Israel signed the Camp David accord. A few billion a year in perpetuity in exchange for a 100 billion dollar capital loss is a fair deal. Egypt gets over a billion per year from the US and got the Sinai Peninsula in exchange for nothing.

  12. The ‘palestinians’ are not Israel’s problem. There are consequences for choosing the losing side in a war and the plight of the ‘palestinians’ is 100% the responsibility of the neighboring Arab states who have been using them as geopolitical pawns for 60 years. Want a ‘palestinian’ state? Congratulations, you have had one all along, it’s called Jordan; get to steppin’!

    1. The West Bank and Gaza Strip are Palestine until Israel decides otherwise.

      1. And here I thought they were Egypt and Jordan until those nations participated in an unprovoked attack Israel and got pushed back. Fuck off Weigel, have you finished your book yet?

        1. +1 you are correct

        2. Palestine is not a real place anyway. Just a made up label for parts of Jordan.

          I believe that the origination of the state of Palestine was a Roman confection.

        3. Yes. There is no record of Left-wingers calling for a liberation of Gaza and the West Bank when Egypt and Jordan controlled them. To the Left, all Arabs are interchangeable. They only got pissed when Jews gained the territories.

  13. Critics take the view that direct military support for Israel makes the U.S. culpable for the nearly half century-long military occupation of the stateless Palestinians

    Culpable in not making the entire ME Judenrein?

    It always amazes me when someone “blames” the US for not allowing the Arabs to finish what the Nazis started. This article might as well just say “The Arabs wouldn’t hate us if we just let them get rid of all those pesky Jews”.

    If it were only an opposition to foreign “aid” I am absolutely certain that we spend much, much more in Germany and Japan and Korea. Tellingly, these countries and the cost of our presence there gets no mention. Why is that?

    I completely support the reduction of US expenditures across the Globe. Perhaps we could start by cutting the billions we spend in three of the richest countries on the planet first?

    1. If it were only an opposition to foreign “aid” I am absolutely certain that we spend much, much more in Germany and Japan and Korea. Tellingly, these countries and the cost of our presence there gets no mention. Why is that?

      Absolutely certain, eh? Got some numbers?

      It always amazes me when someone “blames” the US for not allowing the Arabs to finish what the Nazis started. This article might as well just say “The Arabs wouldn’t hate us if we just let them get rid of all those pesky Jews”.

      Do you have the slightest clue how the State of Israel came to be and how much it was the product of the huge clusterfuck the British and the French made of the aftermath of WWI in order to attempt to preserve their dying empires?

      1. Absolutely certain, eh? Got some numbers?

        RTFA. 97% of military aid goes elsewhere. The lazy writer just couldn’t be bothered with detailing that part of the narrative.

        1. …the fraction of their military budget that they pay for themselves is pretty high @ 80% which is likely higher than the Euros.

        2. Come on, guys:

          http://www.dailypaul.com/28366…..by-country

          Germany, Japan, and Korea aren’t even in the top 10.

          1. That is because the website to which you linked is listing expenditures by USAID. It is not factoring in the cost of the 70 year military occupation of Western Europe and Japan or the 60 year military occupation of the Korean peninsula.

            1. Then find some numbers, annualized over that period for Europe and Japan and compare it to the 50-odd years of the same for Israel.

              Then we’ll know if Marshall’s claim is silly or not.

              1. Timon 19|12.23.14 @ 11:50AM|#
                “Then find some numbers, annualized over that period for Europe and Japan and compare it to the 50-odd years of the same for Israel.”

                Looks like you have “picked” very specific numbers for comparison.

                1. I goofed and grabbed the generic “foreign aid” list.

                  This is after I asked for Marshall or whomever to provide numbers supporting the argument and didn’t get a reply.

                2. I mean no harm. I am skeptical of Marshall’s claim and am annoyed by the usual retreat by some to dumb arguments when even the slightest perceived criticism of Israel is put forth.

              2. “Timon 19|12.23.14 @ 11:50AM|#

                Then find some numbers, annualized over that period for Europe and Japan and compare it to the 50-odd years of the same for Israel.”

                Easier would be to simply average the annual spending on the major US overseas bases relative to US military funding to Israel. Broaden the scope too much and you’ll end up adding in 100 “small” things that can add up to hundreds of billions and elide actual differences.

                As noted = we’ve spent about $3.3bn a year for 30+ years in military aid to Israel (Ha’aretz prefers to call it $100bn to make it ‘sound big and round’, as most journos do)

                US funding for overseas bases in Germany, Japan and Korea is about $7billion a year

                “WASHINGTON ? …. the United States spends more than $10 billion a year to back up the U.S. military presence overseas, with 70 percent of the amount expended in the three nations. The figure does not include military personnel costs.”

                A detailed (if a bit over-wrought) analysis of overseas military spending can be found here. When you realize the scale of the costs, $3bn annually for Israel seems almost trivial

                1. Thank you.

                  I appreciate that perspective, honestly.

                  And you managed to do it without spewing forth that I’m a racist like some fuckwits.

                  1. Notably missing from that list of “major overseas bases” is our Naval/Air-power presence in Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, UAE, etc.

                    I’ve never seen a comprehensive combination of all the military assets we pay for in the Gulf region….

                    (although certain graphics are frequently circulated by people of all political stripes as examples of ‘US Empire-building’ or a zionist conspiracy or whatever…)

                    ..but the point would be that we probably spend $10bn+ annually just maintaining a massive military capability in the gulf region, which includes our Israeli military aid.

                    The point of looking at the ‘big picture’ would be to clarify that we’re not just backstopping “Israel”, per se, as we are invested deeply into a strategic presence in the Gulf for reasons that extend far beyond any mere 1-1 national relations.

                    The globally cynical left tend to assume that “its all about Oil, which is all about PROFITS!!” and therefore its the apex of evilly-evilness and we should just ‘stop doing that’..and stuff.

                    The more ‘realist’ types note that it almost looks like we’ve tried to build a buffer between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Why would anyone want to do that?

                    1. No, I completely understand that. I’ve been to one of the big bases in the Gulf many, many times. The Iran/rest of the Arabian Peninsula thing is a much bigger issue than, say, anyone and Israel (aside from its immediate neighbors), despite all the rhetoric.

                      Now, understanding the cost of maintaining the bases, I don’t think you can simply call it 100% *foreign* military aid, but certainly some portion.

                      I completely agree that we are not *just* backstopping Israel. In fact, I have had to repeatedly argue that position to a lot of people online and off. The Gulf States in particular don’t really give a damn about Israel and, in fact, trade with them on the DL. Iran uses Israel as a scapegoat to maintain the revolutionary Islamic Republic, and as such would not wish it to be completely eliminated despite outward proclamations.

                    2. “Now, understanding the cost of maintaining the bases, I don’t think you can simply call it 100% *foreign* military aid, but certainly some portion.”

                      No, i wasn’t trying to suggest that all the ‘overseas military spending’…

                      (whether it be “Foreign Military Assistance” – direct payments – or funding for our own bases and their rent)

                      … is ‘the same thing’

                      I was just pointing out for the purposes of this article that ‘spending on Israel’ isn’t JUST simply either a legacy item from the Camp David accords, OR just political baksheesh that politicians need to spend to stay in good graces with the AIPAC-vote…

                      …that its actually part of a far-more-broad US foreign relations strategy that makes us the single most powerful combined force in the Gulf region

                      “To what end?” is the real debate.

                    3. There’s also a huge amount of shipping (beyond oil) that moves through the Arabian Sea an into the Persian Gulf. Someone has to protect that. The shipping lanes are miles wide through that area.

      2. Israel could have been created for any number of reasons and that would have jack shit to do with this issue.

        0/10 go back to troll school

        1. Not trolling, just responding to the idiotic pablum that gets trotted out when someone espouses the tiniest criticism of Israel.

          We did take over the patronage over the State of Israel when Britain’s claims to Mesopotamia (a corridor to India) collapsed, thereby dropping their need to have a client on the Mediterranean.

      3. Do you have the slightest clue how the State of Israel came to be and how much it was the product of the huge clusterfuck the British and the French made of the aftermath of WWI in order to attempt to preserve their dying empires?

        Yes he does. The Jews lived there and were repeatedly subject to violence at the hands of Arabs, so they made their owns state. A good move. A shining light in the barbarism of the ME.

    2. In June, Obama pledged to increase defense spending in Europe by $1 Billion.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..story.html

      That increase is close to the total aid we give to Israel. The total we spend on defense in Europe has got to be much more than what we give to Israel. I expect a retraction from you, Timon.

      1. To review, the contention by Marshall:

        If it were only an opposition to foreign “aid” I am absolutely certain that we spend much, much more in Germany and Japan and Korea.

        This was my reply:

        Absolutely certain, eh? Got some numbers?

        The link above is aid to eastern Europe, not Germany, Japan, and Korea.

        Why are you moving the goalposts on behalf of Marshall?

        1. The above aid is to NATO countries. The USA bears the brunt of NATO cost to the tune of billions.

          1. No shit we pay for most of NATO.

            President Obama pledged his ironclad commitment Tuesday to the defense of Europe and proposed as much as $1 billion in additional spending to bolster the U.S. military presence in Poland and neighboring countries, part of a strategy to reassure nervous allies and check Russia’s encroachment into the region.

            Let’s suppose that $1 billion gets split by Poland and it’s (NATO) neighbors.

            That’s Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Lithuania. That’s $250 million each, assuming no other countries involved. That’s significant. It’s not what we give Israel.

            No word on Japan or Korea.

            1. Of course I left Poland itself out of that. $200 million apiece.

          2. From the NY Times:

            http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04…..d=all&_r=0

            The United States finances nearly three-quarters of NATO’s military spending, up from 63 percent in 2001.

        2. The above aid is to NATO countries. The USA bears the brunt of NATO cost to the tune of billions.

          1. Spread it around, add the $200 million to Germany’s total. What do you get?

            (Psst…still nothing on Japan and Korea)

            1. According to this article: http://www.thenation.com/blog/…..-security#

              We maintain 227 bases in Germany.

              According to this article: http://www.laprogressive.com/defense-budget/

              The cheapest class of bases costs $828 million per year.

              Therefore, the US military presence in Germany is costing America over $187 billion per year.

              Funny how you know how much Israel costs us, but did not know what we spend on Germany.

  14. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail

    ———————- http://www.paygazette.com

    1. Is this opportunity open to Jews?

  15. The Palestinians are stateless because their predecessors sided with the Arab natiins that tried and failed to destroy the new Jewish state in 1948. The non-Jews in Israel who didn’t side with the Arabs did not become refugees, did not lose their property, and their descendents live and vote in Israel.

    When you lose a war, bad things happen to you.

    They Pelestinians are not stateless only because of the Israelis. They are also stateless because the Arab ststes that got them into the mess in the first place refused to take them in. Largely because the Arabs hoped that their existance would allow tye destruction of Israel by diplomacy, where war had failed.

    If the United States had even been willimg to make the realistic choice, we would long ago have said “Israel is our friemd. The Pelstinians deserve nothing from us. Take them into you own countries. Conquor some nation you canactually defeat, and give the Palestinians THAT. Stop annoying us about a situation YOU created. And, BTW, the next time you start amwar withIsrael, WE will finish it, and then YOU will be stateless refugees because we will give your land to the Jews, who we like rather better than. You.

    1. The Arab states did NOT create that situation. The British and the French and their screwy alliances with the Hashemites did.

      1. The British and French have fuck all to do with this. The Hashemites involved themselves when they joined Syria, Egypt, and Iraq in their invasion of Israel on 15 May 1948.

        1. The Hashemites were granted governance over Arab Greater Syria by the British and the French well before anyone invaded Israel.

          1. What? Greater Syria is a fictional state (exactly like Palestine). From 1920 to 1948, the land that is now Israel was Mandatory Palestine and was overseen by the British via a League of Nations mandate. Next to that was another area carved from Ottoman Syria, Mandatory Transjordan. That is what Hashemites were given; they still have it, it is now Jordan. The French were given the French Mandate for Syria and Lebanon. That land is now Syria and Lebanon (and part of Turkey). After the British and the French left, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Jordan (after promising not to get involved) invaded Israel. Israel won the war.

            1. It may be true that Greater Syria is a fictional state, because the concept of the nation state did not hold sway in that area. What new information have you imparted by your frothy objection that doesn’t really apply?

              The Hashemites also claimed parts of Iraq and modern Syria once Sharif Hussein was granted rule over the area and in turn granted rulerships to his sons.

              Curious as to why you decide to start at 1920.

              The mandates were part of the problem. Wilson’s League of Nations created mandates roughly out of the previously agreed Sykes-Picot agreement (which durin the war), but with several conflicting and confusing subsequent agreements entangling things (Balfour, the Anglo-French Declaration, Reglement Organique, etc.)

              The Hashemites ruled more than just Trans-Jordan and modern Jordan itself. Faisal ruled Arab Syria, then Iraq (the former didn’t last too long).

              The descendents of Sharif Hussein bin Ali were granted this area in exchange for leading Arab uprisings against the Ottomans in the latter part of the war.

              1. It may be true that Greater Syria is a fictional state, because the concept of the nation state did not hold sway in that area.

                Timon, so in your eyes, the Ottoman Empire doesn’t count as a nation state? Your racist world view sees all non-White civilizations as collections of noble savages who only become nations when the White folks come along.

                1. What the hell is the matter with you? The Ottoman Empire was a pre-nation-state regional empire.

                  The Republic of Turkey came out of the ashes. I don’t know why you’re resorting to idiotic, cheap accusations of racism.

                  1. I do not think you know what that term means. Define “nation state”.

                    1. A nation state is a geographical area that can be identified as deriving its political legitimacy from serving as a sovereign nation.[1] A state is a political and geopolitical entity, while a nation is a cultural and ethnic one. The term “nation state” implies that the two coincide, but “nation state” formation can take place at different times in different parts of the world, and has become the dominant form of world organization.

                      The Ottoman Empire was a…wait for it…empire.

                      An empire is a geographically extensive group of states and peoples (ethnic groups) united and ruled by a central authority, either by a monarch (emperor, empress) or an oligarchy.

                      The Ottoman Empire pretty much was the definition of the latter.

                    2. By that definition, the USA is not a nation state, and neither is Israel, because they are both have multiple ethnic groups.

                      Can you name any existing countries that match your definition of a nation state?

                    3. It’s not my definition. It’s Wikipedia’s. Perhaps they have a reason for choosing that definition. The definition DOES have some implied exceptions.

              2. Curious as to why you decide to start at 1920

                Because Mandatory Palestine was extant only between the 1920 cessation of British and French Army occupation (Occupied Enemy Territory Administration)and the 1948 establishment of Israel.

                Furthermore I agree that the British, particularly the vile T.E. Lawrence, unleashed a monster upon humanity with their creation of Arab nationalism (also Greek nationalism and Italian nationalism). But to say that European powers can be blamed for the past 60+ years of woe for a people who came out on the losing side of WWI, WWII, and every single subsequent attempt to annihilate the Jews is (IMO) a bit of a stretch.

                1. Well, 1920 is awfully convenient, because the groundwork for that was laid with Sykes-Picot and the other conflicting agreements.

                  Look, it is not 100% JUST the British and the French who have caused everything. There were divisions before the Ottomans, and during the Ottoman Empire. They were exacerbated and handled dreadfully by the victors of WWI, though. The British wanted the claims they took to the League of Nations so they could maintain their hold on India and have an alternate outlet for Persian oil their companies were exploiting.

                  The French similarly wanted access to Persia and Kurdish areas in a continuous band to the Med.

                  The Russians wanted an easy way to tie the Black Sea to the Med.

                  In trying to secure all this, they dicked with the locals pretty badly.

      2. So those wars had no effect?

        1. Did I say they didn’t? All the wars of the 20th century and some before had an effect on the region. During parts of that time preceding no-kidding independence in the Levant and Greater Syria, the area was controlled by non-Arabs.

      3. Timon, it’s rather racist of you to believe that only While people affect world affairs. You see the British and the French as the root of everything in the Middle East without even acknowledging the existence of the Ottoman Empire.

        1. What?

          The British and the French DEFEATED the Ottomans in WWI, and toward the end of it convinced Ottoman Arabs to rise up against the Ottoman empire.

          Because I did not choose to focus on the losing belligerent of WWI explicitly in my post, I’m racist?

          Fuck you.

          Fact is, the British and the French, being the victors, split up the region even BEFORE earning victory. All sides dealt unfairly with the Arabs, but the losers in the war didn’t have a lot of say.

          1. Fuck you.

            You doth protest too much.

            1. You’re adding nothing but accusations of racism to the proceedings. Please go away.

        2. Yeah, Timon, you’re racist. You ignore 4 centuries of Ottoman history. The Ottoman Empire only starts to exist for you when the French and British support people resisting it.

          1. You are a fucking halfwit.

            I have not ignored a single thing. What is wrong with you? Would you prefer that I post long dissertations on the whole of the regional history going back to the Hittites?

            Go away.

            1. You are a fucking halfwit.

              An now you result to bullying because you don’t get your way immediately. Stop trying to intimidate others, you Left-wing racist.

              1. Good fucking God, you’re a colossal douche.

                1. Good fucking God, you’re a colossal douche.

                  See, all you’ve got to you is bulling once your thin veneer peals off.

            2. Would you prefer that I post long dissertations on the whole of the regional history going back to the Hittites?

              Yes, that would add to the discussion. Then you would see that the only people to hold Israel as an independent state were the Jews.

          2. How not to convince someone of…whatever fucking weird arguments you’re putting forth, which appear to consist merely of calling me a racist for not mentioning the Ottomans enough…repeatedly call whatever you don’t like racist.

            1. Timon, you are a racist. It’s clear in the way you see Whites as the only people who cause world events.

              1. Why do you insist on putting arguments in peoples’ mouths and then call them racists for it?

                Why are you such a giant piece of shit and why are you uninterested in debate? Why do you have to try to shut things down by throwing around “racism”? Are you incapable of having an argument without resorting to that word right off the bat?

                Fuck off.

                1. Why are you such a giant piece of shit

                  Fuck off.

                  You might be more convincing is you address the arguments I make instead of resorting to bullying.

                  1. Your arguments consist of “YOU DIDN’T MENTION THE OTTOMANS, YOU FUCKING RACIST!!!!”

                    You’ve done nothing but bully from the second you started posting accusations of racism.

                    1. You are racist for not mentioning any non-Whites as actors of the world stage. I merely called a spade a spade.

              2. You’ve argued with me for approximately 3 hours, at most. You know “what I see”?

                Go away.

                1. I’m still waiting for you to post the history of who ruled Israel from ancient times to the present.

                2. Timon,

                  You made your world view very plain in your posts. You are obsessed with only what White people do.

                  1. I’m done. You’re completely unreasonable and presumptuous.

                    1. Instead of closing your mind to opposing views, you should do some introspective and purge yourself of your racist tendencies. Try looking at every ethnic group as equal regardless of it’s race. Then you won’t have such a warped view of history.

      4. Congrats you’ve just demonstrated total ignorance of the Arab-Israli war.

    2. I largely blame the Arab states for this situation. No other people in the modern era have been stuck in refugee camps for 3 generations. The Arabs have had the money to integrate the Palestinians into their states and made the conscious decision not to, as a political tool to deflect populist anger towards Israel.

  16. up to I saw the receipt that said $7352 , I did not believe …that…my neighbours mother had been trully taking home money part time on their apple labtop. . there uncles cousin started doing this less than 18 months and recently cleared the loans on there villa and purchased a new Mazda MX-5 . see it here………
    http://www.Jobs-spot.com

  17. “According to Ha’aretz, total U.S. military aid topped $100 billion this year”

    Quibble =

    I’ve caught a few people posting stats in blog posts on H&R that later proved to be wildly misleading and mis-stated, and never corrected or clarified.

    The linked source here – were it actually available and not behind a paywall – would clarify that the # reflects “total historical military aid to israel over decades” – and NOT ‘Current 2013-2014 overall US military aid spending*’ – which is more like $5.5 billion or so.

    I know that’s just an issue with wording, but you have no idea how quickly other idiots see numbers and start quoting them without the slightest further thought

    Also – given the subject of the piece, Tony should have bothered to mention that the nature of US Military Aid is fundamentally tied to Israel and Egypt because of the decades-old agreements in the Camp David accords.

    Israel and Egypt represent something like 90% of ALL us military financing every year due to those very agreement. The rest is peanuts.

    The fact that you could talk about ‘Military funding to Israel’ and not mention either Egypt or Camp David in the same piece is astounding.

    1. These are good points.

  18. The claim that the Arab world’s problems arise from bad borders is repeated by people who really don’t understand the ME. It’s the culture stupid. It was a backwards hellhole before Pykes-Sicot and there is no reason to believe it would be much better without it. The existence of Israel means there is a part of the ME that is not a hellhole. Sykes-Picot was not the reason the Arabs attacked Israel. Arab cultural evilness is.

    1. Oh, Jesus…the general bungling of WWI’s aftermath, with all the agreements taken as a whole certainly contributed.

      Cyto, you and I have clashed over this before. If I haven’t said so, on a whole mess of other issues, I find you rather agreeable, but as soon as we get to something like this, you totally lose your shit.

      I don’t know why. There’s room for discussion here, despite what that insane weirdo above intimates.

  19. How is foreign aid to Egypt coming along? Never any outrage about that. Just the Joooos. Who actually work with the DoD on some weapons programs.

  20. just before I saw the receipt which said $5461 , I didnt believe …that…my mom in-law woz like they say actually bringing in money in their spare time at there labtop. . there sisters roommate has been doing this 4 only about twenty months and by now paid the mortgage on there house and purchased themselves a Audi Quattro . this link………..www.netjob70.com

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