Is Israel off limits?

 It has long been the case that anyone who dares criticize the policies of Israel or those of the United States toward it is immediately branded anti-semetic or worse. We have just seen that Charles Freeman had to withdraw from consideration for a post in the State Department because he was insufficiently rabidly pro-Israel. He is not alone. Members of Congress and President after President know better than to piss off AIPAC and the pro-Israel lobby if they want to be elected. It is time to stop this insanity and ask the tough questions.

How we got to this untenable situation is a matter of debate. I contend that it started out of America’s sense of guilt for having abandoned Jewish emigrees in the days of WW II, coupled with the horror of Hitler’s attempt to eliminate the Jews of Europe. But we need to declare our debt paid in full at some point and then consider Israel in the same way any other friendly nation is regarded – with clear sight and sound mind. We do neither with Israel.
I will not rehash the many controversies about Israeli settlement policies, battle tactics or horrible oppression of Palestinians. Again, there are strong opinions about all of these and I neither have the knowledge nor the time to deal with each. However, whatever view you may have about them, at the very least they raise issues regarding our lavish financial assistance and even more our unfaltering political support of Israel.
We spend more on Israel than any other nation, and for what gain? Their military is by far the overwhelming force in the region, so continuing to pour money into weapons for them seems inappropriate at best. We have tolerated their well-known nuclear capability in a way no other nation is treated, yet that capability is further destabilizing the region.
Now that Israel seems poised to install a more bellicose government with open hostility to the difficult process of finding a way to peace in the Middle East, it is time to reconsider our relationship with a clear head and without preconditions. We are in a position to impose conditions of our aid and their behavior that could help the peace process immensely. But if no one is able to speak about Israel in anything approaching a critical fashion, we will never do what is needed and appropriate.
Israel is a wealthy nation, able to afford its own defense. It can defend itself. It is time to cut the cord or at least condition it on Israelis pulling out of the settlements, opening up trade to Palestine, and ending its aggressive tactics in the region. Israel is not the only problem by far. But they are tethered to the US in a way none but Egypt is, and we must have the kind of open discussion of our policies that a healthy democracy depends upon.
It is time we stop being a nation of cowards with respect to Israel.
[Note: Because this can be a topic on which comments get nasty and explosive, any sign of the same and I will close down the comments function]



  1. hologram5

    I am a Christian, was a registered republican up until the “Bushco years”. I now vote independant as I don’t buy into the two party system as it is and always has been a sham. But anyways, I don’t agree with anything that is going on over there. (IE Gaza).
    I think that the Isrealis are acting like thugs. There is plenty of land to go around, what should happen is a third country should take over the land, IE Holy rock or whatever and let whomever wants to come and pray or see it come and be done with it…

    To Boldly Go…
    Anywhere there is sanity…

  2. f33dback

    It is time to stop the insanity, now all you have to do is get that message out thru the MSM that is almost entirely owned or run by the Jewry.
    Frankly the term “anti-semetic” has lost its bite.

    An example:
    Gerald Levin, CEO and Director of AOL Time Warner

    Michael Eisner, Chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company

    Edgar Bronfman, Sr., Chairman of Seagram Company Ltd

    Edgar Bronfman, Jr, President and CEO of Seagram Company Ltd and head of Universal Studios

    Sumner Redstone, Chairman and CEO of Viacom, Inc

    Dennis Dammerman, Vice Chairman of General Electric

    Peter Chernin, President and Co-COO of News Corporation Limited

    Those seven Jewish men collectively control ABC, NBC, CBS, the Turner Broadcasting System, CNN, MTV, Universal Studios, MCA Records, Geffen Records, DGC Records, GRP Records, Rising Tide Records, Curb/Universal Records, and Interscope Records.

  3. Jerry Bentley

    Gerald L Bentley,

    OK, I had my say but its now time to get down to basics.

    I Googled American aid to Israel, I found that American aid to
    Israel costs the American taxpayer $23,000 per Israeli per year.

    That means that the average family of four in Israel receives
    $93,000 per year in American subsidies. We also know that Great
    Britian does much the same.

    The American people are struggling to survive. We are only one
    illness away from bankruptcy. We do not have national health care
    as most European nations do.

    We are not afraid of sacrifice, in fact, we are proud of our sacrifice, we fight for liberty for all peoples.

    We can grow our own food. We can hunt and kill enough animals to
    feed ourselves, for our vegetables we can grow them. We are not
    afraid of anything.

    We came from Europe, afraid of nothing, we hope to be good and
    rightous. We only want to do right in the world but sometimes we
    are confused.

    We are confused by our politicians, who say that we should just
    listen to them, while they confuse us.

    The American people are ignorant of many of the world issues.

    They are people that can grow their own food and can shoot or catch
    their own meat. They are not powerless.

    We feel that we have something to say to the world, you are not
    powerless, you have all the power in the world, you just have to
    realize it.

    From the beginning of recorded time, the world has fought continuous
    wars, one after another, WHY?

    Did any war settle any thing? How do our political leaders continue
    to convince young men to fight for nothing?

    The political leaders did not fight, they sent the “poor boys” to fight for them. The “Poor Boys” died in droves.

    As a war veteran, I am sick of these eletists, I don’t care about
    their views. They have never killed a man, and they just
    don’t know what its like.

    Jerry Bentley

  4. Jerry Bentley

    Gerald L Bentley,

    Phil, I sense a feeling of fear in your article. I don’t know why
    Americans are afraid to talk about our relationship with Israel.

    I have known several Jews in my lifetime, and not one of them has made me afraid of Jews. Quite to the contrary, they have earned my
    respect and I love to talk to them because I learn a great deal by
    listening to them.

    Why is America afraid to talk to Jewish people about our relationship?

    Are the Jews the big bad boogyman? I don’t think so.

    There are just as many Jews that are unhappy about the US/Israeli
    relationship as there are Americans.

    I am glad that you wrote this article, because it defines the quandary
    that we face.

    Sometimes we just can’t face our problems because we are afraid of

    Sure, America feels guilty about the Holocaust, because we could have
    stopped it sooner or prevented it entirely had we acted more promply
    and decisively.

    But the fact is that we did act, however late, to stop it.

    I don’t think that the Jews hate us.

    I do think that some unsightly Jews and Americans have taken advantage
    of this situation. But, this is not the majority of Jews or

    We need to work to do what our God has instructed us to do.

    How would American southerners feel if the Cherokee Nation demanded
    that their land be returned after 300 years? Chances are that they
    would fight. How do the Palestians feal when the Jews say that their
    land was taken from them 3,000 years ago?

    Chances are, that the Palestinians would fight.

    The Jewish people know this and they reach out to us to help them solve this dileama.

    The point of this writing is to get everyone to realize that peace is the answer.

    There is not much difference between a Christian and a Muslim and a Jew. It is time that this war ended.

  5. Phil Hoskins


    Please comment on the topic only.

    Bashing of israelis, Jewish people of any sort, or jokes like the last one will close the comments fast.

    Phil Hoskins

  6. DejaVuAllOver

    Great comments, Paolo and L. Reichard. As for me, I’ve worked in various aspects of the media, mostly music and TV, for over half my working life and all I have to add is that anyone who DARES to criticize or even tell the unfavorable truth about Israel and/or the zionists will be out on the streets so fast they know won’t know what hit ’em. (I heard this one at least once year in my former career.)

    EXHIBIT A: A common joke in Hollywood in the 1980’s. (I heard this one at least once year in my former career….):

    Q.) How do you recognize a Gentile working on a film set?

    A.) By his broom.

  7. L. Reichard

    I got the anti-Semitic tag when running for office. Consistent with the Libertarian philosophy, my position was to eliminate ALL taxpayer-financed foreign aid.

    One reporter asked me if that included foreign aid to Israel. Being naive, consistent — and honest (which isn’t necessarily advisable if you hope to get elected) — I said, “Of course!”

    That was plenty to get me my official “anti-Semite” badge from ADL.

    AND, while I wasn’t at all anti-Semitic BEFORE that experience, I assure you, it’s quite difficult to overcome the natural, emotional, urge to convert after experiencing that level of ill-advised chutzpah.