Tuesday, August 20, 2019

End Foreign Aid to Israel and Everyone Else

By Jacob G. Hornberger - August 20, 2019 at 12:20PM

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Democratic Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are calling on the US Congress to reevaluate US foreign aid to the Israeli government. Their reason? Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, denied entry into Israel for the two of them, owing to their public support of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, a global protest against the Israeli government’s longtime mistreatment of Palestinians.

Omar stated:
We give Israel more than $3 [billion] in aid every year. This is predicated on them being an important ally in the region and the only democracy in the Middle East. But denying a visit to duly elected members of Congress is not consistent with being an ally, and denying millions of people freedom of movement or expression or self-determination is not consistent with being a democracy.
Unfortunately, however, Omar and Tlaib, like the rest of their Democratic counterparts, just don’t get it. In fact, neither does their nemesis, President Trump, and his Republican cohorts. Not only should the US government stop foreign aid to the Israeli regime, it should stop it for every other regime in the world.

For one thing, consider that the Trump administration is spending $1 trillion this year more than it is bringing in with taxes. The difference? He’s borrowing it, thereby adding another trillion dollars to the $22 trillion dollars in federal debt that is already hanging over American taxpayers.

In fact, just recently Trump and his Democratic cohorts in Congress struck a mutually beneficial deal in which they agree to lift the debt ceiling to permit them to saddle American taxpayers with even more debt and, even worse, agreed to extend the debt ceiling until after the presidential election so that it would not be an issue for either party.

What better place to slash spending than by ending US foreign aid to every regime that is on the US dole? Yet, not one single Democrat or Republican thinks on that level. They just want to use foreign aid as a way to force foreign regimes to bend to the will of the US Empire.

After all, let’s face it: US foreign aid has nothing to do with helping the “poor, needy, and disadvantaged” in foreign countries. Instead, it has everything to do with bribery, blackmail, and extortion. The money or military armaments (or both) is given to foreign regimes with the aim of making them dependent on US foreign-aid largess, sort of like when a heroin dealer hands out free samples to prospective customers.

Then, once the regime becomes dependent on the dole, it is expected to do what the US Empire wants it to do. If it refuses to do it, there is a threat of an immediate cutoff of its dole. That usually is enough to get the foreign regime in line, especially because many foreign officials use the money to line their pockets and Swiss bank accounts as well as those of their bureaucratic and military-intelligence cohorts within the regime.

A good example of this phenomenon occurred in 1990. Yemen, which was one of the Empire’s dole recipients, voted in the UN against the Empire’s request of the UN to authorize the use of military force to oust Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein from power. US Secretary of State James Baker told Yemeni officials that their vote would be the most expensive vote they had ever cast. The Empire then proceeded to cut off its foreign aid to Yemen.

If Netanyahu suddenly relented and permitted Omar and Tlaib to be allowed to enter Israel without restrictions, there is little doubt that the two congresswomen would cease calling for a reexamination of foreign aid to Israel. And even if they persisted in calling for such a reexamination, all that they would want to do is redirect the money to their favorite regimes.

The most important argument against foreign aid is the moral one. The Empire forcibly takes money from Americans — the people who have earned it — and gives it to foreign government officials, to whom it does not belong. Americans, like everyone else in the world, have the moral right to keep their own money and decide for themselves what to do with it.

Abolish foreign aid to Israel and to everyone else. It’s the morally right and fiscally responsible thing to do.

Reprinted with permission from Future of Freedom Foundation.

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