Posted by: Harold Knight | 03/01/2014

Do you still give your Wall-Street-Employed son or daughter a weekly allowance from your Social Security check??

Is it bipolar? If it looks like a duck, and walks like. . . (you know).

Samir Awad, fatally shot on January 15, 2013

Samir Awad, fatally shot on January 15, 2013

A great mystery of US politics (and international affairs) is that Americans elect members of Congress who are pledged to “cut the budget” and stop growth of the Federal Government (often, they say, by eliminating “foreign aid”)—elect them at the same time they turn a blind eye to our country’s enormous yearly expenditure of aid to one of the world’s healthiest economies.

That the U.S. continues to give $3.1 billion annually to the state of Israel is akin to your continuing to give your son or daughter their weekly allowance when they have finished graduate school and are making more money at their entry-level job than you have ever made.

  • How many collapsing bridges in Texas could $3.1 billion a year fix?
  • How many children in Dallas County could be insured under the Affordable Care Act instead of billing upstanding citizens for their care at Parkland Hospital? All of them?

Steven Strauss of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government has written persuasively that our continuing financial support of Israel is exactly like taking funds from your limited checking account and giving them to your millionaire stock-broker son or daughter.  His essay begins,

It’s been over 15 years since PM Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress stating Israel’s goal of economic independence. In 1997, Israel received $3.1 billion in aid from the U.S. In 2012, Israel was still receiving $3.1 billion annually in U.S. aid. We haven’t made much progress towards PM Netanyahu’s goal. For Israel’s sake, as well as for America’s, it’s time to reduce U.S. annual aid to Israel — to 0 — over some reasonable adjustment period (perhaps 5 to 10 years), leaving open the possibility, of course, for emergency aid.

Palestinian priest Father Shomali (2R) leads an open air mass on April 6, 2012 after leading a procession through the Cremisan valley and near the surrounding settlements, with Palestinian Christians who didn’t get permits to go to Jerusalem to participate in the “Via Dolorosa” in Jerusalem.

Palestinian priest Father Shomali (2R) leads an open air mass on April 6, 2012 after leading a procession through the Cremisan valley and near the surrounding settlements, with Palestinian Christians who didn’t get permits to go to Jerusalem to participate in the “Via Dolorosa” in Jerusalem.

So, all you Tea Partiers and Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan, it’s time for you to demand that the US stop wasting $3.1 billion every year and either

  • reduce the deficit or
  • spend that money on fixing the (almost) devastated water supply in California.

OF COURSE (yes, I’m shouting) HERE’S WHAT WE ARE REALLY GETTING
(not aid to the state of Israel or the robber-baron owners of Sodastream or other grown-up companies that ought to be supporting themselves) FOR OUR MONEY:

Israeli forces have displayed a callous disregard for human life by killing dozens of Palestinian civilians, including children, in the occupied West Bank over the past three years with near total impunity, said AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL IN A REPORT PUBLISHED TODAY.

The report, Trigger-happy: Israel’s use of excessive force in the West Bank, describes mounting bloodshed and human rights abuses in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) as a result of the Israeli forces’ use of unnecessary, arbitrary and brutal force against Palestinians since January.

It is unnecessary for me to comment.

In the West Bank, the tragic consequences of Israel’s policy of suppressing Palestinian protest have become a familiar story:
Samir Awad, a 16-year-old boy from Bodrus, near Ramallah, was shot dead near his school in January 2013 while attempting to stage a protest with friends against Israel’s 800km-long fence/wall, which cuts through their village. Three bullets struck him in the back of the head, the leg, and shoulder as he fled Israeli soldiers who ambushed his group. Witnesses said the boy was directly targeted as he ran away.

Malik Murar, 16, Samir’s friend who witnessed his killing, told Amnesty International: “They shot him first in the leg, yet he managed to run away… how far can an injured child run? They could have easily arrested him… instead they shot him in the back with live ammunition.”

Amnesty International believes Samir’s killing may amount to extrajudicial execution or a wilful killing, which is considered a war crime under international law.

“It’s hard to believe that an unarmed child could be perceived as posing imminent danger to a well-equipped soldier. Israeli forces appear in this and other cases to have recklessly fired bullets at the slightest appearance of a threat,” said Philip Luther.

Under international law, the police and soldiers enforcing the law must always exercise restraint and never use arbitrary force. Security forces may only resort to the use of lethal force if there is an imminent risk to their lives or the lives of others. Israel has repeatedly refused to make public the rules and regulations governing the use of force by army and police in the OPT.

YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK: At least two Palestinians have lost their lives in the occupied West Bank as Israeli soldiers open fire on anti-war Palestinian protesters.

YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK: At least two Palestinians have lost their lives in the occupied West Bank as Israeli soldiers open fire on anti-war Palestinian protesters.

 

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