That number, one more time,
The US just allocated $4,750 PER CITIZEN OF ISRAEL for military spending for the next ten years. And, if you really want to get technical (because you know Israel is really big on being a bit exclusive *coughapartheidstatecough*) it's really more like $6,333.00 per Israeli Jewish (that includes secular and religious) citizen.
That's the equivalent of the US telling Israel that for the next 1,250 days, every. single. citizen of Israel will get a free Starbucks coffee. (or, if the coffee is only for Israeli citizens whose ID reads "Jewish", the coffee could flow for 1,666 days).
It's fine, Obama, I didn't want your money anyway.
|Source: Facebook, Brea Baker|
crippling loan debt?
insufficient job creation?
expensive health care?
astronomical housing costs?
increasing wage gap?
*sits nervously in corner chewing nails and laughing*
So what's the deal with all of this anyway?
According to The Guardian the deal isn't just a fancy giant lottery style check for $38 billion dollars.
It's being dispersed over the next ten years
It limits Israel from asking congress for additional military funding (because in our last round of military aid, the US pledged 30 billion, and congress allocated an additional 5 billion for missile defense in 2014....because blowing Gaza to bits wasn't enough, they had to annihilate it)
There's also another condition which I found most interesting.
"Israel would no longer be allowed to spend over a quarter of the military aid on home-produced weaponry, and would instead be required the full amount on US arms. Nor would it be able to spend any of the aid on fuel for its armed forces."which means...
Israel has to spend the money the on US created weaponry.
Which really makes sense if you think about it.
I remember, back in my college days, sitting in a guest lecture with Jeff Halper (the founder of the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions). One thing he said has stuck with me for years and has become central to my understanding of the unparalleled support that the US provides to Israel at the expense of the Palestinian people.
As always seems to happen in a presentation on Palestine and Israel, someone asked why the US is such a big supporter of a nation who is clearly in violation of human rights and causing so much destruction. Jeff said, "The US really needs a testing ground for its weapons"
It's true. during 2014's Operation Protective Edge, the US designed "Iron Dome" defense system proved successful. It's only a matter of time (if it hasn't secretly been done already) until the Iron Dome is installed as a protector of potential terrorist targets on US soil.
There's also been a great deal of attention given in the conversation about police brutality in regards to militarized police forces and military equipment that gets passed onto police units nationwide. If you have spent any time in Jerusalem the concept of a militarized police force becomes shockingly normalized. And that entire conversation gets amplified whenever we stop and realize that our own police forces in NYC, Chicago, and all across the US have been trained by Israeli special forces.
The point is this. The more military aid the US gives to Israel, the more militarized the US becomes in the long term. So, the US isn't just pledging $38 billion to support one of the strongest, most heavily armed state-supported militaries in the world, it's pledging billions of dollars to support its own military development, increasing our military force abroad (watch out, ISIS) and domestically (I feel so safe.)
Personally, this scares me deeply. Especially as presidential nominees praise the new US-Israel deal
"Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who has expressed opposition to universal health care and free college tuition, cheered the aid deal [in a statement released by her campaign:] 'Senator [Tim] Kaine and I applaud the agreement on a new memorandum of understanding regarding American security assistance to Israel.' " (source: electronic intifada)It is terrifying to consider that, as a recent college graduate who is grappling with the realities of debt and unemployment, the US is essentially self-funding its own military strength through the facade of military aid.
It is terrifying enough to know that Israel will have 3 billion more dollars over the next ten years to fund missile attacks on Gaza and to increase "security" and surveillance on Palestinians living in the West Bank and the 1948.
It is unsettling to me that, as voices in the US that support BDS and other movements to liberate Palestine are being silenced, there is less and less power to raise a collective voice to put an end to increased military aid spending in Israel.
The longer this progresses, the more I feel like I'm stuck in a nightmare where my screams are choked back and muffled.
So cheers, Obama, and the democratic party, on your charitable giving. You did promise us change, after all. We just hoped it would benefit us, the people who voted you in twice.