Two brief comments this morning. First comes from a MJ Rosenberg response to the increasingly humorous Jeff Goldberg (in that sad kind of funny.) Goldberg’s latest attempts at justifying US support for Israel is reminding Americans that the $3.5 billion dollars that the US was going to give Israel would have been a form of stimulus spending that would have created jobs for Americans. For those who cannot see the absurdity in such a statement, Rosenberg quips:
You would not look at $3 billion in jet fighters as a costly giveaway if you happened to be one of the thousands of people building those planes.”
I hadn’t thought of that. The more money we give to Israel, the more jobs we create here. What an efficient way to help Americans!
Let’s double the aid and get twice as many jobs. And to Pakistan too, which also uses its aid money to buy fighter planes here.
Aid to Israel — aid to any country — is a gift. The proper response is just to say “thank you” and to understand that there are strings attached, or there should be.
Personally, I would continue providing Israel with the aid it needs for its security but not one dime of American money should go to sustain the occupation — even if, in Jeff Goldberg’s eyes, aid to Israel is an American jobs program.
Pssst, Jeffrey. Don’t tell the Republicans that aid to Israel is a stimulus package. If they thought that, they would deep six the aid package in a heartbeat. For them, occupation is fine. But jobs for Americans, no way.
I personally like the bolded part. Does that mean that those who advocate for the end of US military aid to Israel in Chicago and the Bay Area are all Republicans who simply detest the idea of countercyclical spending?
[tweetmeme] The second small bit comes from Jonathan Schanzer at Foreign Policy (also noted by Andrew Sullivan). As you know, I am not entirely thrilled with the recent Palestinian efforts to win international recognition for a Palestinian state on 1967 borders, though, unlike Schanzer, I don’t think it would result in war. Schanzer claims that once Palestine declares independence, Israel will declare war. This is highly doubtful. While there is the possibility that Hamas and Hezbollah will get involved (as Schanzer claims) – with Hezbollah looking to regain popularity after the STL and Hamas attempting to retain the resistance crown – the two parties would only retaliate and not initiate. Thus, the only way that a unilateral declaration of independence creates war is if Israel starts a war.
Realistically, though, any unilateral declaration by the Palestinians will just be ignored by Israel who, in its efforts to maintain its creeping colonization efforts, would fall back on the negotiated settlement byline. Indeed, any independent Palestinian state will require the consent of Israel. The idea that the Palestinian police force – which, according to Schanzer, “can more easily deploy to various corners of the West Bank to defend Abbas’s territorial claims” – will attack settlements or try to force their evacuation is laughable. Not only is the Palestinian police force insufficient (possibly less powerful than the settler militias), the PA cannot be ignorant of the fact that this would provoke an immense retaliation from the region’s most powerful militaries.
Schanzer claimed that a “Palestinian State Means War.” Come on Schanzer. A unilateral declaration of statehood means that nothing would change. Israel would use it as proof that the Palestinians are not suitable partners for peace because they refuse to negotiate and the US would prevent the UN from recognizing the new state.
Photo from Al Arabiyya