News and Commentary

HAMMER: The Pro-Israel Case Against U.S. Military Aid To Israel
The Israeli and United States flags are projected on the walls of the ramparts of Jerusalem's Old City, to mark one year since the transfer of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May 15, 2019.

Leading 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has come under fire, of late, for her suggestion that U.S. foreign aid to our ally Israel could become jeopardized by an oh-so-very obstinate Israeli governmental refusal to commit national suicide at the jihadist altar of the “two-state solution” cartel. “It is the official policy of the United States of America to support a two-state solution,” Warren intoned, “and if Israel is moving in the opposite direction, then everything is on the table.” Similarly, today comes news that fellow 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg believes that the U.S. must “take steps to make sure th[at] US taxpayers [are] not contributing” to policies counter to the much-ballyhooed “two-state solution.”

Sounds a lot like a quid pro quo, no?

Alas, none of this anti-Israel braggadocio is particularly new for the Left. Many today forget that Likud Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s thunderous 1982 Zionist vow that he was “not a Jew with trembling knees” was issued in direct response to … wait for it … then-Sen. Joe Biden’s (D-DE) threat to cut off U.S. aid to Israel. Yes, that would be the same purported “moderate” now once again seeking his party’s presidential nomination. Similarly, when ham-handed former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry dropped the “apartheid” word in 2014 to describe the oh-so-very dire possible outcome of failed Israeli-Palestinian capitulation to jihad “peace talks,” it seemed obvious that the bumbling Bostonian had in mind a withholding of U.S. aid to Israel as one plausible penalty.

The status quo of mass U.S. aid to Israel, therefore, amounts to a sword of Damocles that empowers hardened anti-Israel U.S. policymakers to wield U.S. aid as a cudgel toward achieving their leftist, capitulatory, Islamism-empowering policy goals. There is no reason to ever expect this to change: Contra the bemused lecturing of the likes of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), such quid pro quos and strings attached on foreign aid beneficence are intrinsic to the entire foreign aid edifice itself. The result is to denigrate Israel as little more than an American satrap that must act according to the capricious whims of a foreign superpower. Israeli sovereignty is a casualty — as is Zionism itself.

It therefore ought to make sense that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested a reduction and eventual phasing out of U.S. aid (technically just economic aid, but Netanyahu’s logic also applies to military aid) to Israel during his initial prime minister stint during the 1990s. Caroline Glick — arguably the single most consistently arch-Zionist commentator of the past two decades — has long believed in phasing out U.S. aid to Israel, going so far as to call military aid a “poison pill” for Israel. Venerable Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby, a longtime stalwart of the pro-Israel community, agrees. Not only are Israeli self-determination and Zionism itself undermined, but the median American’s opinion of the morally and strategically indispensable U.S.-Israel alliance is sullied by crass fiscal considerations. To state the obvious, phasing out the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid from receiving any foreign aid would redound to the interests of U.S. taxpayers.

True, this phasing out cannot happen overnight. True also, there have historically been real American gains from U.S. aid to Israel. But the reality is that in the long run, contra the more organizationally myopic views of powerful organs of the Jewish and pro-Israel establishment, both the United States and Israel alike would benefit from a phasing out and gradual winding down of all U.S. aid to Israel. This conclusion surely strikes many in the pro-Israel community as counter-intuitive, but it is ultimately correct. The integrity of the Zionist project would only be fortified by the Jewish state’s slowly weaning itself off Uncle Sam’s fiscal teat.

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