Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu / Creative Commons
By Marcus Aurelius / 04.27.2016
The state of Israel currently receives a staggering $3 billion a year in so-called aid, much of it for its military, which is then used to brutalize the Palestinian people in the form of a military occupation and a settlement apparatus of land theft that is illegal under international law. With the current agreement set to expire in 2017, Israel wants a raise. They are now asking for an estimated $5 billion a year over the next ten years, for a total of more than $50 billion.
Despite the fact that we can use this money at home to help America’s 16 million children who live below the poverty level, Israel’s prime minister not only is asking for more money, but he had the nerve to reject President Obama’s offer of $40 billion over the next ten years. Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israelis are using their pull in Washington to get the POTUS to play by their rules. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a lobby group in Washington that works on behalf of a foreign country (Israel) often through the coercion and arm twisting of American officials, just got 83 U.S. senators to sign a letter demanding that the president send money to Israel. The letter states:
“In light of Israel’s dramatically rising defense challenges, we stand ready to support a substantially enhanced new long-term agreement to help provide Israel the resources it requires to defend itself and preserve its qualitative military edge.”
Not surprisingly, Senator Bernie Sanders was not one of the signatories to the letter. The senator has recognized not only that Israel uses disproportionate force on Palestinian civilians through weapons the U.S. gives to Israel, but he also knows the alarming poverty rate that exists in our own backyard with a staggering number of children living in food insecure homes:
- 5.3 million children lived in food-insecure households in 2014.
- Twenty percent or more of the child population in 38 states and D.C. lived in food-insecure households in 2013, according to the most recent data available. The District of Columbia (31%) and Mississippi (29%) had the highest rates of children in households without consistent access to food.
- In 2013, the top five states with the highest rate of food-insecure children under 18 were D.C., Mississippi, Arkansas, New Mexico, and Georgia.
- In 2013, the top five states with the lowest rate of food-insecure children under 18 were North Dakota, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Virginia.
Another element to this insane demand for money from a country supposedly in need is that Israelis enjoy free universal healthcare and education. American households incur billions in debt just so their children can be able to go to school. Moreover, many Americans continue to have no access to healthcare and Republicans are trying to kill Obamacare.
It’s time for America to take care of its children, its sick, and its hungry. It’s time for America’s politicians to worry about America first instead of an ungrateful country that doesn’t require aid but rather needs to be stopped and sanctioned for its brutality against the Palestinian people.