This president is the problem, not something that Newt Gingrich said.
Rick Perry • Putting a nice bow on the ribbon that was the debate over Newt Gingrich’s Palestine comments. To a degree, yes, but considering Israel/Palestine has become such a large issue for conservatives, that’s not entirely true. (via shortformblog
Knee-jerk defenses of every action by Israel undercut our ability to talk about the 44-year occupation and assaults on democracy inside of Israel. The vast majority of our politicians, even those who fight strongly for human rights in other contexts, tend to ignore the clear injustices that Palestinians face under Israeli rule.
In August, 81 members of the House of Representatives traveled to Israel under the auspices of AIPAC’s educational fund. I am certain that they did not see first hand the devastation of Gaza. Barriers on both the Israeli and Egyptian borders imprison some 1.7 million Palestinians, with access to food, fuel, and medical supplies deliberately constricted by the Israeli government.
These delegations are a standard part of American political life, starting with local officeholders. The limited perspective offered is a leading factor in the skewed understanding of what is really happening in the Middle East. The fierce commitment to the electoral defeat of any politician who strays from AIPAC’s position – which reflects the Israeli government position, no matter how extreme the composition of that government – is another factor.
This does us all a disservice. Many analysts, including Israelis, believe the occupation is the single greatest threat to peace in the region, yet these free junkets encourage unconditional U.S. support for settlement expansion that entrenches it further.
The $3 billion per year that Israel receives in military aid from the United States, especially during an era of staggering domestic needs, merits open challenge, especially since Israel uses it to perpetrate a military presence that directly contradicts our stated policies. Remarkably, most deficit hawks protect spending for Israel more vigorously than vital domestic programs.