Proclaim Liberty Throughout The Land…The Israel Aid issue
by Gerald A. Honigman
Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof…
Leviticus 25:10, Hebrew Bible
The recent tragic news of a Chinook helicopter being shot down in Afghanistan, with great loss of life, got me thinking again about the the cost of American aid abroad…
I’m a proud Philadelphia boy.
My great grandfather, Benjamin, eloped with his fourteen year old bride, Esther, married in Elkton, Maryland, and proceeded to sire my grandfather and over a dozen of my grand uncles and aunts…Philly’s Esther and Benjamin Honigman Family Circle.
My Grandfather served in WWI, and my Dad was in combat four years in WWII. Dad later put in almost three decades with the Philadelphia Police Department, retiring as a lieutenant. Edward Honigman and his mother–my grandma–(now all of blessed memory) were both born on the 4th of July…
With this as background, let’s begin…
I often hear folks complaining about all that aid we give the Jews “over there.” Amongst those complaining are some affiliated with the Tea Party.
True, Israel has received two to three billion dollars in aid each year from Washington for some time now. That aid is much appreciated, is largely returned to us via purchases in America, and comes with a big down side as well–as is most recently being manifested in the suicidal concessions the Obama White House and the State Department expect Israel to make to Abbas’s Fatah and the PA’s alleged “good cop” terrorists (with as much, if not more, Jewish blood on their hands than the Hamas bad cops) who still refuse to recognize the Jewish State, regardless of how many additional concessions it makes.
Please take a good look at the opening quote above from the Hebrew Bible, aka “Old Testament.”
That’s the inscription on the symbol of America’s Revolution, the Liberty Bell, which sits within almost a stone’s throw of where I was born.
There is no people who share–indeed gave–the values Americans so cherish more than the Jews. None…
Indeed, when Europeans arrived here, they saw America as the “New Zion.” Prior to that, it was Jews fleeing the Spanish Inquisition, seeking safe haven, and so forth ( Luis de Santangel, etc.) who financed Columbus’s voyages–not Ferdinand and Isabella. A number were on his ships–including his interpreter, Luis de Torres ( a “Converso”). Columbus’s own real name–Colon–appears on the Inquisition lists…but this is all a whole other story unto itself. The all-American holiday coming up this fall, Thanksgiving, was modeled on the Hebrews’ autumn harvest holiday of Sukkot, the Feast of the Tabernacles.
Despite all that’s said against it, Israel–the resurrected Jew of the Nations, as the Hebrew Prophets foretold–is indeed a shining “light unto the nations” (as G_d wanted it to be, the very definition of its chosenness ), with all of its admittedly human imperfections.
Compare it, for starters, using the same lenses of moral scrutiny to what’s in its neighborhood, and this becomes more than apparent. There are Arabs serving in Israel’s Parliament who openly side with other Arabs who call for Israel’s destruction. Find the Arab country with a tiny fraction of freedom like that…
America helps Israel because it’s in its own interests to do so–despite all the petrodollar connections, including those in the State Department and at the highest levels of government. Such influence makes the much talked about Israel lobby, AIPAC, look like child’s play. As just one of too many other examples, President George H.W. Bush and his appointed fellow petrodollar best buddy at State, James Baker III, supported Saddam Hussein until the latter made his moves on that giant oil well also known as Kuwait. Killing, gassing, and maiming hundreds of thousands of Kurds made no never mind prior to this. And when Israel took out Saddam’s Osirak nuclear reactor, both condemned Israel with a vengeance.
And yet, some folks proclaimed that we went to war with Iraq to save the Jews…again.
I’m sure Israel felt this way when it was told by Bush I that it had to keep its hands tied behind its back while Saddam sucker punched it with about forty missiles aimed at Jewish civilian populations. Did anyone know then whether or not Saddam would have those warheads topped with biological or chemical materials he possessed? Had Israel responded, there likely would have been no need for George W. Bush’s Iraq II.
Decades earlier, like-minded bigots claimed that America fought WWII to “save the Jews.”
Germany declared war on the United States on December 11, 1941…not vice-versa.
We fought the war to save Europe–not Jews–and very likely ourselves afterwards.
American bombers were given orders not to bomb Nazi Final Solution facilities or railway tracks leading to Auschwitz, while flying right over them to get to the area’s industrial targets.
Jews fleeing Nazis were denied entry into America while Nazi butchers like Dr. Mengele were aided by us to escape to South America and elsewhere…including to the United States. The Jews’ virtual saint, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, gave orders which had the United States send the German ocean liner, S. S. Saint Louis, away from Florida. It was loaded with prominent German Jews trying to escape the Holocaust. Many, if not most, wound up dying in gas chambers and such. A movie, The Voyage Of The Damned, would later be made about this.
So, let’s cut the manure about America fighting to save Jews.
Okay…let’s return to the aid issue.
The current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan–whether you support them or not–are costing America more, for the sake of Arabs and other Muslims, in just one week than Israel gets in foreign assistance in one year. Please read that again…
America has already spent over a trillion dollars for those wars, with much more still to come.
It would take Israel centuries to get this amount of aid from America, and it doesn’t ask for American blood and souls–like those just sacrificed on that Chinook chopper–to be shed on its behalf or to be bribed to display America’s own values and democratic inclinations. With the exception of Israel, how long will those values and inclinations last in the rest of the region after America’s exit from it ?
And what about the trillions of dollars America has given to Europe and elsewhere over the years? Why do so many of the same folks who complain about America “saving Jews” not mention any of this?
Now, having stated all the above, I do believe that before one cent in aid is given to anyone anywhere, no American should be going to bed hungry, homeless, or worrying about the family going bankrupt due to health problems. We do need to come up with better ways to take care of the home front first–especially if we have this kind of money to spread around, including to those who hate us.
But, when the issue of American aid to Israel arises, fairness demands that we consider this in the broader perspective. When done this way, the assistance given to the Jews appears as a bargain, indeed.