(JNS) One thing is clear in the behavior and rhetoric of the hate-Israel crowd: It has become adept at focusing obsessively and singularly on Israel and Israel alone, how it behaves, who its victims are, what human and civil rights of which it allegedly deprives the Arabs, and what crimes against humanity it continues to perpetrate in its brutal, unlawful occupation of the lands of an indigenous people. And a key part of that dissection of every part of Israel’s existence is the amount of aid the Jewish state receives from the United States, some three point four billion USD annually.
Suddenly, they care about assessing the appropriate levels of U.S. aid being doled out to a single foreign state, trying to decide what levels of aid, if any, are acceptable.
The critiquing of U.S. military aid to Israel has been a recurring theme at universities as part of the campus war against the Jewish state. When in May this year Israel moved to suppress rocket attacks from Gaza aimed at Jewish neighborhoods, predictably, instead of supporting Israel’s actions to protect its citizenry from the homicidal aggression of Hamas terrorists, students and faculty from dozens of universities issued statements of solidarity with the Palestinians. And the issue of U.S. aid to Israel was a bulleted point in many of those statements, along with a demand that the amount be either reduced or eliminated altogether.
In July, a pro-Palestinian teacher’s group, New York City Educators for Palestine, issued a virulently anti-Israel statement because “we have no choice but to speak out against the injustice being committed against the Palestinian people.”
Particularly odious was the suggestion in the statement that the aid is an example of Jews depriving New York taxpayers of funds that might be spent domestically, or as the statement said “New York City alone gives almost one hundred and forty-five million dollars a year to the Israeli military. … This is money taken from the families of New York City by a nuclear power with one of the most technologically advanced militaries in the world.”
These commentators apparently have no issue with the huge sums of U.S. aid given in 2020, for example, to such countries as Afghanistan, Egypt (one point five billion), Iraq (one billion), Jordan (two point four billion) and Ukraine (over one point five billion), countries that are not reliable strategic and diplomatic partners, and not useful in sharing technology and intelligence in the way that Israel is and does.
In the case of Afghanistan, the U.S. Department of Defense recently reported that our country’s total military expenditure from October 2001 until last December was eight hundred and twenty-five billion, not even including another one hundred and thirty billion spent on reconstruction projects, for a total of just under a trillion dollars for a country that, after all of that blood and treasure, has almost immediately after our withdrawal reverted to a medieval theocratic state under Taliban rule.
And aid is not limited to the Middle East, obviously. The International Institute for Strategic Studies issued a report indicating that the United States spends some thirty-six billion annually on maintaining a military presence and capability in Europe. More than one hundred and seventy thousand active-duty personnel are currently deployed in some one hundred and forty countries—a presence that the Department of Defense Comptroller’s Office has estimated to cost American taxpayers over twenty-four billion in 2020.
The recent effort by the congressional “Squad” to kill funding for Iron Dome, indicated very clearly that for Israel-haters—in politics, academia, unions, NGOs, and other elite institutions and organizations—it’s not enough to merely strip Israel’s ability to defend itself with offensive weapon and military technology.
Clearly, the issue is not the dollar amount the U.S. gives in aid to Israel, as it does in similar amounts to many other countries around the world.
Those who obsess about the very existence of Israel—and who focus exclusively on it and what it receives from American taxpayers while they are indifferent or ignorant of aid given to other, less deserving nations—reveal that their anti-Semitic desire to decrease or eliminate funding to the Jewish state can only be motivated by one insidious impulse: a desire to weaken and cause harm to Israel, the Jew of nations.
Richard L. Cravatts, Ph.D., is a Freedom Center Journalism Fellow in Academic Free Speech and president emeritus of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, and is an author.