For the RecordIsrael and Washington DC have signed a new 10 year defense agreement. Under the new aid agreement, the U.S. will transfer $30 billion to Israel over 10 years, compared with $24 billion over the past decade.
Israel is slated to receive the first pay out in October 2008, amounting to $2.550 billion. That sum will grow each year by $150 million, until it reaches $3.1 billion in 2011. There will be multiple interpretations made about such a sum of money being given to Israel.
It is important to understand a couple of basic principles. First, up to 25% of these monies, and not a penny more, may be spent in local Israeli defense companies. The entire remainder of the monies MUST be spent purchasing American products. Second, politically, Israel is now securely in America's hip pocket for at least the next decade. This precludes whatever American party is in power.
Many would ask, So, what's the problem? One method to keep an ally under control is to make said ally dependent upon the favored benefactor-the USA. The monies must basically be spent in America thus affording American workers employment and fringe benefit packages and aiding the US economy-this is done at the expense of Israel's economy ability to prosper from the same dollar amounts. True, Israel secures quality products but at a significant economic and political cost. Another never spoken detail is the need for Israel to retrofit many of the products to configure with Israel's needs. For example, calibration of radar systems requires time, effort and money on Israel's military establishment. Do not for a moment think or believe that the large sums of monies are a gift-the benefits to American industry, economy and frankly front line targets is well worth the minimum dollar amount the USA could give.
The USA wants and I suggest must keep a major presence in the Middle East. It is far less expensive to fund the Israeli military/security establishment than it is to maintain such an entity of its own.
With these dollars come responsibilities and requirements. The requirements no longer balance off against the gain of the products. USA Administrations now feel they have the moral authority to require Israel to represent in action the USA's needs in the Middle East. By this I mean that America believes Israel must acquiesce to every political demand made upon her. If America says a two-state solution is a must, then Israel has to agree and begin taking appropriate actions. Granted this debate is far from over but this is precisely the point. We, in Israel, are not allowed to debate the topic-we are told that it will happen. There are many examples of top-down control the USA has over Israel, well beyond the space of this piece. The most egregious examples have happened in the last couple of years. Israel was told to leave Gaza-our military and security people said no-America won. Look what has happened-Gazastan. America demanded and prevailed at the Rafah crossing. You may not know what this is or think that it is important. However, it is directly the prime example of Israel having to bow to the USA. Israel has NO, nada control of people going into or out of Gaza via the sea or into Egypt. The smuggling tunnels, once controlled by Israel, have multiplied and any kind of weapons, including missiles are now inside Gaza. These are pointed at us! We were told to stand down last summer in Lebanon. Imagine the USA being told to do this!
Although it is a matter of record that Fatah is no better than Hamas, that Abbas is no better than Arafat, we are told to give more and more to him in order to prop him up. Neither Abbas nor Fatah have to do anything, just accept and even make more demands of Israel. The USA is misrepresenting the truth about Abbas and Fatah's moderation-both are not true. Israel has to release monies to a corrupt management team-for goodness sake they used a major part of the monies to pay off Hamas workers, code for armed terrorists, yearly salaries. Our Prime Minister is being played by Washington DC and because he is such a weak leader, because he is hanging onto his power by a thread, he concedes to America's every demand. There is so many more examples-suffice it to say, Israel is an indebted state!
Today Israel is in great danger. We are afraid to upset Syria as they mass battalions of soldiers along our border and as they place thousands of rockets on the border aimed at us. We are so afraid the Israeli Defense Minister, Barak, will not authorize dispersement of gas masks to the Israeli citizens. Yes, the same former PM Barak who left a power vacuum in Lebanon some years ago when he pulled us out in the dead of night. Hizzbollah immediately filled the power space and the rest is history. Israel too easily followed orders and yielded to the United Nations actions. Today, we have 20,000 rockets pointed at all of our cities, a revitalized and more entrenched Hizzbollah. The brokered agreements by the USA, EU and along with our enemies and our perceived inability to stand tall among the edicts that have endangered us have placed us in amore dangerous position than we were in this time last year.
I await a leadership to emerge that will make the necessary changes in our internal operations enabling us to exercise what is truly best for the country of Israel. Not only is this possible it is necessary for our very long-term survival.