Skip to comments.You've got your troubles…Israeli aid requests must take account of America’s own fiscal problems.
Posted on 03/07/2003 9:58:32 AM PST by anotherview
Yoav Karny 6 Mar 03 14:14
Israels relations with the US continue to be surprisingly strong. As recently as 10 years ago, no one would have automatically assumed these relations would withstand the tests they have in fact met and passed. US public opinion surveys continue to report a deep admiration for Israel, even when Israels popularity in the rest of the world in at a low. Israels popularity in the US is a strategic asset, the importance of which cannot be exaggerated.
Nevertheless, for that precise reason, Israelis should speak tactfully with the US. Tact is particularly important at a time when the rest of the world is displaying arrogance, insolence, and ingratitude in its attitude towards the US.
This week, Minister of Finance Benjamin Netanyahu gave his old friends on the Senate Finance Committee a call. He wanted to remind them of Israels request for something like $12 billion in aid more than the US gives Africa, Asia, and Latin America put together.
Netanyahus friends nodded yes. Of course, they said, Israel can rely on us, and its reasonable to suppose that Israel can, indeed, rely on them. Netanyahu should, however, remind himself and his people about the huge economic difficulties the US is currently facing, and prove to his friends in Washington that he knows and understands.
Anyone straying from Washington and taking a glance at the local newspapers elsewhere will quickly discover the dimensions of the fiscal disaster being experienced by almost all 50 of the United States. Israelis will recognize the main symptom: a steep dive in tax revenues. Not an intifada, but the end of the 1990s boom, has emptied the US state treasuries.
In the 1990s, there was no more desirable and politically rewarding office than state governor. There was so much money in the state treasuries at the height of what was described as the longest boom in history that it would have been hard to fail. George W. Bush became governor of Texas when the boom was just beginning, and left that office exactly when it ended. He owes his White House lease to that job.
State governors are now sources of bad news to their constituents. Since the law requires them to submit balanced budgets, they are forced to institute deep and painful cuts.
At the end of last month, the state governors came to Washington to beg the president for aid. Bush told them he was helpless: We have a budget deficit, were in a recession, and were at war.
Yes, the US is a rich and successful country. It will recover from this crisis. Its friends should, however, behave with tact, empathy, and consideration when they come to ask it for subsidies.
Perhaps this is the time for Netanyahu to write an open letter to the American people, to explain why Israel thinks it should come before Connecticut and Minnesota. The letter should be written with love and humility. Unfortunately for Israel, it can make only requests, not demands.
Published by Globes [online] - www.globes.co.il - on March 6, 2003
Having existing settlements grown? Yes, and that is natural. People have children, right? However, no US funding pays for that, either.
Besides, define settlement. Israel has no recognized international boundary with Gaza or the West Bank. No other nation has a claim to them. The Palestinians could have had a state in 100% of Gaza and 97% of the West Bank, but chose war instead. Right now, that land is entirely within Israel. Of course, the Israeli government would like that to change. How can it under the present conditions? Would you give part of your country to terrorists?
2. Notice how the Rules change when Jews get a state. Capture and settlement of land is the norm of 10,000 years. But the second Jews do it...
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