1. Norman

    Interesting that there are no comments here @8:38am this day. I wonder, for all those who do read/see this, how you would feel if it was your children?

    1. Abe Bird

      I’m very much surprised that there are still Americans that spread false information on the bilateral US – Israel relations (“It makes it that much more dependent on America alone for support”). They should stop with their continouos shedding dry crocodile tears on Israel….. US military aid to Israel helps the US economy too which one can’t say on US military aid to Egypt, Iraq or Saudi Arabia!. Israel is the highiest US state department assistance’s reciever country. But Japan, S. Korea, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Persian gulf monarchies and others play the so-called “Israeli role”, by having US soldiers on their soil and much more amoumt of American money paid for that pleasure (through defence ministry badget, and not from the foreign office, as Israel get).

      First, Most of the US money given to Israel even doesn’t leave the US but paid to military factories and associates, as decided in the cooperation agreement, that give jobs to ten of thousands of US citizens. If the US aid will stop to flow to those factories I’m not sure that Israel will buy all their products she wants from the US, or else where but in more calculative manner which will reduce the amount of investing money on the US economy.

      Second, the close and intimate security relations between both states influencing the nature of how things done. Israeli high qualified and high sophisticated technology, scientific know-how, military components, gadgets, experience, inventions and developments flow to the US almost for free and benefit the US security interests and save them huge amount of money which they might intended to allocate to the same missions. Israel sells to the US more than 2000 kind of military and security objects from missiles and pilots’ glasses, electronics valves to soldiers’ boots.

      Third, if US aid to Israel to stop it will free Israel to sale her military products and know-how to any country they wish, without the US pre-approval. The US will find herself with another high sophisticated commercial rival who can sale similar but cheaper advanced military products.

      Forth, Israel will be free to create other partnerships with various States such as France, Russia, India, and China in order to fix her Geo-political alliances. That will hurt the US stand in the Middle East and else where.

      1. The US gains very warn entrance into Israel core of military, scientific and political leadership and know-how and have a vast base to manipulate the Israeli politicians into American interests (an exemplary case is the “Lavi” project).

      2. The 3 B$ a year is paying back mainly through US military compounds and industries that give huge “blood pressure” to those factories and keeping their employees on jobs.

      3. Israel keeps close ties with the factories she buys from and with the US army / navy / air force and advices them how to improve military projects and how to adjust them to meet the battle needs. Some military Israeli products are playing major roll in Iraq and Afghan arenas and save American soldiers’ lives (UAV, Optical gadgets, communication assets, operation know-how). US soldiers are trained in Israel to operate in ME desert’s environment and terrain.

      4. Israel new inventions, adjustments, gadgets, experience, know-how, technologies and developments flow to the US almost for free and help the US industries and armies. The “Arrow”, “David Sting” projects is not just partially subsidized by the US, but the ownership and the future profits are theirs too. So apart from the fact that the US benefits its dollars again she also benefited from acquiring the new systems’ technological breakthrough. The “Arrow” is only the most known example, but there are many others which didn’t get yet known to the public (Some hint mentioned: the Laser bean system, air to air and air to ground missiles).

      5. Let’s take for example the UAV drone projects. Israel was the first country that took this matter seriously in the early 70th and developed huge and fascinating UAV industries that lead the world with new developments and breakthrough concepts and technologies. The US woke up only 20 years later and Israel helped hers military industries to start their UAV’S project, to study the tactics and the strategic benefits of these aerial vehicles. Now, the US and alliance forces are using Israeli drones, or those who were produced with the help of Israeli technology, in Afghanistan and Yemen and saving by that many US and allies’ soldier’s life.

      6. More than Israel wants the military aid, the US wants to give it to Israel. The 3$ a year turns Israel to be more tied and depended on US interests and makes the US more influential over Israel, which gives her more political value and strength in the eyes of the Muslims states.

      7. Israel combatant expertise were taught in the US, Britain, Australia, France military units, and some of the combatants came to Israel to be trained at Israel military facilities. Not to mention that this expertise is saving lot of the coalition’s soldiers lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      8. Israel industries produce lot of technology and military excellent products which are well sold everywhere. But she can’t sell these goods to countries that the US thinks will harm her own interests, while the US sells almost everything to everyone, even to the enemies of Israel, without asking Israel’s opinion. This is the best situation that the US can wish for, and that is one of the reasons for the US policy to give Israel this annual aid which let her almost control the Israeli security selling market. The US even influencing by stopping Israeli military projects that may weakened the Israeli military ties and dependent on the US, such as the closure of the fighter ‘Lavi’ project in late 80s. Too militarily Independent Israel doesn’t serve the US interests, to be polite.

      9. I’m sure that I can raise more issues to explain why the special US-Israel connection benefits the US more than Israel, but I’ll let others to add, for now.

      10. I’m sure that your first reflection will be trying to reject the truth with makes chaos to your naïve view over Israel. But as long as you study the facts you won’t be able to escape the truth.

      1. spooz

        This all assumes that advancing the Military Industrial Complex is a good use of resources. I don’t see it that way.

        1. Joe

          Spot on. If Israel can outcompete and outperform our MIC I’ll be happy, some of our best and brightest have been sucked into that hole.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Exactly. But we seem to be getting the second string hasbarists here at NC. Obviously angry and too quick to resort to ad hominems to be persuasive.

      Maybe they’ve decided we are incapable of being re-educated. Or maybe it’s the fact that this piece was based on research by an Israeli group, and the interviewee was also an Israeli (not with the same organization) that took a bit of wind out of their sails. Hard to run the usual “anti-Semite” charges when it’s Jews who are calling the Israeli human rights abuses out.

  2. Banger

    Of course, this story would not be allowed to be published in the U.S. mainstream press–and if it was it would probably assigned to a back page somewhere. I did not find out about the fact Israel routinely tortured Palestinians in captivity until I read a report from a former Israeli soldier in, maybe the late 80s in the NYRB which was once a venue for dissident thinkers back in the day. For a variety of reasons the U.S. mainstream has to avoid even mildly critical reports directly implicating the Israeli state–such stories are viewed and treated as anti-semitic attacks and various pro-Israel organizations march into action with often vicious attacks on the organization that dares publish the truth about the Israeli state. Actually, they no longer have to do much of that since no sane news organization wants to get into that mess.

    Having said all that what strikes me is the tendency in Israel itself of accepting the ideology of tribalism very much resembling “master race” ideologies that once attacked Jews in Europe. Israel, which once saw itself as a bastion of humanism and civilization, has become something ugly. Unlike many critics of Israel I don’t see Arabs as being “better” or blameless victims and the Arabs in the region bear a lot of responsibility of not dealing honestly with Israel and using the conflict to gain leverage over their own largely subject populations.

    The policies critiqued in the story cited above are normal policies for Israel and the IDF. What we have to insist on is honest reporting by the mainstream media on this matter instead of the decades old tissue of lies that reporters have represented to us in the region. This is the point of this story and the reason why there cannot ever be a resolution of the Palestinian question short of ethnic cleansing which has gained increasing support within Israel.

    1. Dave

      In the early 1990s I was on an airline sitting next to a Navy Seal Lieutenant Commander. He was on his way back from Washington DC and was filling out his travel report as he flew back to Southern CA.

      A conversation led to a discussion about his stint as a UN observer in Palestine which had obviously affected him deeply. He was following an Israeli patrol in his jeep and a small boy ran out and threw an empty pop can at the Israelis. The Israeli soldiers caught him, made him take them to his home, called in a bulldozer, and destroyed his house.

    2. Cynthia

      As an American citizen, I find it incredible, that our tax dollars couldn’t afford to restore power and bring clean water to places like New Orleans and New Jersey, but are being sent regularly to the Middle East just so the neo-Nazi state of Israel can keep inflicting their darling little modern-day holocaust on Palestinians. 

Israel has received more assistance from the US than 15 European countries did to recover from WW2.

      1. Jimbo

        neo-Nazi state of Israel

        So how many millions of people did this “neo-Nazi” state kill? Or are you just lying?

        1. scraping_by

          The historical injustice argument has always confused me, since it’s so imprecise.

          So, the government of Israel has complete freedom to kill, torture, displace, imprison, and otherwise oppress Arabs because of of events in Europe 70 years ago?

          Will the descendants of today’s Palestinians have complete freedom to kill, torture, etc. anyone they want in another half century of so?

          It’s not obvious how this works.

          1. Jimbo

            As many as needed to defend itself from foreign aggression – the same as any other nation.

                1. Lambert Strether

                  I’ll just write you a blank check for the slaughter of children, then? Righty-o.

                  * * *

                  I’ve got enough trouble getting my “own” government to stop that nonsense, let alone some other state’s government…

                  1. Jimbo

                    Israel does not “slaughter” children, even if the UN says so. The UN is loaded with states that have an ax to grind on this issue.

      2. Abe Bird

        SO, Your America, according to your principles, are 1000 times more Neo-Nazi than Israel!!! So shut up your mouth and pay respect to normality….. and don’t commit you suicide bombing habit!

    3. U.S.Grant

      I’m in total agreement with your assessment. However as an American my concern has always beeb why are we involved in a Hatfield vs McCoy struggle. The arguement over the merits of one side over the other is just a distraction. The question is what should our relationship be to the State of Israel. One thing is for sure somebody needs to tell President Obama that they are not our staunch ally. A good Ol’ Abe Bird reminded us they would drop us as soon as we are not profitble; whereas to our detriment we have backed them against our own interest.

      Of course once we are allowed to look at Israel without blinders on, what diplomacitic preasure can we bring against this aggressor nation that has the ‘Bomb’ Oops!

  3. smartstrike

    Promoting gay rights or Palestinain rights are not a substitute for economic justice but a trick of neo-liberals.

    1. RalphR

      What rock did you crawl out from under?

      1. Since when have neoliberals been caught promoting Palestinian rights? Are you seriously suggesting the Isreali group that reported on these abuses or the Israeli economist who gave the interview are neoliberals? Or (even more off base) are you trying to say Yves is a neoliberal?

      2. Since when is promoting human rights at odds with demanding economic fairness?

      Better trolls, please.

    2. scraping_by

      It’s true that social wedge issues are the favorite tactic of the elite counterattack against the New Deal and other social democracy.

      It’s also true that Israel is mainly dependent on US taxpayer dollars. It’s important we know what we’re paying for. In this case, we’re buying the violent abuse of children.

      Think of this story as a report to the stockholders.

    1. Jimbo

      Speaking of mental illness, your blog is a damn fine indicator theeof.

      (The reader is urged to click on Mr. Frith’s name and judge for her/himself.)

  4. Cynthia

    Instead of siding with the 180 countries in the UN, who recognize Israel as a terrorist state, the US keeps supporting this half-country (the other half is called Palestine) of only 5 million people. But it has the power to tell a country of 310 million, the US, just exactly what to do, and when to do it. They send their prime minister here every few months or so to DEMAND the US to act in a certain way, as desired by the said 5 million inhabitants in their stolen little half-country. A fiction writer couldn’t come up with such a grotesque scenario.

  5. skippy

    Their is a vocal minority in the West that does seem – too wish – it could *wipe out* some ethnic friction within ideologically challenged regions so IT can be supreme.

    skippy… it is massively absurd to claim pinocle historical victim-hood (lots of ground to claim) yet treat others so similarly ie how long did WWII last…????… decades?



    GomerWumphf wrote:
    So … how many are left?

  6. old.frt

    Simply amazing the lack of historical knowledge evidenced by most of the contributors to this thread of comments.

    Israel was created by the UN, was rejected by the Muslim countries who were aligned with Nazi Germany earlier, had to fight 4 wars for its right to continue as a sovereign country.

    Ask about our treatment of the Native Americans, Hispanics, Filipinos, and African Americans

    1. skippy

      The fact remains that the state was *bought* from underneath the occupants… whom it must be said… were consigned such status by the West… from the onset… to its market advantage.

      skippy… the locals never had a seat at the bargaining table and in fact the intruders got their way by means violence and wealthy ideological benefactors.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      For someone who claims to know history, your account is awfully selective.

      1. The Arabs were promised by Great Britain to have self-determination in return for their assistance in WW!. Without that assistance, the Allies would have lost.

      2. However, in November 1917, Britain’s foreign minister promised Baron Rothschild that they would create Jewish homeland in Palestine in the Balfour Declaration.

      3. Turkey offered land to the Jews to solve the problem of Great Britain having basically promised the same territory to two groups. But the Zionists insisted on having the Balfour Declaration honored (witness activities of the Stern Gang).

      1. Conscience of a Conservative

        Yes, the world’s problems go away if the Jews in Israel leave and go to Turkey, Oblast, or how about Brittish East Africa?

        Fact is Israel was promised both sides of the Jordan River by the Brittish, who acquired it from the Turks. This was affirmed by the League of Nations. The ‘Zionists’ compromised after world war ii and were prepared for a smaller state, but unfortunatley the Arab armies decided to attack Israel instead. The West Bank was taken over by Jordan in the failed war. This is not an occupied territory but a disputed territory, which should be settled through negotiations.

        And as far as the U.N. goes it ignores attrocities in Iran, Turkey, Syria, Egypt and most countries around the world, even attrocities committed in Gaza by Hamas, so when these rehashed reports come out, they best be taken with a grain of salt.

      2. Dana

        In addition, it’s important to remember and reread, if necessary, the history of UNGA resolution 181 relative to the partition of Palestine.

        United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine [wikipedia].

        Read, particularly, ‘Earlier proposals for partition’, the Peel Commission’s proposal for the dedication of 15% of Palestinian land to European immigrants. There was never any provision on the part of planners for the creation of a ‘Jewish’ state.

        If there was to be a division of Palestine, it was intended to be a secular Union serving both populations.

        The vote by the UN General Assembly on Res 181 had to be delayed, because pro-partition Zionist factions knew too well that the measure wouldn’t pass. Res 181 barely squeaked by, November 16, 1947, after a good deal of arm-twisting, followed by lots of loud Zionist fanfare.

        What must be remembered, though, is that UN Res 181 never was submitted to vote by the UN Security Council [because some knew that it wouldn’t pass], hence, from a strict legal standpoint, Res 181 remained no more than a PROPOSAL.

        The self-proclaimed state of Israel has no legal basis for its existence, much less the right to declare itself a ‘Jewish’ state.

        I don’t understand why more lawyers, citizens and analysts don’t point to this obvious fact …

    3. Lambert Strether

      Shorter: Everybody does it, so it’s OK. Meaning, I take it, that Israel is a state like any other? Good. High time this “friends” nonsense was dropped.


    Anecdotal information at best, in this thread and elsewhere about evil Israel.

    As an American I’m happy we support Israel. The generational hatred of the Arabs and Muslims is best directed at Israel. Otherwise those hatreds will be directed at us. If the Israelis have to bump a few heads now and then to keep control. So be it. Heads will be bumped in that region no matter what. So, view Israel as what it is paid to be. A buffer between the crazies and us.

    If you are suggesting that we stop war altogether, I’m all for it. If you are suggesting that what the Israelis do is somehow worse than what any other country does then I’m not listening to that drivel. This site shows problems, but where are the solutions?

    1. Lambert Strether

      Let’s put their lobbyists on a plane home, and stop sending them money and backing their wars. Not in our national interest, if such a thing can be said to exist any more.

  8. Beleck

    this insanity between the Jews and the Palestinians is beyond words.
    if there isn’t going to be an open dialogue, please stop putting anyting about this area up. to not be able to openly discuss this “situation” is a form of censorship i find highly Republican/thought control in nature. not to say the Democrats don’t suck up as well, for the Political Correctness/inability to have an different opinion is all that matters here and not the lives of innocents born in the wrong place at the wrong time, unless you are on the “correct” side of the green line.

    the ability to have an open discuss without being called racist/anti jewish is what i like about this site. and this “topic” is so toxic and so “politically correct.”

    why do you dare put up anything about Israel/Palestinians, anyway?

    1. Dan

      None of which changes the fact that Israel is a shitty little apartheid state illegally occupying Palestinian land while basically running a concentration camp in Gaza while thousands of Palestinian men, woman and children rot in your torture dungeons.

      1. Dan

        This was a reply to Abe, who wants us to consider the benefits of the special relationship to our scumbag war profiteering sector.

    1. skippy

      Shorter… never commented before…. on this blog…. and now will self immolate… in and act of ignorant indignant belief.

      skippy… here’s a match mate… good luck chum…

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