Is Israel truly America’s greatest Ally?
Many in America are asking this question – especially after the state of Israel rewarded a hated enemy of the US with a hero’s welcome, permanent citizenship, and a lasting pension.
Former US Navy analyst, Jonathan Pollard – who spent 30 years in a US prison for selling top-secret US intelligence to the Israeli government – arrived in Israel in December of 2020 and was greeted on the tarmac, in person by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Pollard was born and raised in Galveston Texas, yet he kissed the ground upon arrival to what he calls his ‘real home.’
“We are ecstatic to be home at last after 35 years,” Pollard, 66, said after landing at Ben Gurion Airport, where he and his wife, Esther, were welcomed with open arms by the Israeli government.
Has Israel acted like the true greatest ally of the United States? To get to our answer we have to look at all the facts, starting with what many call the ‘Israel lobby.’
The Most Powerful Lobby in Washington DC
AIPAC and WINEP are the main core of what many call the ‘Israel lobby,’ but many political scientists describe the lobby as 75 separate organizations, making it the most powerful lobby in Washington DC. Other groups sometimes considered a part of the overall lobby are groups like the ADL and Canary Mission, which sometimes directly or indirectly receive funding from the same donors, and broadly advocate for the same interests.
AIPAC alone was rated Washington’s most powerful lobby by most of congress in 1997 when asked by Fortune magazine, and in 2005, a national journal study found the same thing. Jewish Americans make up the vast majority of the lobby, devoting their life to push American policy in a pro-Israel direction, even if that becomes a detriment to America’s interests.
When President Gerald Ford grew impatient with Israel during their peace negotiations with Egypt in 1975, he threatened to withhold funding from Israel. That was until a bill sponsored by AIPAC, the Israel lobby was signed by 68 senators, blocking the president from withholding funds.
Lobbying for Israel has been happening since before WWI. Woodrow Wilson’s support for the Balfour declaration was influenced by Jewish Supreme Court Justice Louis D Brandeis and Rabbi Stephen Wise.
The Balfour Declaration was a letter written by British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Lionel Walter Rothschild, in which he expressed the British government’s support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
Is Foreign Aid to Israel Worth It?
Economic aid given to Israel is in the form of loans and military aid is in the form of direct grants rather than loans. This format was preferred by Israel and agreed upon by the US.
- The total economic and military aid sent to Israel from 2005 to 2007 equals approximately $154 billion and about $ 2 trillion Since 2003.
- Israel gets their money usually upfront, whereas other countries receive it in quarterly installments. Israel is able to make interest off the unspent money until it’s used up.
Since the US runs budget deficits, giving all that money upfront requires the US to borrow the money which costs US taxpayers an additional $70 million per year. Then, American taxpayers end up paying Israel more interest when Israel reinvests the unspent portion in US treasury bills. Israel earns about $300 million per year in interest off loans we give them.
When mentioning foreign aid given to Israel, many people point to the fact that Egypt and Jordan also have received billions in Foreign aid. Firstly, Egypt and Jordan have not received trillions in foreign aid since 2003, but most importantly the money we send to both of those countries is effectively also money sent to Israel.
The money we send to Egypt and Jordan, which are number 2 and 3 in recipients of US foreign aid, is to protect Israel and is mainly an incentive for a peace agreement and good behavior between the countries.
The standard yearly installments outside of the military aid we send to Israel equates to $500 per Israeli. In comparison, Egypt gets $20 per Egyptian.
Other notable aspects of foreign aid sent to Israel include:
- Private donations to most foreign countries are not usually tax deductible, but American Jews have sent an additional $2 billion tax deductible dollars per year to Israel because of our US-Israel tax treaty with Israel.
- Under the FMF program it is required for countries receiving US military aid to spend all of the money here in the US, but Israel is the only country that gets a special rate demotion clause that allows Israel to send just $1 of every $4 in the US
- Israel is also able to draw down the grants then in order to reduce the amount of interest it owes the US.
- Israel is the only country that receives economic aid that does not have to report how its spent.
- They also get loan guarantees which allow them to borrow money from commercial banks at lower rates.
- Former prime minister of Israel Shimon Peres admitted that it was private donations from American Jews that helped Israel finance their not so clandestine nuclear program in the 1960’s
- Notable contributors according to Israeli journalists were Abraham Feinberg, Samuel Bronfman, and members of the Rothschild family.
- A lot of the aid, private and government has gone to colonizing and seizing land in the region which the US frowns upon.
- Per capita income is 25th in the world so the country doesn’t even need economic aid, and they’re better off than a lot of European countries like Portugal and Hungary.
The lobby is the reason this is one topic the vast majority of both parties agree on. The democrats and republicans historically have quarreled over every hot button issue, one party can never agree with the other on how to fix the issues we face as Americans. But there is one topic they completely agree on, and that is our undying support for the state of Israel no matter what they do, and the never-ending flow of money we send them.
Now President Joe Biden once said that “It’s the best $3 billion (yearly) investment we make.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested once that “if Washington D.C. crumbled to the ground, the last thing that would remain is our support for Israel.”
The statements are no different from what we hear from house and senate republicans.
Israel Our Greatest Ally?
Israel has continued to defy the US for decades and lied about actions they have taken which have greatly harmed the US and American citizens.
From selling exclusive US military technology to China in 2005 to the 1981 bombing of Iraq’s nuclear reactor, there are countless examples of how Israel has acted more like a foe than a friend. Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, Israel’s invasion of Lebanon, the attack on the USS Liberty, and the Lavon Affair are other more egregious examples.
According to the GAO and many other government officials, Israel also continues to conduct the most aggressive spying operations against the US of any country, including the soviets of the 1980s.
When Israel annexes more land or builds additional settlements on annexed land against the wishes of the US, the American government is forced to respond with a carrot and not a stick. This means that even more billions in economic and military aid are sent to Israel upon agreement to make concessions for peace with its neighbors.
One example would be when the US asked Israel to return the territory they seized in the 6-day war. The Israeli government responded that they only return the land if Nixon promised to give them more airplanes.
Other examples include:
- In 1977, when Israel sent US bought carriers into Lebanon which was against our Arms Export Control Act, which requires US military equipment only be used in self defense, they lied about it. It wasn’t only until they got caught lying that they withdrew the equipment, but only after we offered another carrot stick. More aid.
- The six day war, which we strongly discouraged, required a rearm supply we sent to Israel reluctantly, this rearm supply resulted in contention with the Arab world and sent oil prices soaring. The US also had to pay off King Hussein of Jordan to remain on the sidelines. Israel almost started a worldwide conflict during the war, as the US had to keep the Soviets from intervening while Israel rejected our ceasefire demands and surrounded Egypt’s third army. The fighting finally stopped but of course we had to offer Israel more financial aid.
- Israel’s invasion of Lebanon resulted in US troops having to be sent to the region as a peacekeeping force, this resulted in a suicide bombing of the US embassy that killed 63 and a truck bomb attack on a US marine base that left 241 American marines dead.
Directly after over 200 Americans died as a result of Israel’s actions, congress didn’t only refuse to condemn Israel, they voted to give Israel an additional $250 million against then-President Reagan’s wishes. Reagan stated that congress slipping these funds through a lame-duck session looks like we are rewarding Israel’s actions. After numerous calls to senators from Reagan which were treated with a cold shoulder, congress approved the money. Secretary of State George Schultz at the time said that this just further proves the “leverage Israel has over our congress.”
For decades, Israel has acted as more of an enemy than an ally.
- Israel sold military weapons and equipment to Iran while US diplomats were being held hostage by Iran.
- Israel was the main military support to Iran during the Iran-Iraq war while the US was backing Iraq.
- Israel sold vital us military technology to China and other enemies of the US on numerous occasions.
- In the Dotan affair, Israel illegally transferred millions of dollars in US aid, and when the US requested to question Israeli officials, the Israeli government blocked US investigators from meeting with Israeli officials.
- Recently, Israel was accused of planting spy devices in Washington DC specifically to spy on President Donald Trump.
Israel continues to attempt to steal military secrets. They even sometimes use American Jews to do so.
- Jonathan Pollard was an American intelligence analyst who passed military secrets to Israel in 1985. When pollard was caught, Israel refused to tell the US what Pollard had given them. In 2020 after Pollard’s release, Israel rewarded him with a Hero’s welcome, and granted Pollard and his wife permanent citizenship.
- In 2004 a key pentagon official Larry Franklin was arrested on charges of passing classified information regarding US policy toward Iran to an Israeli spy. He had the assistance of two senior Jewish American AIPAC officials, Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman. And these are our greatest allies?
There’s also overwhelming evidence that Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, two Jews, were Mossad agents. According to reports, their role was to blackmail US presidents and politicians in order to coerce them to do what’s best for Israel.
An Ally in the War on Terror and Against Rogue States?
Historically, our strategic interest in the middle east has been oil. This is precisely why the US expelled Iraq from Kuwait in 1990. There is no reason to attack Iran, Syria, and Iraq. None of these countries have the technological or military capability to harm the US or our interests. Even if one of these countries did obtain the capability for a nuclear bomb, the only country they’d attack is Israel.
So, wars in this region would and have only directly benefited the country of Israel. If their enemies and the region is destabilized, Israel gets even more territory at the cost of American blood. The US tolerates a nuclear Pakistan and India. A nuclear Iran poses no threat to the US. There is no evidence that Iran is even close to obtaining or has even pursued the technological capability to reach the US with a warhead.
Wesley Clark, a former general once disclosed the US plan to take out 7 countries in 5 years, connected to the Iraq war following the 9-11 attacks.
Then of course there is the famous video of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu lobbying the congress to invade Iraq.
Of course, we can’t forget about the Wikileaks emails from Hillary Clinton’s inbox that show a plan to overthrow Assad in Syria in an effort to pursue the security of Israel.
“The best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad. Negotiations to limit Iran’s nuclear program will not solve Israel’s security dilemma. Nor will they stop Iran from improving the crucial part of any nuclear weapons program — the capability.”
There is the email from Sidney Blumenthal to Hillary Clinton regarding Qaddafi’s plan in Libya to establish a pan African currency backed by 143 tons of gold.
” According to sensitive information available to these individuals, Qaddafi’s government holds 143 tons of gold, and a similar amount in silver. In late March 2011 these stocks were moved to SABHA (southwest in the direction of the Libyan border with Niger and Chad); taken from the vaults of the Libyan Central Bank in Tripoli. This gold was accumulated prior to the current rebellion and was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar. This plan was designed to provide the Francophone African Countries with an alternative to the French franc (CFA).
After this email was sent, Qaddafi was taken out. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared a laugh with a television news reporter moments after hearing deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi had been killed.
“We came, we saw, he died,” she joked when told of news reports of Qaddafi’s death by an aide in between formal interviews.
Israel being our ‘strongest ally’ in the war on terror was the main theme of the ‘Project for a New American Century’ (PNAC) in 2002. Jewish neoconservative Members of PNAC including Rumsfeld, Kristol, Perle, Cohen, and Wolsey sent a letter to Bush declaring this.
But Israel itself has conducted countless acts of terror against the US and our allies in order to achieve their own political goals. Some of the first acts of terror ever actually.
The bombing of the King David hotel to force the British out and in attempts to establish their own official country is one example of many bombings carried out by radical Israeli terror groups. Israel’s own prime ministers were central in the creation of many of their terror groups including the Irgun.
An Ally During the Cold War Maybe?
As the famous Middle East historian Bernard Lewis notes, who is a prominent supporter of Israel, “whatever value Israel might have had as a strategic asset during the Cold War, that value obviously ended when the Cold War itself came to a close.”
Author Bernard Reich of George Washington University came to the same conclusion after the Cold Ware when he wrote that Israel is now of ‘limited military or economic importance to the United States.
Robert Art, a defense expert of Brandeis University, made similar remarks when he said that Israel now has ‘little strategic value to the United States as is in many ways a strategic liability.’
At the end of the Cold War, it became to clear to anyone paying attention that Israel was becoming more of a liability than an asset. During the Gulf War of 1991, the United States and its allies assembled more than four hundred thousand troops to liberate Kuwait. The US though was not able to use Israeli bases or allow the IDF to participate without jeopardizing the fragile coalition against Iraq.
The US has received some benefits from being so strongly allies with Israel. But what we give, what Americans have sacrificed, the American lives lost and the trillions of dollars in economic and military aid, dwarfs the very few benefits beyond comparison. In the past, during the Cold War we may have had strategic interests in partnership with Israel just based on their geographical position alone, and outside of this, Israel’s defeat of soviet allies causing the soviets to have to constantly re-arm their allies and prevent them from expanding. But not really compared to the costs.
- US support for Israel pushed Egypt and Syria into Moscow’s arms in the first place.
- US support made the Arab-Israeli conflict worse.
- Prior to the US backing Israel in many wars, the view of the US in the Arab world, which is far richer in resources than Israel, was very positive. Arab animosity began and increased and was compounded by the US support for Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Sinai, Gaza, and the Golan heights. Our extremely strong alliance with Israel has made Americans more vulnerable rather than less.
Countless Arab leaders, including the spiritual leader of Hezbollah in 2002 have said that the United States is hated by terrorists mostly because of our unconditional support for Israel. Even Bin Laden himself admitted he called for Jihad against America in 1997 because of our support for Israel.
If being allied with Israel is supposed to keep the peace in the Middle East, it’s hasn’t done a great job.
- The Israel invasion of Lebanon made the region less stable and led directly to the creation of Hezbollah.
- It’s also led the suicide bombers killing 250 marines because of a mess made by Israel that the US had to clean up.
- They also outright refused to help us with the soviets on several occasions, and after Israel refused to interact with soviet ground troops, former pentagon officials even said the benefit of having Israel as an ally in the region was grotesquely over-exaggerated.
- We couldn’t even use them as a forward base because our presence there would cause political problems in the Arab world and make the soviet situation worse.
Israel Hiding Jewish American Pedophiles
Many Jewish people have decided to use the right of return to build their lives in Israel – after all, the law is meant to offer anyone who is ethnically Jewish a legal way to come to Israel and become a part of the Jewish state. But sometimes this law is used by dangerous criminals attempting to escape justice.
A CBS News investigation recently found that many accused American pedophiles flee to Israel, and bringing them to justice can be difficult because of the protection they receive from the Jewish state.
More than 60 sex offenders from Jewish communities in the United States have fled to the Promised Land and are hiding mainly in ultra-Orthodox communities in Jerusalem.
The law enforcement agencies have failed to address the problem, leaving the work to civilian organizations in the U.S., which track down these people in Israel and helps arrest them.
This was the case with Jimmy Karow, a dangerous sex offender who appeared on Interpol’s 50 most-wanted list and who hid in Israel for the last 20 years having fled there after sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl in Oregon. Since his arrival in Israel, where he is known as Yosef, Karow was convicted in another pedophilia case and even jailed but was never punished for the assault in Oregon.
Thanks to community citizen groups and their pressure, in 2019 he was arrested and brought to justice.
Another case mentioned in the CBS report is Mordechai Yomtov, who pleaded guilty in 2002 to abusing three boys before fleeing to Israel.
A community group was able to track him down in Jerusalem, where he is living illegally, and spoke to him while recording him with a hidden camera.
Yomtov did not admit to any wrongdoing in the case of Mendy Hauck, who was allegedly abused as an eight-year-old when Yomtov worked as a Hebrew teacher. The reported offenses took place in 1999. Police arrested Yomtov in 2001 for sexually assaulting three other boys, aged 8 to 10, at a Los Angeles cheder (religious school for boys).
According to the Forward, He pleaded guilty, served a year in jail, and was required to register as a sex offender. Once freed on probation in 2002, however, Yomtov fled the US via Mexico, where he was able to continue fleeing to Israel with a fake passport. He remains at large to this day.
And then there is Malka Leifer, who was wanted in Australia for no less than 74 counts of sexual assault and rape involving eight of the girls at the ultra-Orthodox school in Melbourne where she was the principal. Leifer was arrested, after fleeing to Israel in 2008 but managed to dodge a trial on the grounds of mental incompetence.
Only in February 2018 was she re-arrested on suspicion of pretending to be mentally ill in order to avoid extradition. Her re-arrest was the result of work by community groups that tracked her down and not the Israeli government.
Israeli Health Minister Yaakov Litzman is the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation over suspicions that he used his position to help Leifer.
Israeli authorities eventually extradited Malka Leifer to Australia after pressure from community organizations and several governments early in early 2021, nearly 13 years after she fled Melbourne after a six-year legal process during which a court determined that she had feigned mental illness in order to avoid facing justice.