Netanyahu Ups the US Ante

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu continues to play the tune to which U.S. politicians, including presidents and presidential candidates, dance. Now, his price for a future swirl around the dance floor is being raised to $4.5 billion a year, as retired Army Col. Ann Wright explains.

By Ann Wright

President Barack Obama, having met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on Nov. 9 at the White House, is considering Israel’s request for a 50 percent increase of nearly $1.5 billion in U.S. military funding, which would bring the U.S. donation used for killing Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza to $4.5 billion a year.

As it stands now, more that half of the U.S. foreign military aid for 2016 goes to Israel. As in all things, Israel gets special treatment by the U.S. allowing Israel to spend 25 percent of its U.S. gift to pay itself for buying weapons from its own weapons industry.

President Barack Obama talks with advisers, including National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice and Secretary of State John Kerry, prior to meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in the Oval Office, Nov. 9, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama talks with advisers, including National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice and Secretary of State John Kerry, prior to meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in the Oval Office, Nov. 9, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

According to a recent congressional report, Israel has received $124.3 billion in military assistance from the U.S. since its founding in 1948. The report states that “strong congressional support for Israel has resulted in Israel receiving benefits not available to any other countries; for example, Israel can use U.S. military assistance both for research and development in the United States and for military purchases from Israeli manufacturers.

“In addition, U.S. assistance earmarked for Israel is generally delivered in the first 30 days of the fiscal year, while most other recipients normally receive aid in installments, and Israel (as is also the case with Egypt) is permitted to use cash flow financing for its U.S. arms purchases.

”In addition to receiving U.S. State Department-administered foreign assistance, Israel also receives funds from annual defense appropriations bills for rocket and missile defense programs. Israel pursues some of those programs jointly with the United States.”

As Obama was meeting Netanyahu, eight blocks away at the Palestine Center in Washington, D.C., a surgeon from Norway who works part of each year in al Shifa hospital in Gaza, told of the devastation, destruction and human suffering these American weapons and dollars cause.

Dr. Mads Gilbert spoke of 51 days of terror in Gaza in the summer of 2014 as the Israeli attack forces brutalized the people of Gaza with Israeli and U.S. artillery, drone ordnance for assassinations, F-16s, hellfire missiles and dense inert military explosives.

Gilbert said the 2014 Israeli attack on Gaza was 500 percent stronger than Israel’s 2009 attack, when he was also working at al Shifa hospital when the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) attacked Gaza. In 2014, the IDF fired 50,000 shells into Gaza and conducted over 6,000 air strikes, destroying over 3,500 buildings in Gaza City alone including over 50 percent of the hospitals in Gaza.

At the end of the 51-day attack, 2,250 Palestinians were dead, including 551 children and 299 women. Some 3,500 Palestinian children were wounded and the 1 million children and youth who live in Gaza were all deeply affected by the attacks. Sixty percent of the 1.8 million who live in Gaza are under the age of 22.

Dr. Gilbert’s presentation included photos of the carnage caused by Israeli attacks and the audio of the sounds of jets racing overhead, bombs exploding and buildings collapsing.

Citing the report of the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict, Gilbert said that the IDF purposefully targeted the civilian population including entire families and that the IDF purposefully targeted hospitals, ambulances and four UN shelter facilities.

The report said, “Hundreds of Palestinian civilians were killed in their own homes, especially women and children. At least 142 families lost three or more members in an attack on a residential building during the summer of 2014, resulting in 742 deaths. The fact that Israel did not revise its practice of air-strikes, even after their dire effects on civilians became apparent, raises the question of whether this was part of a broader policy which was at least tacitly approved at the highest level of government.”

Additionally, “the commission is concerned about Israel’s extensive use of weapons with a wide kill and injury radius; though not illegal, their use in densely populated areas is highly likely to kill combatants and civilians indiscriminately. There appears also to be a pattern whereby the IDF issued warnings to people to leave a neighbourhood and then automatically considered anyone remaining to be a fighter. This practice makes attacks on civilians highly likely. During the Israeli ground incursion into Gaza that began in mid-July 2014, hundreds of people were killed and thousands of homes destroyed or damaged.”

The commission report added: “Palestinian armed groups fired 4,881 rockets and 1,753 mortars towards Israel in July and August 2014, killing 6 civilians, including one child and injuring at least 1,600.” A total of 66 Israeli soldiers were killed in military operations inside Gaza.

The commission also reported: “In the West Bank including East Jerusalem, 27 Palestinians were killed and 3,020 injured between June and August 2014. The number killed in these three months was equivalent to the total for the whole of 2013. The commission is concerned about what appears to be the increasing use of live ammunition for crowd control by the Israeli Security Forces, which raises the likelihood of death or serious injury.”

The report continued, “Impunity prevails across the board for violations allegedly committed by Israeli forces, both in Gaza and the West Bank. ‘Israel must break with its lamentable track record in holding wrong doers accountable,’ said the commissioners, ‘and accountability on the Palestinian side is also woefully inadequate.’”

Signaling further attacks on Gaza during a Nov. 10 talk at the Center for American Progress in Washington, Netanyahu said Gaza has “become this poison thumb, this poison dagger that sends rockets” into Israel and that Israel must be prepared for a long period of tension.

The U.S. government’s blind backing for whatever Israel does, while providing the weapons for Israel to do it, is dangerous for both the United States and Israel.

As Israeli journalist Gideon Levy recently wrote concerning Hillary Clinton’s unwavering support for Israel: “support [for] the continued occupation is like a person who continues to buy drugs for an addicted relative. This is neither concern nor friendship; it is destruction.  ‘false’ friends of Israel have been one of the curses on this country for years. Because of them, Israel can continue to act as wildly as it likes, thumbing its nose at the world and paying no price. Because of them, it can destroy itself unhindered.”

Levy’s comments about former Secretary of State Clinton equally applies to the unqualified support for Israel given by both Republican- and Democratic-led U.S. administrations.

Israeli attacks on people in Gaza and the West Bank will end only when we the citizens of the United States force our government to stop its military and diplomatic backing of the State of Israel.

Ann Wright served 29 years in the U.S. Army/Army Reserves and retired as a Colonel. She also was a U.S. diplomat for 16 years and resigned in 2003 in opposition to the war on Iraq. She has been in Gaza six times and was on the 2010 Gaza Flotilla that was attacked by the IDF, which executed nine passengers and wounded 50.

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14 comments for “Netanyahu Ups the US Ante

  1. Bill Bodden
    November 12, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Change the names below and you’ll have what needs to be said to Israel’s enablers:

    As an amazed television audience looked on, Welch responded with the immortal lines that ultimately ended McCarthy’s career: “Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness.” When McCarthy tried to continue his attack, Welch angrily interrupted, “Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?”

    Thanks to Consortium News we have our “Joseph Welches” but they don’t make it past the Fawning Corporate Media’s censors. The consequences of our current crop of McCarthys are much more serious and destructive.

  2. Mortimer
    November 12, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Attack, attack, and, attack.
    that’s how haters exact
    ’88-ers do that
    Blacklisters and Klansmen
    have all the answers

    Profiteers of war Promote Division
    Empowered by their Brutal Hearts
    Fixed on Domination
    the Lords of War
    as Clones of King Leopold.

  3. David Smith
    November 12, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    The Gideon Levy quote is the most important part of this article. I have long suspected the Zionists have been purposely set up. Zionists are chumps. Zionists have been berserking in the illegal sub-mandate of Palestine since 1919, and how little they have accomplished, at the cost of an inevitable horrific reckoning. Build em then knock em down.Mr. Levy senses the trap but probably cannot accept that Israel’s “friends” set and baited the trap. It is too late now, the Zionists are like a dog with a bone…. But to what end? Perhaps a big, big, BIG rumble at a one donkey town by the name of Meggido?

  4. alexander
    November 12, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Dear Ms. Wright ,

    Thank you for another highly informative article.

    I think a critical question which needs to be asked, and nobody is asking it…Does Israel have a “peace plan” ?

    I do not mean a willingness to talk, or a “desire” for peace, but an actual “plan” for peace?
    Everyone who has even briefly studied the conflict…understands the requirements set down by the world community manifested in U.N.S.C. resolutions 242 and 338….Everyone should also understand the 2002 Arab Peace initiative.

    Everyone should also be aware that the Palestinians have accepted the international communities parameters for a resolution, on every single issue, the only sticking point,perhaps, is the exact compensation number for the refugees , in the event they cannot return to their homes in what is now Israel.

    But it seems that can be worked out.

    That leaves Israel.

    There is no moral, ethical, political or financial reason why the United States should be giving any country in a state of belligerence,anywhere in the world, one dime, if it has no” plan for peace.”

    Any country “without” one…should receive zero US.taxpayer dollars..

    End of discussion.

    Perhaps there was a time when Israel was an exception,…

    But not anymore.

    Israel needs a “peace plan”…..and it needs it fast.

  5. Zachary Smith
    November 12, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Israeli attacks on people in Gaza and the West Bank will end only when we the citizens of the United States force our government to stop its military and diplomatic backing of the State of Israel.

    One of my ancestors narrowly missed being taken on Andrew Jackson’s Trail of Tears death march because she had married a local white man. She would have understood how the sentence above is not true at all.

    Israel’s attacks on the people of Gaza and the West Bank can also end when those people have been marched out of their homes at the point of a bayonet. Killing them with the same bayonets works too.

    IMO it’ll probably happen at a time when the world is totally distracted by some enormous event. Something like the Cuban Missile Crisis. Or after a few nukes have actually been set off somewhere and more are threatened.

    If that’s the case, Nakba 2 won’t even make the front page of your local newspaper.

    The shitty little nation of Israel is quite capable of setting up such a distraction – supposing it isn’t content to wait for one.

  6. Mortimer
    November 12, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Clones of King Leopold.
    .
    King Leopold’s Soliloquy:
    A Defense of His Congo Rule
    By Mark Twain
    Boston: The P. R. Warren Co., 1905.
    Second Edition.

    [Note: Paginated according to the edition by International Publishers, New York, 1970- GF]

  7. F. G. Sanford
    November 12, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    Recited to “Ringo”, by Lorne Greene

    They lay face down on the desert sand
    Victims scattered throughout the land
    Blasted with bombs until they were dead
    And straifed from the sky with plenty of lead
    He got all his arms from friends in the west
    His legend grew so they would invest – in Bibi
    Bibi, Bibi
    The badlands of Jordan lay to the east
    His enemies grew, his legend increased
    Launching his missiles to flatten their houses
    It made no difference, children or spouses
    Warnings would sound, then in flew the jets
    The west was in awe, so they placed their bets – on Bibi
    Bibi, Bibi
    He kept them blockaded and on a diet
    The Gazans learned, they better keep quiet
    He’d mow them like grass unless they relented
    Kids throwing rocks, a threat he resented
    Live ammunition now would be loaded
    For shooting teenagers that had been goaded – by Bibi
    Bibi, Bibi
    Pipeline routes and water resources
    Drew settler projects and militant forces
    They burned olive groves and bulldozed with glee
    Those Philistine hordes would certainly flee
    The biblical prophets made striking predictions
    They foretold a hero imposing evictions – named Bibi
    Bibi, Bibi
    Self righteous and strong, he was sure to succeed
    Bombing and shrapnel would make them all bleed
    The land would be cleansed, the Hebrews all saved
    His people would never again be enslaved
    He was the hero his people awaited
    Cheering and praises rang out unabated – for Bibi
    Bibi, Bibi
    His lightning draw was misunderstood
    Some claim he had no spark of good
    His legend spread both near and far
    In lands where wise men saw that star
    With bombs and blood, he gained such fame
    The Holy Land now feared the name – of Bibi
    Bibi, Bibi
    Christian loonies gave him more rope
    The rapture neared, that was their hope
    If Israel vowed to live by the sword,
    A second coming, praise The Lord!
    The faithful played to the lunatic fringe
    Who welcomed a final genocide binge – by Bibi
    Bibi, Bibi
    On that final day at the end of his path
    Some say he succumbed to his psychotic wrath
    He lay there face down, clenched in his fist
    A magic mezuzah that some might have missed
    They say it explained all his superman power
    A talisman that in the end would devour – Bibi
    Bibi, Bibi
    Bibi, Bibi

  8. angryspittle
    November 12, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    For the US to support this bloodthirsty madman is criminal. We should, rather, cut all military aid to these crazies in control of Israel. Jesus, they have become the Nazis that they hated in their treatment of the Warsaw Ghetto of the 21st century.

  9. N Dalton
    November 12, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    People have to begin to realize that the US has turned into ` another racist Israel `.

    What we`re seeing are the exact same results of how Israel is behaving and treating the Palestinian in Gaza and the rest of the occupied territories = brutal force with shoot to kill.

    https://electronicintifada.net/content/israels-export-occupation-police-tactics/8485

    http://www.mintpressnews.com/from-nyc-ferguson-to-baltimore-american-police-are-trained-in-apartheid-israel/205650/

    The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is also involved in the effort to indoctrinate the U.S. law enforcement community. Its website’s Homeland Security Monitor chronicles numerous meetings between Israeli intelligence and police officials and their U.S. counterparts, to include numerous trips to Israel to learn from the masters of the craft.

  10. N Dalton
    November 13, 2015 at 4:25 am

    People have to begin to realize that the US has turned into ` another racist Israel `.

    What we`re seeing are the exact same results of how Israel is behaving and treating the Palestinian in Gaza and the rest of the occupied territories = brutal force with shoot to kill.

    https://electronicintifada.net/content/israels-export-occupation-police-tactics/8485

    http://www.mintpressnews.com/from-nyc-ferguson-to-baltimore-american-police-are-trained-in-apartheid-israel/205650/

    The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is also involved in the effort to indoctrinate the U.S. law enforcement community. Its website’s Homeland Security Monitor chronicles numerous meetings between Israeli intelligence and police officials and their U.S. counterparts, to include numerous trips to Israel to learn from the masters of the craft.

    • alexander
      November 13, 2015 at 6:35 pm

      Yes…..

      They have been doing that for some time….teaching our police the techniques of torture, surveillance, repression and control…….It is obscene that this behavior is being taught by people who were victims of the exact same cruelty and barbarism in Nazi Germany…

      The point about the Holocaust is it should” never” happen again ….to anybody……Israel today is acting as though since the Holocaust happened to us…..we have “one” to give…

      It is really sad…really tragic…to see a country overwhelmed with totalitarian impulses and seemingly getting satisfaction out of inflicting cruelty , taking “lebensraum”(living space) from others and ethnic cleansing …..

      I think it has been absolutely crucial for AIPAC and the other assorted groups(like JINSA) to get our Government to act as brothers in” sin” with Israel… Its like putting “the dirt” on us….so we have nothing to say when Israel carries on……It seems almost mandatory that the US government commit heinous crimes too….that way ,we are all “dirty.”

      I know the US has done horrible things in the past. apart from Israel …but it seems like after Vietnam we at least tried to turn the corner….and the constitution was always our cornerstone, our bedrock of civilized behavior..Unfortunately the Neocons were successful in exterminating our constitution too…I suppose since Israel hasn’t one… ours should be meaningless by proxy..it is very sad what they have done and what we have become…. to see our great country fall into this totalitarian toilet along with Israel…..

      Sad for both countries…and shameful.

      We both have so much more to offer the world than that…

      And our government certainly can do a lot more for “its” people…then running up an obscene 19 trillion dollar debt fighting wars of fraud and aggression in the middle east for Israel and destroying our bill of rights at home..Is that really what our government is supposed to do for us?.

      ,I guess, the idea is for Israel to steal “all ” the Palestinian land…and kill or push out most of the people who live there..

      How sad is that…really?

      Why do they think its cool ?
      Why does Israel think “Holocausting “others is cool ? Why does Israel think “lebensraum-ing” is cool too ? ….Who teaches them that ?

  11. John P
    November 13, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    Zionist power in Western nations is through political funding and interference. Limit the amount that any party can spend on an election. Figure out how funding can be divided amongst the parties from a common source through a fair and equitable process. Don’t allow private funding of political advertising. Any other outside monetary influence should be banned. This could help cure the effects of neoliberalism too.

  12. paul wichmann
    November 14, 2015 at 7:10 am

    “Figure out how funding can be divided amongst the parties from a common source through a fair and equitable process.”
    On it.
    Every contributor, person or entity, to the 2004 election will be made to contribute the same amount to the coming election. No exceptions. If a contributor whose estate was worth over one million dollars has passed, his heirs will be responsible for the sum. I’m also introducing a third free-for-all party, whose winner will have the same standing as the Dem and the Rep.
    This would get US through at least 3 cycles, and perhaps cleanse the system enough to determine the permanent source of funding with a possibility of being fair.

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