Posted by Sadie from D006096.N1.Vanderbilt.Edu (188.8.131.52) on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 at 2:44PM :
In Reply to: U.S. gives $14 Billion NO Strings Attached to Isr posted by Sadie from D006112.N1.Vanderbilt.Edu (184.108.40.206) on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 at 0:41AM :
: A Nov. 29 Forward article claimed that Israel’s “biggest wish-list in more than a decade” garnered few headlines here....
: Sharon is banking on the extra aid to cure Israel’s economic woes in time for the Jan. 28 election.
: The week before the Israelis met with Rice, the State Department announced future plans to increase aid to Israel in 2004. It intends to ask Congress...
: Led by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), U.S. pro-Israel organizations will do their best to lobby the 108th Congress when it convenes in January to authorize the entire additional aid package.
: Israel’s 2003 budget allocated $420 million to maintain settlements in the occupied territories.
: Most Israelis believe the settlements should be dismantled. They point to the outrageous cost—a considerable portion of Israel’s annual $9 billion defense budget—of protecting 200,000 settlers, as well as world condemnation of the illegal colonies.
: Israel’s settlement policies and occupation of Palestinian land add up to an economic nightmare of Israel’s own making which it now expects the American taxpayer to solve—with no strings attached. As usual, there will be little or no public debate in this country on whether citizens want to spend their money to help Israel continue its cruel occupation.
: When AIPAC pressures legislators for $10 billion in loan guarantees for Israel, it will argue that “Israel has never defaulted on a loan.” THE TRUTH IS THAT WASHINGTON AUTOMATICALLY "FORGIVES" LOANS TO ISRAEL, so it never has to repay the money. AIPAC will also claim the extra funds are needed for Israel’s war on terrorism and preparations for a U.S. war on Iraq.
: Will Americans facing economic woes of their own allow a total of $6.7 billion in military and economic aid and $10 billion in loan guarantees to pour into Israel with no strings attached?
: The U.S. economy is in serious trouble as its leaders scramble to deal with a recession, massive budget deficits, bankruptcies and layoffs, a 6 percent unemployment rate, and huge defense spending outlays both at home and abroad. Facing ever-decreasing revenues, many states are financially strapped as they seek ways to pay for the homeland-security initiatives and election reforms mandated by the White House. States are running up a deficit that is expected to reach $68 billion by June 30, 2003.
: U.S. tax dollars are badly needed at home to fight poverty and homelessness. American citizens are in critical need of increased federal support for education, housing, medical insurance and health care.
: Internationally, recent U.S. headlines reminded Americans that 42 million people worldwide—about 75 percent of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa—are infected with the HIV virus that causes AIDS. The scourge’s death toll is equivalent to 1,000 Sept. 11’s a year—yet the U.S. has pledged only $500 million to fight mother-child transmission of the AIDs virus. Thoughtful Americans might wonder about Washington’s priorities in proposing to grant Israel, a country of only six million people, with one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, $6.7 billion—one-third of all U.S. foreign aid and $1,116.67 per Israeli citizen.
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