Aletho News


The U.S. and Foreign Aid: Highly Conditional

By Robert Fantina | Aletho News | December 24, 2014

It might be easy to assume that the United States’ ignoring of the horrific suffering in Palestine, suffering it caused by its military and financial support of Israel, is just part of the general racism inherent in U.S. culture. Despite civil rights laws, and the U.S.’s self-proclaimed status as a free country, the world knows that racial inequality is rife within U.S. society. This racism has been on ugly display with the recent killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Gardner in New York City, both unarmed African-Americans, and both killed by white police officers. That a grand jury in each jurisdiction failed to see any reason to indict either of them just adds evidence to the blatant fact of institutional racism in the U.S.

The U.S. has three main reasons, it will tell the world, for assisting a suffering people: 1) an oppressed people are struggling for the basic right of self-determination, as in Iraq in 2003; 2) a war or other destructive conflict has ended, and either or both parties are in need of support to rebuild homes and infrastructure, as it did following World War II (we don’t need to mention here that the U.S. caused a lot of that destruction), or 3) a natural disaster has hit, causing death, homelessness and leaving a major population at risk of starvation and disease, as in Haiti, in 2005.

However, as noble as these lofty goals are, they are not universally applied. Let us look at one nation that is experiencing events in each of those categories, and is yet to see any assistance from the United States.

The people of Palestine were expelled from over 50% of their nation’s lands over sixty years ago.

They had no say in this decision, received no compensation for the loss of their homes, farms and lands, and were driven into refugee camps. Since that time, hundreds of thousands more have been driven from their homes; their schools, hospitals, mosques and museums have been destroyed, and they now live under occupation in a small fraction of the land that comprised their nation for centuries. During the original expulsion, at least 10,000 Palestinians were killed. Since that time, tens of thousands more have been killed, with no one held accountable for these deaths.

Genocide is defined as the eradication of a people and their culture; it is clear that what has been happening to the people of Palestine is genocide.

Resistance by the Palestinians, a legal right for an occupied people according to international law, takes many forms. There are weekly non-violent demonstrations in the West Bank, yet ‘non-violent’ may not be the correct term. Palestinians demonstrate non-violently, but IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) terrorists will arrest, shoot and kill these demonstrators. In the Gaza Strip, some materials can be smuggled in to build what Dr. Norman Finkelstein, the son of Holocaust survivors and a vocal advocate for the rights of the Palestinian people, calls ‘enhanced fireworks’. These are sometimes shot into Israel, with little or no effect.

So this oppressed population, seeking the basic right of self-determination, would, it might seem, be eligible for U.S. support. After all, back in 2012, then Secretary of State (and probable 2016 Democratic presidential candidate) Hillary Clinton said this in regard to Syria: “We reject any equivalence between premeditated murders by a government’s military machine and the actions of civilians under siege driven to self-defense.” Now, would it be unrealistic to consider a brutally occupied nation to be ‘under siege’? Would not such a people, as Mrs. Clinton so eloquently expressed, be ‘driven to self-defense’? One might think so.

Well, since for some bizarre reason the Palestinians don’t qualify for U.S. help under the first criterion, let us look at Door Number 2: war or other destructive conflict.

What occurred in the Gaza Strip in July and August of this year was not a war; it was simply a slaughter. Israel, with the full backing of the U.S., which has provided it with a powerful military system, with as many of the world’s most highly advanced weapons as Israel wants, bombed and invaded Palestine, a country with no army, navy or air force. Independent sources have said that the destruction is the worst that has been seen anywhere in decades; thousands died, and tens of thousands were rendered homeless. Electricity is available for only a few hours a day, and much of the water is not fit to drink.

This must be viewed as a destructive conflict. Yet, curiously, the U.S., with such a huge percent of the world’s wealth, has not rushed in. Yet it continues to send Israel aid at the rate of nearly $9 million dollars every single day.

Well, it seems that, for some inexplicable reason, Palestine still doesn’t qualify for U.S. largesse. Let’s look at the third reason the U.S. says it rushes in to assist: natural disasters.

Following Israel’s fifty-one day bombardment and invasion of Palestine, rains caused flooding, which further eroded the quality of drinking water, and risked disease. In addition, the tens of thousands of people who were rendered homeless by Israel’s attack had to find shelter where they could: in buildings still standing that may have been damaged to the point of being unsafe; by quickly assembling make-shift shelters from whatever parts of destroyed buildings they could use, or by crowding in with anyone lucky enough to still have a home. This, it would seem, is the kind of suffering that provides countless photo opportunities for U.S. politicians to showcase their concern for the less fortunate.

And yet, the amount of aid sent to Palestine by the U.S. remains at zero. Why, any intelligent person may ask, is this the case?

One hates to be crass, but with the U.S’s elected officials, there is no greater priority than their own re-election. The right of self-determination, freedom, human rights, the basic survival needs of a suffering people all take a distant back seat to the grasping, clutching need to gain every dollar possible for re-election campaigns. And the Israeli lobby, through the American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC), is extremely generous to the elected officials it has bought and paid for. And these officials don’t come cheap. Between 2008 and 2014, Israel lobbies’ contributions to U.S. senate campaigns cost a whopping $12,036,252. And to purchase members of the House of Representatives, those lobbies spent $4,961,445 in just two years (2012 – 2014).

So, one would be unfair indeed to say that the U.S., in causing and then ignoring the horrific suffering of the Palestinian people, was merely acting out its own inherent racism. After all, these are Arabs we’re talking about, which might lead one to that conclusion. But no, that is an unjust characterization of U.S. governance. We can all be assured that, if there were a rich, powerful American Palestine Political Affairs Committee (APPAC), the U.S. would be pouring billions of dollars into Palestine, sending advisors, providing a peace-keeping force to prevent Israeli aggression, supporting every proposal the United Nations advanced that favored Palestine. U.S. presidents would speak at APPAC conventions, say how they are ‘Palestinian in their hearts’, and describe the U.S. as Palestine’s closest ally.

So it isn’t racism, after all. While recent domestic events should remove any doubt anyone may have still had that the U.S. is a racist society, one must not blame that racism for the way the U.S. treats Palestine. No, that is a result of greed, not racism. One must keep one’s vices straight.

One looks in vain for U.S. citizens to remove the blood-stained glasses, and see the U.S. clearly. Its elected officials don’t represent anyone but the powerful lobbies who buy their offices. The nation doesn’t stand for peace and freedom, but for corporate profits and the wars that enrich the already rich. And human rights aren’t worthy of consideration, if they stand in the way of power or profit. This is the U.S. as it is today, and always has been.

December 24, 2014 - Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on TheFlippinTruth.


    Comment by joekano76 | December 25, 2014 | Reply

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