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After Cutting All UNWRA Humanitarian Aid, US to Award Israel with $3.3B/Year in Military Aid

By Whitney Webb | Mint Press News | September 14, 2018

WASHINGTON — A massive spending bill, which would deliver $3.3 billion dollars in military aid to Israel over the next year, passed the House on Wednesday under cover of a media blackout. The U.S. Senate had passed a different version of the same bill in early August, a vote that also went largely unreported.

Now, after the House’s passage of a slightly altered version of the Senate’s spending bill, officially titled the “Ileana Ros-Lehtinen United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018,” all that remains is for the two chambers of Congress to reconcile their versions before the product is sent to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law. According to Skopos Labs, the bill now has a 90 percent chance of being enacted. If enacted, the bill will be the largest aid package in American history.

As MintPress previously reported, $3.3 billion was supposed to be the annual limit for U.S. military aid to Israel. However, the figure is actually set to be higher this year as a result of Congress’ recent passage of a massive $716 billion defense bill that provides an additional $550 million in U.S. aid for Israeli missile defense systems. That defense bill also authorizes an additional $1 billion for U.S. weapons stockpiles in Israel.

Furthermore, the $3.3 billion in annual aid is set to continue for the next decade based on the current text of the bill and the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding between Israel and the Obama administration — totaling over $38 billion over the next decade when accounting for annual military aid and annual aid given specifically to fund Israeli missile defense.

That startling figure roughly equates to $23,000 for every Jewish family living in Israel.

In addition to the massive sum the legislation would give to the Israeli military, the bill would also mandate that NASA closely cooperate with the Israel Space Agency (ISA), despite the latter’s history of espionage targeting NASA.

The massive amount of aid the U.S. government is set to give to Israel comes amid Israel’s unprecedented crackdown on unarmed protesters in the Gaza Strip and a looming Israeli military operation aimed at “conquering” the Palestinian enclave. The aid package’s imminent package is also set to coincide with efforts to annex the vast majority of Palestine’s West Bank, which has been militarily occupied by Israel since 1967.

As MintPress noted in a previous report, such grave violations of human rights would normally prevent the U.S. government from providing aid to Israel, given that the Leahy Laws enable the U.S. to withhold military assistance from units and individuals in foreign security forces if they have committed a gross violation of human rights.

However, the U.S. government – particularly under the rabidly pro-Israel administration of President Trump, which just last week cut all funding for Palestinian humanitarian relief through UNRWA – has consistently shown that it is willing to bend the rules for Israel.

Congress waves the Israeli flag

The $3.3 billion military aid package was only one of the bills passed by the House that is set to benefit Israel. Another bill, which has also been largely overlooked by the media, would seek to create a special government envoy tasked with monitoring “anti-Semitism” and criticism of Israel worldwide.

According to the text of the bill – officially titled the “Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act of 2017” – the envoy would “serve as the primary advisor to, and coordinate efforts across, the United States government relating to monitoring and combating anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic incitement that occur in foreign countries,” and have the rank of ambassador. Only two members of the House voted against the bill: Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) and Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA).

While an effort to combat “anti-Semitism” is a noble cause, the recent endorsement of a controversial definition of the term by Congress, which defines certain criticisms of the state of Israel as anti-Semitic, makes it likely that any envoy appointed to this position would be focused on clamping down on domestic and international criticisms of the Israeli government.

Given the potential dangers that such a position could pose to free speech, not just in the U.S. but abroad, it is surprising that this bill’s passage by an overwhelming majority received next to no media attention. Yet, in light of the media blackout also surrounding the imminent approval of the U.S.’ massive aid package to the Israeli military, it is perhaps not so surprising.

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann’s Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

September 15, 2018 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: a black-hearted Zionist bitch who has been intent on eliminating the Palestinians for decades. I well recall 10 years or so ago the iron-fisted control she exercised over the House International Relations Affairs Committee (name may have changed along the way); she would “stack” hearings while professing to show two sides of the narrative, but that would never happen: there used to be guys of the ilk of Ziad Asali — can’t remember his affiliation — who would “show up” as the Palestinians’/Arab-world’s interlocutor; he was a shameful wimp. IR-L would cavalierly cancel hearings when they showed any even potential challenge to her reign of terror. I think there were 23 “bi-partisan” members on the committee: there would be little to no debate, with heads nodding in communal glee all ’round at the never-ending pro-Zio line. Votes for any measure would be on the order of 22-1, if not unanimous, in Zio favor; I believe that Ron Paul was a member who occasionally tried to even out the carnage with a token “nay” vote or a preceding tentative attempt at balance. It was all sickening. (I think the execrable Tom Lantos performed similar Zio sycophancy for the Senate in that era.) I think the bitch is about to retire, and this abomination is surely intended to be the capstone of her record of treason to the true national-security and -moral interests of the USA.

    The bottom line to me is that we dissidents have established a vibrant community that bitches and moans. mostly passionately and with great accuracy and articulateness, about the Palestinians’ torment…but we’re bitching and moaning to our far-disproportionately tiny throng. We have done this for decades, and it has become an industry. I once donated proudly to (e.g.) ANERA, but I began to include a note with periodic cash infusions, to wit: “Here’s my money for you to buy and distribute (e.g.) women’s sanitary packages to Palestinian refugees…that’s great, but how much time to you spend walking the halls of Congress, standing in dissident groups on the steps of the Capitol, attending and disrupting hearings, writing incessant op-eds demanding justice, etc.?” Never a response or courtesy acknowledgment…therefore my donation flow diminished and ceased, while I’ve directed my support to a very few institutions that meet my standards of resistance to endless evil. From 2005 to 2011, a fellow dissident and I produced pro-Palestine videos for our local public-access cable TV system: some 350 discrete programs, over 1,000 (some repeats) air dates, well over 3,000 total air hours. EVERY program was prefaced by a statement we devised and stuck with: “FOR THE PALESTINIANS, YESTERDAY WAS WORSE THAN THE DAY BEFORE; TODAY WILL BE WORSE THAN YESTERDAY; TOMORROW WILL BE WORSE THAN TODAY.” The statement was true then and has remained true every day until today and will not end until the last Palestinian bites the dust of the “holy” land. We dissidents have failed the Palestinians.

    Whitney Webb has produced a magnificent analysis that is directed to and will be read and concurred in and its message lamented by our choir. I went to the Mint Press site, hoping to read any comments. At first, there were indicated to be “4” comments; that quickly was revised to “3,” back to “4.” I tried every way I could to access the comments but was unable to do so. The screen was chaotic, bouncing all over the place.

    Comment by roberthstiver | September 15, 2018 | Reply

  2. It would seem that Nothing can stop the massive, continuous flow of ‘donations’ to Israel, from, not only the USA Government(ie American Tax Payers), but also the probably unknown amounts of tax deductable money to Israel from donors like Sheldon Adelson(and others that are never reported).

    And, the winner is ISRAEL !!…and America’s National debt just climbs higher and higher…and nobody seems in the least concerned about it.

    “Draining the Swamp” ain’t happening.

    Comment by Brian Harry, Australia | September 15, 2018 | Reply


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