Why is Israel aid exempt? – Opinion – Al Jazeera English

 

 

Once upon a time, social security was considered the “third rail” of American politics. The “third rail” is the train track that carries the high-voltage power; touching it means instant death.The “third rail” metaphor has for decades been applied to social security, a government program so popular with the American public that proposing any changes in it would mean political death to the politician.No more. Although social security is as popular as ever, politicians routinely propose changes in the program — including privatisation and means testing. While the proposals usually go nowhere, and rightly so, the politicians who support them live to fight another day. Today, with those massive deficits and the astronomical national debt, not even social security is sacrosanct.Few, if any, government programs are.But US aid to Israel is. In fact, the $3bn Israel aid package is the new third rail of American politics: touch it and die. It is also the one program that liberals, conservatives, Democrats, Republicans and tea partiers all agree should not sustain even a dollar in cuts.Actually, that is something of a mis-statement. These various parties and factions do not agree that the $3bn Israel aid package is sacred. They just say that they do because a powerful lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee AIPAC, makes clear to them that touching the aid package will mean big trouble for them in the next election.

via Why is Israel aid exempt? – Opinion – Al Jazeera English.

Frankly, I’m of the mind that if we’re going to be this involved with Israel, then they should be under our control to begin with. And then, voila secular (albeit neoliberal) government. But, the much better option would be to cut funding altogether. Funding countries that are dealing with natural disasters or shortages is one thing, funding imperial powers is another entirely. And particularly when we’re seeing record-breaking unemployment and a war on unions in Wisconsin, I think Israel is just a LITTLE less important for us to fund. It’s time to cut the spoiled child loose.

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