The announcement last week by the United
States of the largest military aid
package in its history – to Israel – was
a win for both sides.
minister Benjamin Netanyahu could boast
that his lobbying had boosted aid from
$3.1 billion a year to $3.8bn – a 22 per
cent increase – for a decade starting in
Mr Netanyahu has presented this as a
rebuff to those who accuse him of
jeopardising Israeli security interests
with his government’s repeated affronts
to the White House.
In the past weeks alone, defence
minister Avigdor Lieberman has compared
last year’s nuclear deal between
Washington and Iran with the 1938 Munich
pact, which bolstered Hitler; and Mr
Netanyahu has implied that US opposition
to settlement expansion is the same as
support for the “ethnic cleansing” of
American president Barack Obama,
meanwhile, hopes to stifle his own
critics who insinuate that he is
anti-Israel. The deal should serve as a
fillip too for Hillary Clinton, the
Democratic party’s candidate to succeed
Mr Obama in November’s election.
In reality, however, the Obama
administration has quietly punished Mr
Netanyahu for his misbehaviour. Israeli
expectations of a $4.5bn-a-year deal
were whittled down after Mr Netanyahu
stalled negotiations last year as he
sought to recruit Congress to his battle
against the Iran deal.
In fact, Israel already receives
roughly $3.8bn – if Congress’s
assistance on developing missile defence
programmes is factored in. Notably,
Israel has been forced to promise not to
approach Congress for extra funds.
The deal takes into account neither
inflation nor the dollar’s depreciation
against the shekel.
A bigger blow still is the White
House’s demand to phase out a special
exemption that allowed Israel to spend
nearly 40 per cent of aid locally on
weapon and fuel purchases. Israel will
soon have to buy all its armaments from
the US, ending what amounted to a
subsidy to its own arms industry.
Nonetheless, Washington’s renewed
military largesse – in the face of
almost continual insults – inevitably
fuels claims that the Israeli tail is
wagging the US dog. Even The New York
Times has described the aid package as
Since the 1973 war, Israel has
received at least $100bn in military
aid, with more assistance hidden from
view. Back in the 1970s, Washington paid
half of Israel’s military budget. Today
it still foots a fifth of the bill,
despite Israel’s economic success.
But the US expects a return on its
massive investment. As the late Israeli
politician-general Ariel Sharon once
observed, Israel has been a US
“aircraft carrier” in the Middle East,
acting as the regional bully and
carrying out operations that benefit
Almost no one blames the US for
Israeli attacks that wiped out Iraq’s
and Syria’s nuclear programmes. A
nuclear-armed Iraq or Syria would have
deterred later US-backed moves at regime
overthrow, as well as countering the
strategic advantage Israel derives from
its own nuclear arsenal.
In addition, Israel’s US-sponsored
military prowess is a triple boon to the
US weapons industry, the country’s most
powerful lobby. Public funds are
siphoned off to let Israel buy goodies
from American arms makers. That, in
turn, serves as a shop window for other
customers and spurs an endless and
lucrative game of catch-up in the rest
of the Middle East.
The first F-35 fighter jets to arrive
in Israel in December – their various
components produced in 46 US states –
will increase the clamour for the
Israel is also a “front-line
laboratory”, as former Israeli army
negotiator Eival Gilady admitted at the
weekend, that develops and field-tests
new technology Washington can later use
The US is planning to buy back the
missile interception system Iron Dome –
which neutralises battlefield threats of
retaliation – it largely paid for.
Israel works closely too with the US in
developing cyberwarfare, such as the
Stuxnet worm that damaged Iran’s
civilian nuclear programme.
But the clearest message from
Israel’s new aid package is one
delivered to the Palestinians:
Washington sees no pressing strategic
interest in ending the occupation. It
stood up to Mr Netanyahu over the Iran
deal but will not risk a damaging clash
over Palestinian statehood.
Some believe that Mr Obama signed the
aid package to win the credibility
necessary to overcome his domestic
Israel lobby and pull a rabbit from the
hat: an initiative, unveiled shortly
before he leaves office, that corners Mr
Netanyahu into making peace.
Hopes have been raised by an expected
meeting at the United Nations in New
York on Wednesday. But their first talks
in 10 months are planned only to
demonstrate unity to confound critics of
the aid deal.
If Mr Obama really wanted to pressure
Mr Netanyahu, he would have used the aid
agreement as leverage. Now Mr Netanyahu
need not fear US financial retaliation,
even as he intensifies effective
annexation of the West Bank.
Mr Netanyahu has drawn the right
lesson from the aid deal – he can act
against the Palestinians with continuing
- See more at: http://www.jonathan-cook.net/2016-09-19/palestinians-lose-in-us-military-aid-deal-with-israel/#sthash.fL4Eq28N.dpuf
U.S. Owes Black People Reparations For a
History of ‘Racial Terrorism,’ Says U.N.
By Ishaan Tharoor
September 29, 2016 "Information
The history of slavery in the United
States justifies reparations for African
a recent report by a U.N.-affiliated
group based in Geneva.
This conclusion was part of a study by
United Nations' Working Group of Experts on
People of African Descent, a body that
reports to the international organization's
High Commissioner on Human Rights. The group
of experts, which includes leading human
rights lawyers from around the world,
presented its findings to the United Nations
Human Rights Council on Monday, pointing to
the continuing link between present
injustices and the dark chapters of American
"In particular, the legacy of colonial
history, enslavement, racial subordination
and segregation, racial terrorism and racial
inequality in the United States remains a
serious challenge, as there has been no real
commitment to reparations and to truth and
reconciliation for people of African
descent," the report stated. "Contemporary
police killings and the trauma that they
create are reminiscent of the past racial
terror of lynching."
Citing the past year's spate of police
officers killing unarmed African American
men, the panel warned against "impunity for
state violence," which has created, in its
words, a "human rights crisis" that "must be
addressed as a matter of urgency."
The panel drew its recommendations, which
are nonbinding and unlikely to influence
Washington, after a fact-finding mission in
the United States in January. At the time,
it hailed the strides taken to make the
American criminal justice system more
equitable but pointed to the corrosive
legacy of the past.
"Despite substantial changes since the
end of the enforcement of Jim Crow and the
fight for civil rights, ideology ensuring
the domination of one group over another,
continues to negatively impact the civil,
political, economic, social and cultural
rights of African Americans today," it said
a statement. "The dangerous ideology of
white supremacy inhibits social cohesion
amongst the US population."
Mireille Fanon-Mendes-France, chairwoman of
a United Nations working group for people of
African descent, reads findings about
institutionalized racism after an official
visit to the U.S.
(Youtube/UN Human Rights)
its report, it specifically dwells on the
extrajudicial murders that were a product of
an era of white supremacy:
Lynching was a form of racial terrorism
that has contributed to a legacy of
racial inequality that the United States
must address. Thousands of people of
African descent were killed in violent
public acts of racial control and
domination and the perpetrators were
never held accountable.
reparations could come in a variety of
forms, according to the panel, including "a
formal apology, health initiatives,
educational opportunities ... psychological
rehabilitation, technology transfer and
financial support, and debt cancellation."
be sure, such initiatives are nowhere in the
cards, even after the question of
reparations arose again two years ago when
the groundbreaking work of American
journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Separately, a coalition of Caribbean nations
calling for reparations from their
former European imperial powers for the
impact of slavery, colonial genocide and the
toxic racial laws that shaped life for the
past two centuries in these countries. Their
efforts are fitful, and so far not so
When asked by reporters to comment on the
tone of the American presidential election
campaign on Monday, the working group's
chairman, Ricardo A. Sunga of the
concern about "hate speech ...
xenophobia [and] Afrophobia" that he felt
was prevalent in the campaign, although he
didn't specifically call out Republican
candidate Donald Trump.
are very troubled that these are on the
rise," said Sunga.