The Incontiguous Brick

March 24, 2010

What does the passage of the Health Care Reform Bill mean for Israel?

Filed under: Israel,Our World,politics — iknowkeith @ 2:29 pm
Tags: , , , ,

On the surface…  Nothing.  But look a little deeper and Israel could be scrambling.  Here’s why…

Status quo for US-Israel relations has not changed for a long time.  US says, “let’s have peace in the Middle East”.  Israel say, “sure.”  US says, “stop expanding settlements and treating Palestinians like animals.  Israel say, “Bite me!”

Although this may be a  simplification of the issues, it does paint the picture of our relationship.  US has continually supported Israel both in rhetoric and financially since Israel’s inception.  This support has come at a great cost to US relations with the rest of the Middle East but it has been unwavering.

Health care reform has also been status quo for a very long time.  President Obama just shook that up.  He demonstrated his ability to change the status quo.  He flexed his political muscle and made change.

Whether you agree with the new bill, you have to recognize that President Obama has made a change in our country.

Israel now has to deal with a man who can change the status quo.  Israel has to worry that President Obama may turn on them and he has the political power to change policy. This is dangerous territory for Israel after years of not playing nice in the sand box.

January 7, 2009

Letter from Congressman Dennis Kucinich to Condoleezza Rice

Filed under: Israel,politics,Wordpress Political Blogs — iknowkeith @ 3:56 pm

This doesn’t need commentary. Here it is:

January 5, 2009

The Honorable Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State

Dear Dr. Rice:

I am writing concerning Israel’s military offensive against Gaza, which began on December 27th. I support Israel’s security and its right to exist in peace, without the fear of rocket attacks from Hamas. Moreover, I abhor the violence being visited upon the citizens of our firm ally. However, no nation is immune from the legal conditions placed on the receipt of U.S. military assistance. I believe that with the current escalation of violence in Gaza, a legal threshold has been reached, warranting a Presidential examination and report to Congress. I hereby request an examination of Israel’s compliance with the provisions of the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 (AECA).

While neither the AECA nor the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (FAA) define “internal security” and “legitimate self-defense,” I believe that Israel’s most recent

attacks neither further internal security nor do they constitute “legitimate” acts of self-defense. They do, however, “increase the possibility of an outbreak or escalation of conflict,” because they are a vastly disproportionate response to the provocation, and because the Palestinian population is suffering from those military attacks in numbers far exceeding Israeli losses in life and property.

Israel’s current military campaign in Gaza has inflicted a significant toll on Palestinian civilians and society. Israel’s recent aerial and ground offensive against Gaza has killed nearly 600 and injured over 2,500. The Associated Press reported: “children are paying the price. . . . The United Nations has said the death toll includes 34 children. . . . But the broad range of Israel’s targets–police compounds, fire stations, homes of militants, Hamas-run mosques and university buildings–means most shelling is occurring in residential areas.”[2] The extensive destruction of such civilian institutions violates Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the wanton destruction of property and collective punishment of a civilian population. There have also been reports of bombings of United Nations (UN) schools, despite the fact that Israeli Defense Forces were allegedly given coordinates of the facilities prior to the current escalation in violence. The blockade that Israel has imposed on Gaza since 2006 has further exacerbated the extent of collateral damage, as hospitals and morgues have been unable to cope with the magnitude of deaths and injuries as a result of the current escalation in violence and hospitals lack proper supplies needed to treat the injured.

I believe that Israel’s use of defense articles provided by the U.S in the current Gaza military attacks may constitute a violation of the AECA. At a minimum, the conflict is sufficient to warrant an immediate report to Congress as required by 22 U.S.C. §2753. Please contact my office by close of business on January 7, 2009 with the date the report will be submitted.

Sincerely,

Dennis J. Kucinich
Member of Congress

The USS Liberty

Filed under: Conspiracy,Israel,politics,Wordpress Political Blogs — iknowkeith @ 9:00 am

From LewRockwell.com in 2001.

At 0800 hrs, 8 June, 1967, eight Israeli recon flights flew over ‘Liberty,’ which was flying a large American flag. At 1400 hrs, waves of low-flying Israeli Mystere and Mirage-III fighter-bombers repeatedly attacked the American vessel with rockets, napalm, and cannon. The air attacks lasted 20 minutes, concentrating on the ship’s electronic antennas and dishes. The ‘Liberty’ was left afire, listing sharply. Eight of her crew lay dead, a hundred seriously wounded, including the captain, Commander William McGonagle.

At 1424 hrs, three Israeli torpedo boats attacked, raking the burning ‘Liberty’ with 20mm and 40mm shells. At 1431hrs an Israeli torpedo hit the ‘Liberty’ midship, precisely where the signals intelligence systems were located. Twenty-five more Americans died.

The Israeli attacks killed 34 US seamen and wounded 171 out of a crew of 297, the worst loss of American naval personnel from hostile action since World War II.

The attack on ‘Liberty’ was fading into obscurity until last week, when intelligence expert James Bamford came out with Body of Secrets, his latest book about the National Security Agency. In a stunning revelation, Bamford writes that unknown to Israel, a US Navy EC-121 intelligence aircraft was flying high overhead the ‘Liberty,’ electronically recorded the attack. The US aircraft crew provides evidence that the Israeli pilots knew full well that they were attacking a US Navy ship flying the American flag.

Could someone explain to me why we are friends with Israel?

March 6, 2008

Congressman Ron Paul’s Statement on Gaza Bill

Filed under: Israel,politics,Ron Paul — iknowkeith @ 3:37 pm

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution strongly defending how Israel has repelled rocket attacks.

The non-binding resolution, passed 404-1 on Wednesday, was substantially rewritten since its introduction in January to include a strident defense of recent Israeli tactics in the Gaza Strip. Ron Paul took a different view…

Ron Paul states – Madam Speaker: I rise in opposition to H. Res. 951. As one who is consistently against war and violence, I obviously do not support the firing of rockets indiscriminately into civilian populations. I believe it is appalling that Palestinians are firing rockets that harm innocent Israelis, just as I believe it is appalling that Israel fires missiles into Palestinian areas where children and other non-combatants are killed and injured.Unfortunately, legislation such as this is more likely to perpetuate violence in the Middle East than contribute to its abatement. It is our continued involvement and intervention – particularly when it appears to be one-sided – that reduces the incentive for opposing sides to reach a lasting peace agreement.

Additionally, this bill will continue the march toward war with Iran and Syria , as it contains provocative language targeting these countries. The legislation oversimplifies the Israel/Palestine conflict and the larger unrest in the Middle East by simply pointing the finger at Iran and Syria . This is another piece in a steady series of legislation passed in the House that intensifies enmity between the United States and Iran and Syria . My colleagues will recall that we saw a similar steady stream of provocative legislation against Iraq in the years before the US attack on that country.

I strongly believe that we must cease making proclamations involving conflicts that have nothing to do with the United States . We incur the wrath of those who feel slighted while doing very little to slow or stop the violence.

January 27, 2008

Why do we borrow money and give it countries that don’t need it?

Filed under: Israel,Our World,politics,Wordpress Political Blogs — iknowkeith @ 12:00 am

Okay. I have to get something off my chest. This has been bugging me for a few days and I need to write about it.

piggybank.jpgThe U.S. supports Israel and we are all great buddies. I get that. It is good to have allies. They were a bit less of a drag during the Cold War. But still, I can see how these things drag on.

But then Mearsheimer and Walt (two highly respected political scientists)published a book titled The Israel Lobby. All of a sudden these two highly respected scholars are being called conspiracy theorists and fools. What is going on here? I had to get this book immediately. I have to confess, I have not read all of it yet so I will not try to recreate their arguments. A German TV show (posted to YouTube) summed up the controversy around the book very nicely.

Here is the thing about the U.S./Israel relationship that really chaps me. The U.S. gives Israel almost $3 Billion a year. Not loans. Grants. Free money. We don’t give that kind of money to anybody. And this has been going on for decades. This made some sense when Israel was just getting established after WWII. But now they are among the top 25 countries in GDP per capita. That is higher than Greece. Not bad for them.

Here is the break down from the January 2, 2008 CRS Report for Congress titled, U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel.
us-aid-to-israel.jpg

Now, last time I checked we Americans have been running a pretty big deficit. That means the government has to borrow money to make up the difference. So we borrow money (and pay interest) so we can give it too Israel (not a loan) when they don’t even need it in the first place. Personally, I don’t like running a deficit for anything. If we happen to run a surplus, I would have no problem helping out a truly poor country. But to borrow money to give it to Israel makes absolutely no sense. We are on the verge of a recession and this is our policy?

So can someone please answer this question for me? Why do we borrow money to give it to countries that don’t need it?

****************************
Correction: the video was Dutch (not German as someone pointed out)

Afterwards: (after reading 60+ comments that is)

  • This author (and web site) is in no way Anti-Semitic.
  • The illustration pictured above is a “piggy-bank” and is in no way a slight to the Jewish Faith. I don’t care what religions are practiced in other countries, I care about where my tax money is going. If it isn’t staying in my country, I want to know why.
  • This article is about economics and foreign policy, not about religion and ethnicity.
  • Some have commented that we pay for the military presence in the region. THERE ARE NO AMERICAN BASES IN ISRAEL. There are bases in UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
  • If anything, wouldn’t it make more sense for Israel to pay the U.S. for continued friendship and having their backs?
  • Blog at WordPress.com.