Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Letters to the Editor

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Letters to the Editor

Article excerpt

Transfer of U.S. Wealth to Israel

Congratulations to the Washington Report and Shirl McArthur on his excellent analysis in the July 2006 issue of U.S. aid to Israel. Not only is the amount of the "aid" astounding, but the lack of oversight by U.S. authorities and the many hidden aspects of the aid buried in the huge federal disbursement machine must be publicized to the American people. This transfer of wealth to a foreign nation with an extreme ideology is unique in our history.

And thanks, too, to Shirl for mentioning the late Thomas Stauffer's equally brilliant analysis of "aid" which included "indirect" costs and swelled the cost to $3 trillion.

Albert R. Doyle, Sanibel, FL

There's even more to the story-see below.

Aid to Israel in Today's Dollars: $189 Billion

The article in the July issue of the Washington Report regarding aid to Israel, estimated at $108 billion, understates the amount of aid because the report uses historical dollars. Adjusting the amounts for inflation reveals that the aid to Israel, as measured in today's dollars, has exceeded $189 billion.

The inflation-adjusted aid exceeds $46,500 per person ($35,000 in the last 30 years), or $186,000 for every Israeli family of four. Our government, it seems, has been more concerned about Israel than about the United States, despite Israel's flagrant violations of international law and nearly 40 years of ignoring our presidents' pathetic pleas to cease building settlements on stolen Palestinian land.

John Crane, Raleigh, NC

We can't thank you enough for your contribution to our calculations and to Americans' understanding of how their tax dollars are spent. Funny, isn't it, how the figures never seem to decrease.

Outrageous Double Standards

In a recent interview, linguist and scholar Noam Chomsky raised some meaningful points. To prove its legitimacy Hamas must:

* Recognize the right of the state of Israel to exist. But Israel, with U.S. support, does everything possible to undermine the creation of a Palestinian state.

* Renounce violence. But Israel and the U.S. do not renounce violence.

* Accept international agreements. But the U.S. and Israel reject international agreements.

Could there ever be a more outrageous example of the double standard?

Henry Clifford, Wainscott, NY

What Has Changed?

I'm over 80 years of age, but during my working years I was an international airline pilot. And in my 42 years of flying, I had various assignments which had me based at various places on this planet, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Yemen and other Islamic counties. Never once did I feel any alienation toward me as an American and a Christian. My relationship with the people I associated with was cordial, respectful, sensitive and completely friendly. This all was before 1974. Suddenly, I'm told by this administration that they are terrorists and they are bent on destroying us. Please tell me, what has changed since my association with these people? Could it be our unconditional support militarily and financially of Israel? If so, why do we continue?

Befuddled, via e-mail

Election year is always a good time to ask this question of your elected representatives-and vote accordingly. You might first want to check out our updated computation of pro-Israel PAC contributions to this year's candidates, beginning on p. 26 of this issue.

Israel's Master Plan

The military-dominated government of Israel has for decades occupied and oppressed Palestine and its people. Gaza has become a prison, its walls a virtual fortress; its citizens can't get out, no humanitarian aid is allowed in. What is Israel's master plan? To starve the Palestinians to death? The suffering, disparity, severe human rights violations and dehumanization don't seem to be enough. Having difficulty controlling Palestine politically, Israel's answer seems to be to destroy the country economically. …

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