FURTHER POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY YOSSI KLEIN HELEVI IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
It truly is time for Israel to come to its senses and live as a friendly state with its neighbors.
It very much does appear that the privileged, coddled world Israel has assumed and taken great advantage of - all at the vast expense of tens of millions of other people - is coming to an end.
Israel has demonstrated its tendency to take everything it can get away with, always asking for more, and giving nothing to anyone.
In so-called peace negotiations, it has played the world's longest-running game of double-dealing. Most readers likely will not know that it has never been an official policy, and it still is not today, to accept a two-state solution.
It allows the naive in the world to believe otherwise, while doing everything in its power to work against the idea, whether its killing the Oslo Accords, trying to starve out the people of Gaza, or carrying on countless black operations to disrupt and destroy the lives of those it treats as enemies.
You simply cannot go on like that forever. Moreover, the situation violates the fundamental sense of fairness so many Americans have.
Up until now, that basic sense of justice has been kept quiescent by sentimental memories of Biblical Sunday School stories, constant reminders of the Holocaust of nearly three-quarters of a century ago, and pin-point work in campaign contributions by the huge Israel Lobby.
But visions of killing thousands of refugees (Gaza), the violation of property rights in Jerusalem and the West Bank, endless scenes of abuse, and the arrogant tone of Israel’s governments are awakening Americans and others to the reality of contemporary Israel.
Israel has had its own way for a ridiculously long time, never once sincerely trying to make a proper peace, yet always keeping its hand out for more American assistance ( more than $500 per year per Israeli), more American loan guarantees, more American privileges (like free trade), and more access to American weapons.
Under Bush, Israel went on an arrogant spree of murder and abuse, always hoping to drive the remaining Palestinians from their homes.
It has threatened virtually every neighbor in the Middle East, attacking most of them at one time or another.
But it has for the most part been the same from the beginning. Whatever original documents you examine which are generally credited with legitimizing Israel (Sykes-Picot Agreement, Balfour Declaration, and U.N. Resolutions) – regardless of the question of whether such authorities had any legal right to dispose of other people’s property – we find the idea of a Palestine Territory roughly equally divided between two states and Jerusalem shared.
But we do not see that today. Israel controls most of what was Palestine and works tirelessly to drive out the millions in Gaza and in the West Bank.
Mubarak has always cooperated in matters like keeping the border with Gaza closed so that his cheques from Langley, Virginia, continue flowing. He was even in the process of building a hideous steel wall that goes deep underground to prevent the tunnels which a desperate people use sometimes to relieve their misery.
He has been no friend to his own people, eighty million longing for responsible modern government, and he has been no friend to the poor Palestinians under seemingly endless oppression from Israel.
When you base international solutions on truth and honest dealing with real problems, you often get real, long-term solutions.
But Israel has lived in a fantasy world in which truths are never faced, dishonesty about democracy and human rights is the mantra, while gigantic subsidies and streams of weapons pour in from the United States to keep this Crusader garrison state going.
Israel is the most subsidized nation on earth. It receives about $500 per year in aid from the United States per citizen – more than hundreds of millions of people in this world must live on as their entire earnings.
It receives unparalleled access to the American President and its military and intelligence establishment. It has a free-trade treaty that would be the envy of scores of small countries. It receives billions in payments from Jews abroad and it has received billions in assistance from Germany in reparations for the Holocaust. It enjoys technology-sharing with the United States worth billions a year and it is given privileged access to contracts in the United States.
So subsidized is Israel that few people understand that when they pick up an Israeli tomato or Clementine or other produce, they are buying the most expensive produce in the world, all of it subsidized with “cheap” water from a very arid region, and a great deal of the precious water used hostilely diverted from Israel’s neighbors. To supply new water Israel uses desalination plants which produce some of world’s most costly water, not the kind of stuff a realistic economy uses to grow and export tomatoes.
With all its immense privileges and huge subsidies, why must Israel also demand that its neighbors live in governments of Israel’s choice, that eighty million Egyptians must live under oppression to make the 6 million Jews in Israel happy (population of 7 million is roughly 20% Arab). This is insanely unreasonable. It more than anyone is entitled to ask. It is beyond chutzpah. It is hubris, and if you know the Greek myths, you know the price of hubris.