Glenn Greenwald once again goes on another anti-Israel diatribe at the Intercept. His articlelaunches the typical vacuous attacks on Israel’s “occupation” of Judea and Samaria, where Arab Palestinians were encouraged to move to by foreign powers in order to block the Jewish return to their biblical heartland. He then meanders into the meme of Israel being a wealthy country and circles back to the idea that ultimately Zionist Jews are just after money. All of this is tucked into the neat package of why everyone should oppose US foreign aid to Israel.
Let’s first establish that many Israelis, including this author are opposed to taking American aid. We appreciate the gesture, but in fact are aware that it comes with far too many strings attached. Despite what Glenn Greenwald posits in his article, the deal is essentially the same, where as Israel must spend much of its money on America weapons manufacturers as well as rules on how to use weapons and financing. But this is not why many Israelis are against accepting foreign aid. At its base foreign aid takes away a country’s ability to act within the confines of doing what’s best for it and its citizens. In Israel’s case, Israel itself can likely live without the aid and if it does so it would be able to approach its own foreign policy in a neutral and patriotic sense.
So why does Israel accept the aid and if it is so displeasing to America, why does even Obama, Bibi’s erstwhile adversary freely give it?
One word: Control.
The Americans would love not to give Israel the kind of aid it does and although ideas like this have floated around for a while, American intelligence understands that a strong Israel not held back by American aid, could do what it pleases. Israel could in fact do what it already has started to do and make deals and partnerships with rising powers. It could in fact leave the false two-state narrative behind and annex its biblically mandated land. With India, China, and many other countries in the east rising, this control becomes very important for the American elite. Israel is not the Ukraine. It has the largest amount of startups besides Silicon Valley and it boasts a unriveled innovation engine. Keeping Israel in the pocket of the American ruling class is a serious objective for both Republicans and Democrats.
So why does Israel continuously accept the aid if it can do much better on its own? The answer comes down to money and connections. There has always been a disturbing dichotomy between the globalist leaning elite in Israel and the typical citizen. The upper tier of the military still sees connections with the American security establishment as vitally important for a career post their military service. They have good pensions and financial incentives to back US aid to Israel. The Israeli populace sees very little of this money and instead receives conditions placed on the government’s maneuvarability.
What About Bibi’s Request for Even More Money
Glenn Greenwald points out what only seems like chutzpah on the part of Bibi Netanyahu in asking for even more money. The truth is, that Israeli intelligence provides a lot of unfettered access to Russian, Iranian, and Syrian movements in the Levant and Middle East. America has by and large outsourced its intelligence gathering to Israel and in doing so, the terms of the agreement must change. This is far more like a job than it is aid. America, doesn’t and at this point can’t afford to put boots on the ground and so Israel does it for them, giving valuable intelligence on enemy goings and comings that the US can’t get anywhere else.
Like usual Glenn Greenwald gives a half-baked position on an Israel centric issue. Whether one agrees with US aid for Israel or not, the reasons for opposing it must be built on a solid factual foundation or else the argument risks slipping into old-fashioned antisemitism masked in anti-Zionist propaganda.