Has Israel Asked for Too Much Aid from the USA?

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.

Iran and the Jabal Al Druze Fiasco

The political and military echelon in Israel have often stated that Israel is staying neutral in the Syrian civil war.  Any attacks on Syrian targets were meant to prevent game changing weaponry from falling into the hands of Hezbollah. After all, they insisted, our enemies are killing each other. No one seemed to be able to foresee direct Russian involvement and with it Iranian ground troops moving closer to Israel.

When the dust settles between Russia and Turkey their ISIS allies, Iranian, Syrian, and Hezbollah forces will in fact attack Israel. Despite what the leadership will tell us, their “neutrality” during this war enabled Iranian troops to fill the void left open on the Syrian side of the Golan. This tactical blunder on Israel’s part could have been thwarted as late as this past June. Jabal Al Druze or otherwise known as Druze Mountain is a district and home to a large portion of the Syrian Druze population situated East of the Golan Heights on the border of Jordan.  It is a mountainous region and until the civil war the population remained 100% loyal to Assad.  

Jabal Al Druze


With chaos reigning, ISIS forces began closing in on Jabal Al Druze in June and since the Druze are considered apostates by the Jihadists, many experts believed they would be killed on mass. Israel’s own Druze population wanted more to be done and yet nothing overt was undertaken.  

All of this was before Russian involvement, when Assad looked as if he was finished. Israel’s opportunity to push their security line far to the East was missed and now a resurgent Assad can once again count on the loyalty of the Druze there.

One of the reasons why Israel did not go into Jabal Al Druze was because the Israeli elite abhor the appearance of seeming like the aggressor.  The problem with this approach and especially in this situation, was that the Druze really looked under threat and given Israel’s own loyal Druze populace and the blood bond many of them feel with the people of Israel, extending the IDF’s control over this area would have been wholly explainable to the international community.

By the way, it should be noted that Jabal Al Druze was actually an autonomous region from 1921 to 1936 when Syria was under French control.

Timing is Everything

Five months later, and the Middle East has changed into something unrecognizable. Timing is everything in war and staying neutral is never an option within a fluid situation.  Bibi Netanyahu’s strategy has always been to wait this out, but opportunities are lost when you don’t move in time. The loss of moving Israel’s security line East, by harnessing a thankful Druze population in Southern Syria, now means Iran is at Israel’s border.

How fast the next stage of the conflict progresses is anyone’s guess, but if the last 2 months are an indication, staying out of Syria is no longer an option.