Is there anything American politicians won’t grant Israel? It seems not. Why if I didn’t know better, I’d think the entire House was under a political spell which rendered them incapable of voting against anything favoring Israel. America’s latest gift to Israel, H.R. 4133: United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012. Sponsored by one of Israel’s biggest cheerleaders, Republican Representative Eric Cantor, H.R. 4133 allows for some of the following:
- To provide Israel the military capabilities necessary to deter and defend itself by itself against any threats.
- To veto any one-sided anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations Security Council.
- To support Israel’s inherent right to self-defense.
I wish to focus on these three points in the bill because we’ve all heard the propaganda ad nauseum regarding Israel’s existential threats. Stories of suicide bombers, Katyusha rockets from Gaza, the big bad Hamas terrorists and, let’s not forget the latest and greatest threat of them all: Iran. If I didn’t see better with my own eyes I would believe the people of Israel were under siege. Listening to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a second Holocaust is right around the corner. Of all the fear mongering, this claim I find the most detestable; invoking the Holocaust and playing on the traumas of the Jewish people to advance a political agenda is scraping the bottom of the barrel.
But let’s remove all of the emotion and take a look at the actual facts. From the inception of Israel, beginning with the War of Independence in 1948 up until the 2008-2009 conflict between Israel and Gaza infamously known as Operation Cast Lead, the total recorded estimated death toll for Israel totals 12,680 and 67,365 Arabs (including Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine). Another source which records the total number of casualties from conflicts as well as wars from 1920-2012 lists 17,735 Israeli deaths and 90,785 Arab deaths.
Since 2010 four Iranian scientists have been murdered. In January 2010 Hamas military commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was assassinated in Dubai. In January 2009 another senior Hamas leader was killed in an air strike by the IDF (Israel Defense Force) and just earlier this year the head of the Popular Resistance Committee (PRC) Zuhair al-Qissi was killed in an airstrike. Many deem leaders of Hamas and other Palestinian opposition groups to be terrorists and therefore worthy of their executions. But what of the countless innocent civilians who are murdered by IDF soldiers? Civilians like the 21 members of the Samouni family who were killed in an air strike during Operation Cast Lead.
The fact of the matter is there are numerous incidents, too many to recount, which contradict Israel’s claims of self defense. Israel is not the victim it likes to portray itself to the world, nor is it the wimpy kid getting bullied on the playground, but rather the one doing the bullying. The rockets being launched from Gaza which Israel claims it needs to protect itself from pale in comparison to the IDF’s fire power. The notion that Israel somehow needs an almost billion dollar missile defense system. so advanced it happens to be the only kind in the world, to “protect” itself from existential threat is not only unsubstantiated but outrageous.
But apparently Eric Cantor wasn’t exaggerating when he told a group of supporters at an AIPAC convention in May 2011 “America must do everything in her power to keep Israel strong and secure.” The U.S. House of Representatives may not be the equivalent of a fast food restaurant where you have the option of selecting whatever you want and how you want it — but apparently, if you’re Israel, you can still have it your way.