The Death of the Two-State Solution

Originally posted at TomDispatch.

Okay, here’s your quiz of the day: What country, according
the Congressional Research Service, has been the “largest cumulative
recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II,” to the tune
of $124.3 billion, and most of it military in nature? Great Britain, Germany,
Japan, the Philippines? The answer: none of the above. The correct
response is Israel. In the midst of an election campaign in which almost
nothing can’t be brawled about, military aid to Israel might be the only
nonpartisan issue left. After all, President Obama, who hasn’t exactly
had a chummy
with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the ascendant Israeli
right, recently agreed to a deal
that, even compared to the present stratospheric levels of military aid to Israel,
the White House has termed
“the largest single pledge of military assistance in U.S. history.”
You’re talking about a 10-year deal (2019-2028) for this country’s most
advanced weaponry (and a lot of less advanced but no less destructive stuff
as well) adding up to $38 billion, or about 27%
higher than the previous aid package – though Netanyahu originally asked
for $45
, which represents chutzpah of a major sort).

This was undoubtedly the Obama administration’s way of throwing a sop
(and quite a sop it is) to the Israeli prime minister in return for the Iran
nuclear deal, which he so fervently opposed, and to congressional Republicans
who also failed to block that deal (and many of whom are now relatively quiet
but eager
to pony up yet more military aid for the Israelis). In fact, in an era
in which hardly a move the U.S. has made across the Greater Middle East hasn’t
come a
, resulting in collapsing
and spreading terror movements, you could say that Washington has
had just one genuine success. As befits the reigning
arms trader
on the planet, it has poured staggering amounts of weaponry
into that embroiled region. Only recently, for instance, we learned from
a study
by arms expert William Hartung that, since 2009, the Obama administration has
offered the Saudis $115 billion worth of arms and advanced weapons systems in
42 separate deals – a record even for the Saudi-U.S. relationship –
and don’t forget similar, if somewhat smaller scale sales, often of advanced
weaponry, to Kuwait,
and other
countries in the region.

It’s quite a record. (U.S.A.! U.S.A.!) Now, TomDispatch
Sandy Tolan, author of Children
of the Stone
, puts that future $38 billion worth of weaponry for Israel
in the context of the larger Israeli-Palestinian “peace process”
in order to suggest just how bankrupt Washington’s policies in the Middle
East actually are. ~ Tom

Throwing in the Towel

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