Pages: 1 2
More detailed rebuttals of these “kitchen sink” arguments can be found here, here, and here; but the critique summarized above demonstrates the sheer irrationality and galactic exaggerations of the “kitchen sink” approach to assessing US aid to Israel.
The most comprehensive condemnation of the US government’s support for Israel comes from the article and book by Stephen M. Walt and John J. Mearsheimer, who insist that “Since the October War in 1973, Washington has provided Israel with a level of support which “dwarfs that given to any other state. It has been the largest annual recipient of direct economic and military assistance since 1976, and is the largest recipient in total since World War Two, to the tune of well over $140 billion.”
A long list of distinguished scholars, commentators, journalists, congressmen and government representatives have discredited Walt and Mearsheimer, highlighting their egregiously inflated numbers, incorrect history, frequent decontextualization of quotes and facts, and misrepresentation of the underlying dynamics of the Arab-Israel conflict. Moreover, Walt and Mearsheimer stooped to such unprofessional depths as to draw some of their “facts” from neo-Nazi and other anti-Israel hate websites. Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government distanced itself from the paper, and insisted that its logo be removed from all publications of the article, despite the fact that Steven Walt is a professor there. Consensus among critics is that the paper utterly fails to meet academic standards and promotes anti-Semitic myths.
It is correct to state that Israel was for many years after 1973 the largest individual recipient of direct U.S. aid. But for many of those years Egypt came in as a very close second; and after the onset of US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the American-supported governments of these two countries each received tens of billions more annual aid than Israel. Iraq alone has received in excess of $58 billion since 2003 for reconstruction and “state building.” So if there is a risk of American largesse “bankrupting” the USA, why pick on Israel?
US military support worldwide totaled 630 billion in 2008, approached 800 billion in 2009, and continues to rise. Let’s keep in mind that these hundreds of billions spent on maintaining military bases and deploying troops in Europe and the Far East are US aid to the countries that host our bases. Were the USA to withraw these military deployments, the host countries would need to shoulder more of the burden for their own defense. The billions that the US spends on our military presence in the world free those same billions in the host countries’ economies for their own domestic use.
How then can anyone argue that US aid to Israel “dwarfs” American aid to other countries when the USA spends from three to five times that amount in Iraq, and when US aid annually to Israel is less than one-half of one percent (0.5%) of American total military and other aid world-wide? Why do acclaimed scholars and other widely respected professionals need to “throw in the kitchen sink?” Why do they need to make spurious and demonstrably false claims about the amount of American aid? They lie because the truth does not support their agenda.
Walt and Mearsheimer are explicit about their agenda in their paper and their book: they seek to demonstrate that the American government is in the grip of a Zionist conspiracy, the head of which is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and evidence for which is the enormous amount of US aid to Israel; hence their need to insist that US aid to Israel dwarfs the aid given to any other state. Since the real numbers are too small to support such an extreme proposition, Walt and Mearsheimer must resort to culling their “facts” from Neo-Nazi Jew-hatred websites. Since the benefits to the USA are so great that the actual aid dollars are more than justified, then these erstwhile scholars and others of their ilk must fabricate astronomic numbers, and minimize or deny the benefits of this aid to the USA.
The purpose of all of these “kitchen sink” exercises is obvious: discredit Israel and Israel’s supporters by making Israel look like a liability rather than an asset and thus justify anti-Israel animus, legitimize hatred of Israel, and influence governments and individuals to reduce or eliminate support for Israel. This type of mendacity is akin to Holocaust denial and Israel denial. All three turn history upside down, distort reality, and deny the patently undeniable with palpable lies and transparent fabrications. The ultimate goal of all three is support for those forces seeking Israel’s destruction.
In sharing this ultimate goal with Hamas, Hezbollah, a dozen other genocidal Muslim terrorist organizations, and Iran, the purveyors of the “kitchen sink” assessment of US aid to Israel have joined the ranks of the 21st century’s version of Hitler’s little helpers.
Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.
Pages: 1 2