U.S. Representative Ron Paul's call to end aid to Israel has met with bipartisan opposition. Alternet reports:
"Illinois Democrat Jan Schakowsky -- a leading member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus -- has drafted a letter, cosigned by California Democrat Anna Eshoo, warning that the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia 'have the potential to add to the very real security challenges faced by Israel.' Reducing or 'otherwise endangering aid to our ally' would be 'unproductive,' she adds, encouraging her colleagues to tell Obama they 'strongly support providing $3.075 billion in assistance to Israel.' ...
"This liberal appeal for Israeli military aid, meanwhile, is being sent out under the auspices of J Street, a group that positions itself as a left-leaning answer to AIPAC....
"So it's left to folks like libertarian Congressman Ron Paul and his son, Kentucky Senator and Tea Party favorite Rand Paul, to call for ending aid to Israel.
"In a February 4 interview with ABC News, Rand Paul said of Israel, 'I think that [Israel's] per capita income is greater than probably three-fourths of the rest of the world. Should we be giving free money or welfare to a wealthy nation? I don't think so.'
"Indeed, Israel has the 24th largest economy in the world, and ranks 15th among 169 nations on the UN Human Development Index, which makes it a 'very highly developed' nation. [i.e. Israel doesn't need U.S. aid -- it can pay its own way, but like any welfare client, it prefers handouts.]
"Yet what thanks did Senator Paul get for his call to save the U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars? A torrent of criticism, even from J Street, which called on Republicans -- and their donors -- 'to repudiate his comments and ensure American leadership around the world is not threatened by this irresponsible proposal.'
"Paul's fellow Tea Partiers aren't any better. Of the 87 freshmen House Republicans elected on platforms of cut-baby-cut, at least three-fourths have now signed a letter declaring that, 'As Israel faces threats from escalating instability in Egypt' -- where have we heard that line of argument before? -- 'security assistance to Israel has never been more important.'
"Subsidies are for militaries, you see, not poor people."
The U.S. provides far more money than just its direct financial handouts to Israel. If Americans contribute money to the IDF (the Israeli military), it's tax deductible in the U.S.!
That's right. Americans can legally pay less taxes to Uncle Sam by contributing money to the Israeli military. I learned that yesterday from listening to Eric Garris at Antiwar Radio.
The Israeli military is the only foreign military that Americans can support with tax-deductible contributions. Another aspect of our "special relationship" with Israel.
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