A repy to Neumann's latest piece by Jay Knott (03/01/10) ⇌ (Zionist opposition to freedom of speech)
"What then, if the US 'turned off the aid spigot'? Israel's critics, not excluding some Israelis, are increasingly indignant in their demands for this to happen. Again, they are wildly optimistic. No doubt Israel finds US aid a great convenience. But the US also finds Israeli aid a great convenience. Israel's defense establishment not only produces but develops many capabilities of vital importance to the US, among them anti-missile systems, drones, and cyberwarfare solutions. And this is why economic sanctions wouldn't work. Israel has an abundance of technology and even military hardware that much of the world would line up to buy, at almost any price. Not only would Israel be able to sustain itself financially and economically; it would do so through commerce that the West could only consider catastrophic."
In his latest essay for Counterpunch, Michael Neumann puts forward two propositions:
1. The West can't stand against Israel because of the latter's military power, and
2. because it is against Western interests to boycott Israeli technology and military hardware
and one conclusion:
1. We must rely on the Muslim and Arab world to hold back Israeli terror.
He compares Hizbollah's success to that of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. But there was also an anti-apartheid movement in the Western countries. It was powerful enough to overwhelm president Reagan's objections and institute sanctions. These sanctions were at least as important as the internal 'struggle' in South Africa in ending apartheid.
If it is against Western interests to stand up against Israel, why does the Israel Lobby not simply argue this, rather than waging cultural war against the values of its generous, but not infinitely generous, host? Why the Anti-Defamation League? Why the fake hate crimes? South Africans didn't do that.
Israel can't force the major powers to send it more aid than all other countries combined by threatening them. It is a misunderstanding of economic theory which leads Neumann to argue that Israel's military technology is good for the West. This technology is a net loss - the US subsidizes Israel, then pays it for the technology it develops with these subsidies. This is not rational economic behavior. It's like arguing that, if the government required 'green' houses, the money spent would benefit eco-tech companies, and thus the economy as a whole. Civilized nations could develop this military technology themselves if they needed it - and they wouldn't need it so much if they stopped supporting Israel so heavily.
Neumann also says 'the US also finds Israeli aid a great convenience', meaning military assistance. In the war on Islamic terror, this is true. But it would be equally true if it turned the tables on Israel and found Shia Iran's support for Hizbollah a great convenience instead. Or noticed that the world's Sunni fundamentalists are mostly located atop the world's biggest oilfield. One can always find a 'materialist explanation' ex post facto.
Our culture did not become the most successful in history by ignoring its own interests.
We should stick to Neumann's original position: it is against Western interests to support a Jewish state in the Middle East: