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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Ehud Barak must go

I wasn't the only Israeli who was embarrassed by Ehud Barak's tone-deaf request for another $20 billion in US aid in Monday's Wall Street Journal. Evelyn Gordon writes at Contentions that it's time for Barak to go.
In an interview in today’s Wall Street Journal, Ehud Barak announced that Israel might ask Washington for another $20 billion in aid due to the unrest now sweeping the region. As an Israeli, I’m cringing in shame.

The U.S. currently faces a massive deficit that threatens the country’s very future, and Congress is slashing ruthlessly in an effort to curb it. Almost nothing has been spared the ax — with one glaring exception: a sweeping majority of Congress still opposes any cut to the annual $3 billion in American aid to Israel, because at a time when Israel is facing an unprecedented international delegitimization campaign, Congress doesn’t want to do anything that might imply faltering support for America’s longtime ally.

It’s an extraordinarily generous gesture, and as I’ve written elsewhere, the only proper response would be for Netanyahu to do what he did during his first term as prime minister 15 years ago: announce a phased, multi-year cutback in aid at a joint session of Congress. Precisely because it is such a tangible expression of American support, American aid sends an important message to Israel’s enemies; thus, eliminating it altogether might be unwise. But Israel’s economy is certainly strong enough to cope with a cutback, and if it were an Israeli initiative, it wouldn’t imply faltering American support. On the contrary, it would strengthen the relationship by showing that it’s not a one-way street, that Israel is also sensitive to America’s needs.

Instead, as if he were blind, deaf, and dumb to everything that’s happened in America over the past few years, Barak declared that he wants to seek an increase in aid. As if America were nothing but a cash cow, with no urgent monetary needs of its own. This is a public-relations disaster, one guaranteed to alienate even Israel’s strongest supporters in Congress unless Netanyahu makes it immediately and unequivocally clear that his defense minister’s proposal is unacceptable.
Read the whole thing. She's spot-on.

By the way, I have yet to hear a peep out of Netanyahu about this.

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At 12:22 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

This is exactly why I've called for the termination of US aid. When Israeli politicians believe they must please America to survive, the Jewish State has lost its way. The sooner Israel terminates its unhealthy dependence upon America, the better off the country will be.

At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, I have yet to hear a peep out of Netanyahu about this.

That's because it's long been time for Netanyahu to go.

At 3:57 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Well, before you call foul, and I don't know how we could know this, the U.S. military aid and program structure may be the primary method for Israel to access the newest technologies (which some number of Israelis work on)... Obviously, you guys develop your own, but if we are teamed, we would need to be (in what is actually not a huge way - technology burns through $$ very fast) on the same page with some systems. So before you blast Ehud Barak for this, I would make sure you have some other means of staying on the front edge as relates to U.S. systems. Even though this administration is very passive and not operating as usual for the U.S., it won't always be like that.

At 4:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

EHUD IS AN IDIOT!! Asking for more money will cause the termination of what they get already. The US is dying, there is no money to do such a thing.

At 2:08 AM, Blogger ais cotten19 said...

It would have been more politically astute to make a statement along the lines that the IDF needs a serious cash injection to properly address the changing security situation. Nobody would have disagreed with (or felt put off by) a statement like that. So what's really going on? Could Barak be secretly pushing for the US to cut aid, as more and more Israelis seem to be calling for?

At 4:26 AM, Blogger Sunlight said...

For example, how cool is this:

Elbit Systems U.S. Subsidiary Awarded Contract From Boeing to Develop New Head Up Displays for the U.S. Air Force's C-17


This is cool beyond words for Elbit and Boeing. And it didn't just pop out of nowhere.

Burnt Dreadlocks, the U.S. has never stopped being a huge economy, despite what the media tells you. We just currently have an unbusinesslike group in charge. People are used to a bottomless well of wealth. But, we'll get the economic engine revved up again... patience.


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