Letter to the editor: Not all Israelis, Jews support American aid

Brent Jackson

“What if conservatives who preach small government wake up and realize that our interventionist foreign policy provides the greatest incentive to expand the government,” Ron Paul said before the U.S. House of Representatives on Feb. 12, 2009.

It baffles me how conservatives who rail against the excess and waste of big government here at home, in particular its uncanny ability of mismanaging our money, still have this benevolent view of government when it comes to our meddling abroad. How can we with a straight face decry the welfare state (socialism) here at home, while promoting free handouts to other nations?

Foreign aid to Israel often stirs controversy during foreign policy debates. As is often the case, the media prefers shocking sound bites rather than critical analyses in order to shape people’s opinions. We are to believe in this two dimensional world view that all Israelis cherish the idea of American aid.

Many prominent Israelis — including economists Ran Dagoni, Yoel Bainerman, Alvin Rabushka and the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, as well as the Jewish Task Force, the Zionist Freedom Alliance, and the Manhigut Yehudit faction of the Likud Party — have long advocated for an end to U.S. foreign aid to Israel. These groups insist that Israel must develop her own economic strength and move toward more free-market economic reforms as a means of boosting national prosperity and strength.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that foreign aid may do more harm than good, and has proposed efforts to wean Israel off of American military aid payments.

The Jewish Task Force states among its principles a commitment to:

“An immediate end to all U.S. foreign aid, even to a genuine friend and ally like Israel, which is harmed rather than helped by her counterproductive dependency on America’s addictive welfare handouts.

So perhaps Congressman Ron Paul does have a point.