A Real Friend Tells You When You’re Committing a War Crime

John Oliver brilliantly describes the terribly unbalanced situation in Israel and Gaza and our government’s failure to respond or even admit what’s happening.

They say whoever mentions the Nazis first automatically loses the argument. However:

Germany took property from Jews and gave it to Gentiles. Israel is taking property from Palestinians and giving it to Israelis.

When resistance fighters killed a German soldier, the Germans retaliated by killing a disproportionate number of civilians. When members of Hamas fire rockets and kill Israelis, Israel retaliates by killing a disproportionate number of Palestinians, mostly civilians.

It’s time for the US to put real pressure on Israel to end its brutal treatment of the Palestinians. In particular, we need to stop subsidizing Israel’s powerful military. From NBC News:

For decades, billions of dollars in American military aid to Israel has been justified as necessary to help an underdog nation stave off an array of powerful foes threatening its survival. . . . 

But as Israel now demonstrates its ability to inflict a lopsided death count on the Palestinians, it’s time to acknowledge that this depiction of Israel no longer has any basis in reality. Instead, U.S. aid merely polishes the armor of a regional Goliath in its contests with David.

Right now, the U.S. provides $3.8 billion to Israel annually — equivalent to 20 percent of Israel’s defense budget and nearly three-fifths of U.S. foreign military financing globally.

Meanwhile, Congress oftens adds more on top of the annual $3.8 billion commitment. For instance, though the Iron Dome was developed by Israel, its improvement and deployment have received $1.6 billion in U.S. funding in addition to the yearly allocation.

After years of this largesse, combined with its own improved military capabilities, Israel isn’t about to run out of weaponry without U.S. funding; in fact, Israel now exports many of the arms it produces. At this point, U.S. military aid is essentially underwriting a regional heavyweight that sells so many weapons abroad it’s ranked as the eighth-largest arms exporter on the planet. . . . 

It’s just that giving so much aid to Israel is clearly unnecessary given its current posture. Today Israel can defend itself just fine and acquire whatever American weapons it needs without an annual check from Uncle Sam. And it’s not like the allowance from Washington necessarily secures Israeli compliance with U.S. policies and objectives.

Indeed, U.S. aid to Israel has proven ineffectual in leveraging genuine cooperation with recent peace initiatives. Rather, the opposite dynamic prevails, as the allegedly corrupt but evidently unsinkable Netanyahu himself overtly intervenes in U.S. domestic politics. He punishes American politicians critical of Israel or supportive of the nuclear deal with Iran, while backing those such as [the previous president] willing to write Israel a blank check.

Repeated U.S. attempts to rein in Israeli settlements in Palestinian areas have been met with defiance. Requests for Israel to make concessions to Palestinians at the bargaining table have been shrugged off. Growing criticism by American groups over Israeli human rights violations and anti-democratic policies have done little to change Israeli behavior.