Israel, US Foreign Policy and Kleptocracy-Funded Terrorism
hilip Greenspun, who is probably best known as the creator of photo.net and author of the supurb Philip & Alex's Guide to Web Publishing, posted a thoughtful and fascinating essay tackling tough questions like "Why does the United States support the State of Israel?" "Why do Arabs reject the State of Israel? (sub-question: "Are Arab Leaders Crazy?")" "Why do Muslims hate Jews?" and "What can we, as average American citizens, do?"
Israel occupies 20,330 square kilometers of land or roughly 0.23 percent of nearby Arab territory (see table at the end of the this article). This percentage would be slightly larger if we excluded Iran, which is technically non-Arab but which has been at the forefront of the fight against Israel by training, financing, and arming Palestinians. This percentage would be much lower if we included the Arab states of North Africa such as Libya, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, etc. To put this into perspective, 0.23 percent of the Lower 48 United States is roughly equal to the southeastern corner of Florida (about 1/8th of the state).
In some sense the State of Israel represents a tremendous achievement for the Arab countries. In exchange for a fraction of one percent of their territory they managed to expropriate the property of their Jewish citizens (estimated at between $13 and $30 billion in 1950 dollars) and expel approximately 870,000 Jews from their territories. Without incurring any of the bad publicity that afflicted Hitler, the Arabs managed to accomplish one of Nazi Germany's primary goals: creating a vast empire that was free of Jews. For the first time in 2500 years an Arab could walk down the streets of Baghdad without encountering a Jew. Morocco and Algeria rid themselves of hundreds of thousands of Jews.
As impressive an achievement as concentrating the Jews from all the Arab countries into a tiny corner of the Arab world is, it would be yet more impressive to dump the Jews off somewhere in Christian territory, or perhaps to kill them all. This then becomes the challenge facing the modern Arab political leader.
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Ask Joe Foreigner what upsets him most about the U.S. Top on the list is the fact that the U.S. is too interventionist, swaggering cowboy-like with military power into complex international situations. Complaint #2, however, is that the U.S. failed to intervene in a particular situation that is near and dear to Joe's heart. They hate us because we are too interventionist ... except when we're not inventionist enough. They also hate the U.S. because they're so weak and their government essentially serves at our government's pleasure. Consider how annoying it is to be an American voter, knowing that because you don't have $50 million you don't have any political power. Imagine how much more annoyed you'd be if you were a citizen of one of the European nations. Not only are your politicians corrupted by the local rich but if your society wants to do something that is contrary to a sufficiently important U.S. desire, the U.S. military might invade and turn your country into a possession, ruled by a colonial viceroy.
Joe Third World Foreigner has even more reason to hate the U.S. than Joe European Foreigner. Most Third World governments have no plausible claim to legitimacy. They have power because they seized power and because the U.S. has chosen not to overthrow them. If Joe Third World Foreigner hates his rulers, who are presumably skimming whatever they can take out of his pocket, it is only natural for Joe to hate the U.S. for enabling his rulers to remain in power.