terms of note: the Diaspora is all the jews who do not live in Israel. A Haggadah is a prayer book used during Passover Foreign aid has been described as taking money from poor people in this country and giving it to rich people in poor countries. From The Shah to Saddam Hussein to Hosni Mubarek, we paid them all. Arafat at his death was worth $1 Billion..
What did that money buy? Was Arafat a friend to either the United States or Israel? Or was he a crook? Is our foreign policy in the Middle East a legacy of supporting criminals and despots? I have high hopes that democracy will transform the Middle East. I hope the Arab Spring is the beginning of something wonderful for the entire world. But those governments that fell -- the old governments that were suppressing democracy -- all received foreign aid from the United States government. And the new governments and the people there know that.
Saudi Arabia does not allow women to inherit property. In Yemen husbands are allowed to rape their wives. The new Egyptian constitution revokes womens rights in favor of Sharia. And we give tacit approval to all of this by continuing to supply foreign aid and weapons to these countries. I find it unconscionable that my tax dollars are supporting this war on women.
Now hang on to that thought.
Alan King famously said “A short summary of every Jewish holiday is ‘They tried to kill us. We won. Let's eat.’”
As an American Jew I recognize what Israel is. In addition to being our ancestral homeland, Israel is the place where we will never allow anyone but ourselves to be responsible for our security. Let the rest of the world rage at our actions -- we must ensure that we do not vanish from this earth in the face of enemies who are dedicated to that cause.
We’ve seen in the last 3 years what happens when a President is in the White House who is not a friend of Israel. Obama is not an enemy of Israel, but he’s not a friend. And that’s ok because Israel is the place where we do not want to depend on the goodwill of anyone. Israel is where we will always chose self-reliance. If we ended all foreign aid to all countries, Israel loses less than the combined aid to all Arab nations. Israel is currently handcuffed trying to appease an (at best) indifferent President. I do not want Israel to be restrained in issues of national security. An Israel free from ties to the US Government would be free to act as it saw fit.
And the Diaspora recognizes its obligation to the state of Israel. We will make up voluntarily the money that Israel loses from the US. I freely accept and honor an individual commitment for myself to help Israel. I would not ever want to volunteer another to service however, because this obligation must be taken freely. As we read in our Haggadahs:
‘The wicked son says? "What is this service to you?" By saying, "to you," he implies "but not to himself." Since he has excluded himself from the people at large, he denies the foundation of our faith.’
I raged against American tax dollars going to Hamas in April of this year. I must however recognize that a Palestinian American might find it objectionable to have tax dollars supporting Israel. Lets end all US sponsored foreign welfare. Let the Diaspora support Israel fully. Let those who choose to do so support Hamas. And let us not be forced to support with our taxes nations whose ideas are abhorrent to both Jewish and American sensibilities.