Who’s Arming Israel? Take a Guess.

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


Until a few days ago, there was room for debate over the extent to which the United States was to blame for the tragedy unfolding in Lebanon. Then came the administration’s decision to expedite a shipment of laser-guided bombs to Israel, followed by Condoleezza Rice squelching calls from Europe and Arab nations for a ceasefire in Lebanon. Anyone who still doubts that the U.S. has blood on its hands is either delusional or, as Fouad Siniora said yesterday, none too concerned with Lebanese blood.

But American culpability for Israel’s actions goes deeper than that. A report published yesterday by Foreign Policy in Focus entitled “Who’s Arming Israel?” sheds light on one aspect of this support. “During the Bush administration, from 2001 to 2005, Israel received $10.5 billion in Foreign Military Financing—the Pentagon’s biggest military aid program—and $6.3 billion in U.S. arms deliveries.” The jet fuel and bombs that have been offered in July are drops in the bucket by comparison.

The report’s authors describe this military support for Israel in order to argue that the United States has a lot of leverage over its ally—enough to stop its vicious campaign against Lebanon whenever it wants. But there is another point as well: by not only supporting but facilitating Israel’s destruction of Lebanon, the United States is guaranteeing that the fires of anti-Americanism will keep burning for years to come—and not just in the Middle East. In what world body will the U.S. ever receive welcome reception of its aims and ideals after this shameful spectacle?

In an interview with Mother Jones last week, University of Chicago Professor John Mearsheimer placed this point in a broader context:

It’s not just bin Laden—people in the Islamic world more generally are deeply hostile to the United States because we support Israel at the expense of the Palestinians. As a consequence, huge numbers of people in the Middle East tend to be more sympathetic to bin Laden than would otherwise be the case. As long as the United States continues to support Israeli policy vis-à-vis the Palestinians, it will be impossible to win hearts and minds in the Arab and Islamic world and solve the terrorism problem.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest