For the first time in memory, if not ever, a highly respected mainstream columnist is calling on the United States to cut aid to Israel.
Writing in the Washington Post, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and columnist Walter Pincus, says, “it is time to examine the funding the United States provides to Israel”.
Aid to Israel is virtually the only programme – domestic or foreign – that is exempt from every budget-cutting proposal pending in Congress. No matter that our own military is facing major cuts along with Medicare, cancer research and hundreds of other programmes, Israel’s friends in Congress in both parties make sure that aid to Israel is protected at current levels.
Back when I was a congressional staffer, I was part of the process by which aid to Israel was secured. Members of the respective appropriations committees sent “wish lists” to the chair of their committee detailing which programmes they each wanted funded and by what amounts. Each letter reflected the particular interest of a particular congressman or senator and of his own district or state.
There was always one exception: aid to Israel, which apparently is a local issue for every legislator. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) would provide the list of Israel’s aid requirements for the coming year, and with few if any exceptions, every letter would include the AIPAC language. Not a punc…