Why defend Israel?

Former KKOH radio talk show host Ira Hansen owns Hansen & Sons Plumbing and Heating.

Is it in America’s best interest to continue our current foreign policy in the Middle East, giving Israel carte blanche, most favored nation treatment? That is the question that needs to be publicly debated.

My purpose is first and foremost to get this whole Israel question before the public. Some say the local Jewish community had been boycotting radio station KKOH during the last year of my time there. In truth, they were angry at me for daring to present both sides of the issue. If Israel is so important, so vital to U.S. interests that we are willing to sacrifice our relationships with most of the Muslim/Arab world, the evidence in support of Israel must be absolutely overwhelming.

This is not the case at all. In fact, Israel is a tiny nation of 5.5 million people that gives us nothing, yet soaks up literally billions of our tax dollars in foreign and military aid. The idea that they are some sort of “Democratic bastion” in a sea of undemocratic states is easily refuted. In fact, many Muslim countries are democratic, like Iran.

Israel’s cheerleaders love to create the image that it is under siege, yet Israel is the aggressor nation, taking land from the much weaker surrounding nations and forcing its occupation on others. The indigenous people, the Palestinians, are forced into squalid refugee camps and treated like animals. Yet the pro-Israeli cheerleaders in the United States act shocked when these mistreated people, backed into a tiny corner, occasionally bite back.

Israel’s attitude towards the United States, in spite of all the claims of being our loyal ally, is exclusively self-centered. In spite of urgent demands by the U.S. State Department that they stop, Israel is using our current war with Afghanistan to again attack their neighbors, undermining our efforts to gain support from sympathetic Arab nations.

Today, Israel condemns terrorism. Yet virtually all the founders of modern Israel were wanted terrorists. Prior to 1948, they formed illegal terrorist secret armies, attacking entire Arab villages with all the brutality and indiscriminate killing we now think of as an exclusively Arab form of warfare.

And is Israel some sort of important military ally? In fact, Israel has the distinction of being the only government in the world to attack and kill American servicemen and to have the U.S. government cover it up for them. I speak of the intentional attack in 1967 by Israeli boats and aircraft against the unarmed American Navy ship the U.S.S. Liberty, in which 34 American sailors were killed and 167 more were wounded. The U.S. government buried the whole crime, and the survivors and their allies have worked for years to bring this intentional slaughter of Americans to the public’s attention.

In spite of the mantra from our sycophantic national media, the Middle East conflict has little to do with “democracy” or hatred of “Western values” or other vague philosophical concepts.

Our excessive and one-sided relationship with Israel is the heart of the matter, and until we begin to deal with the Arab/Muslim world in a fair way, with some balance, we can expect no long-term resolution.