How much aid is too much?

Israel. The Middle East’s only democracy. A land of freedom amongst tyranny. All true statements if you’re Jewish, but not Palestinian. We now learn that Israel has asked the US for extra aid to fund the Gaza “disengagement”. A journalist colleague in Switzerland tells me that an article appeared in the Hebrew version of Haaretz newspaper stating Israel will ask for US$1.6 billion as financial aid for the Gaza disengagement. It will be asked in the first phase for US$ 600 million for transferring military bases. The second request of over US$ 1 billion will be for the development of the Negev and the Galilee. These figures were negotiated during the recent meeting between George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon.

The English language version of the article is decidedly lacking in details.

These developments once more begs the questions (and mirror statements I heard during my recent travels in the Middle East): is Israel little more than a convenient (for the US), dependent, colonial outpost in the Middle East, and do the American people, from whose tax dollars these loans are coming, truly understand the amount of financial support Israel is receiving?

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