The leader behind the anti-Israel billboards tells why massive funding must stop.
A Sept. 21 My Word column criticized a billboard by our organization announcing: "$10 million a day to Israel? Our money is needed in America!" ("Anti-Israel billboards mislead drivers").
The commentary was by Hava L. Holzhauer, the Florida regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, which frequently expends some of its nearly $100 million endowment advocating for Israel.
U.S. politicians from both parties have given more of our money to Israel than to any other nation, thanks to the multibillion-dollar pro-Israel lobby. In fact, the U.S. historically has given more aid to Israel than to all of sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America combined.
And U.S. aid to Israel is given at the beginning of the year. Since our government operates at a deficit, we borrow this money and then pay interest on it long after it has been transferred to Israel's account at the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank. This is an interest-bearing account, so Israel gains still more money, while Americans lose it.
The ADL claims that Israel and the U.S. have shared values. This is inaccurate. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Israel, conversely, was created to be the "Jewish state," and systematically discriminates against Christians and Muslims. A few years ago, an Israeli mayor rounded up New Testaments and had them burned.
While a few Christians and Muslims, about 25 percent of the Israeli population, are in the Israeli parliament, they make up only 10 percent of its members. By contrast, Jewish-Americans, more than 2 percent of the U.S. population, make up 12 percent of the Senate and a third of the U.S. Supreme Court (which contains no Protestant Christian justices).
The ADL claims that Israel is a strategic asset. In reality, Israel is a tiny nation with few natural resources; it has long been subsidized by Americans; it has spied on us; and it has stolen U.S. technology. Israel attacked a U.S. Navy ship in 1967, killing 34 and injuring 175. Israel then paid $6 million compensation for a ship worth $40 million. The survivors of the attack are calling for a public investigation.
Surveys in 2014 show the majority of Americans oppose taking sides on Israel-Palestine. This means ending our massive aid to Israel. It's time for politicians to listen.
Alison Weir is president of the Council for the National Interest, executive director of If Americans Knew and author of a book on U.S.-Israel history.