The birth of Israel in 1947 was celebrated as the salvation for the Jews after their near decimation in the holocaust. Most of the Western world, as well as the Soviet Union, felt that creating Israel would absolve them of the guilt they felt because of their mistreatment of their Jews. That included France, Britain, Germany, as well as the United States. Although the original Zionists considered several other locations to create a Jewish state, they decided on Palestine because of its ancestral relationship to the Jews. At that time, no significant resistance from the Palestinians was expected; the Arabs were just recovering from decades of Ottoman domination and were still under the thumb of British and French colonialism. It seemed that the price of forcing Israel upon the Palestinians would be relatively cheap when compared with the great good it would do for the long-oppressed Jews.
Since then, however, the world has changed in many significant ways. Now, the costs associated with the support and maintenance of the Jewish state greatly outweigh the benefits. Since the creation of Israel, the Middle East has been literally in flames. Today, most of the problems afflicting the world can be traced, either directly or indirectly, to the Middle East and to Israel. The cost, in lives and material, of supporting and defending Israel has been incalculable and continues to mount. The future looks even more ominous. The world is getting tired of the problems caused by Israel and its continued occupation of Palestinian lands.
In the last 60 some years, the Israelis abused the support they received; they used it mostly to suppress and humiliate the Palestinians, to bully and attack their neighbors, and, ultimately to mercilessly create an apartheid state in Palestine. In occupied Palestine, the Jews have become a master race that is on a lofty and well-protected pedestal. Today, Israel is a violent occupying power that is continually pleading to the rest of the world that it is a victim and is under enormous threat.
Let us look briefly at some of the costs of maintaining the status-quo in the Middle East:
1. In simple dollars, Israel costs the American taxpayer more than $8 million dollars each and every single day in direct financial aid. The U.S. gives Israel more foreign aid than it gives to all of the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, all of the countries of Latin America, and all of the countries of the Caribbean combined. This remains true even as the US struggles under mounting deficits and disintegrating infrastructure. And this figure does not even include the additional billions that the U.S. and the European Union must give to Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinian authority, simply to maintain the peace with Israel.
2. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were mainly the result of our obsession of supporting the Jewish state. In addition to the trillions of dollars and thousands of lives lost, those wars did nothing good for the United States other than erode its standing as a beacon of peace and democracy. The United States is now viewed with suspicion and mistrust all around the world.
3. The unbalanced distribution of wealth caused by incessant war-related profiteering is a main driver of the income inequality that is currently bedeviling the United States. Income inequality underlies many of the problems in the United States and inhibits social mobility there. The prevailing (and apparently intractable) levels of poverty and unemployment in the United States are giving unfettered capitalism a bad name. It makes giving large sums to the Israelis sound crazy. Instead, that money should be spent right here in the United States.
4. Many, including Osama bin-Laden himself, have declared that 9/11 was a reaction to the continual stationing of American troops in the Middle East to protect Israel. America's continued military presence on Israel's behalf has spawned international terrorism and led to the creation of Al-Qaeda and similar terrorist organizations. The costs of 'the War on Terrorism' are a direct consequence of our support for Israel.
5. If Israel had not acquired atomic weapons in the first place, Iran would have no need for them; the ongoing debate about how to handle their nuclear program would not exist. If this issue is not handled properly, we may be facing yet another ground war in the Middle East again to protect the Jewish state.
The question arises, why would the Jews want to have a state of their own anyway? This thought will surprise many Jews and non-Jews alike. Zionism, or the creation of a national home for the Jewish people, has dominated thinking in the West ever since the Balfour Declaration became public almost a century ago. After so many centuries of discrimination and pogroms, can't the Jews have a country of their own? How can anyone question such a premise? To examine the question, let us look at history and the facts.
Throughout history, the establishment of a Jewish state has consistently been associated with disaster for all involved, including the Jews themselves. This happened under Joshua, under Solomon, and under Herod the great. When the last Jewish state in Jerusalem was defeated in around 73 AD, most of the Jews were killed and rest were sold as slaves. At the time, Judaism was a major religion. Today, Judaism is a minor one with only about 25 million adherents.
The major Jewish contributions made to civilization happened while the Jews were living among other nations. This was the case under Abraham, under Moses, and during Jewish exile in Babylon. The Jewish culture that developed in Babylon lasted for over 1,500 years with no state for the Jews to call their own.
It is understandable that the Jews would want to free themselves of the creeping anti-Semitism that follows them everywhere. They want to live unencumbered by the thought of being expelled, tortured or killed. Hate for the Jews happened almost everywhere in the past and is likely to happen again in the future. Living in a state of their own, in theory, would free them from the threat of anti-Semitism and discrimination. But, as history tells us, such a Jewish State may, in fact, be the greater threat to their existence. Since its creation, the present-day Israel caused problems for the Jews and for everyone else. The rightful owners of the land and homes it now occupies will never rest till they get back what was forcibly taken from them.
Throughout the ages, Jews have always excelled and prospered while not living in a state of their own. Jewish icons of science and philosophy from Maimonides to Einstein evolved and developed while living under non-Jewish administrations. Even today, most of the Jews winning international awards, including the Nobel Prize, live outside Israel. Why in the world would the great Jewish scientists, doctors, psychologists, etc., of our time choose to live in Israel? They would exchange living well in peace and prosperity in the most developed societies, for a life of fear and insecurity among hostile neighbors who won't rest till they eliminate them. In addition, many experts believe that, demographically, Israel has no future anyway. It is just a matter of time before it will be drowned out in a sea of Arabs and Muslims no matter what it or the West will try to do.
In short, the creation of the state of Israel may have made sense at the time. The prevailing circumstances today, however, do not justify the continued support for Israel against all odds. It is time the West reconsidered its policies and cut its losses. For America, it is time to do what is best for the Americans first, not for the Israelis, a cry that is being heard more frequently lately. Perhaps with the help of the United States, Israel can strive to assimilate within the Middle East. It could become a good friend and neighbor to Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the rest of the Arab and Muslim world. It could use its superior technology to help the people in those countries develop and prosper and enjoy better lives.
If nothing is done, the future is certain to cost even more while the future of Israel as a state in the Middle East will remain less and less certain.