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A Modest Proposal: U.S. Statehood for Israel?

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I’m only half kidding.

Just think of the possibilities. Making Israel the 51st U.S. state could be a win-win-win solution for our country, for Israel, and for Middle East peace. The way I see it, Israel’s security would get a boost at a lower cost to the U.S. taxpayer, and the biggest cause of conflict in the Middle East would be resolved, reducing the threat of terrorism.

Stay with me on this for a minute.

Improving security in Israel.

We’re supplying Israel with billions of dollars in weaponry and we look like their only friend at the United Nations. Right? This is supposedly to defend them from attack by their sworn enemies, who are legion. Many Americans have a deep emotional commitment to the people in Israel and so we are bending over backward to protect them from threats both real and perceived.

But if Israel were the 51st state of the USA, things would be different. I doubt anyone would seriously attack the world’s only superpower. Every state is defended by the U.S. armed forces, which we’re already funding out of our tax dollars, and the United States has plenty of missiles and spy satellites. Plenty enough to watch over the newest state as well as all 50 others.

Israel is too far from the U.S. to feel protected, you say? Well, if Japan was betting on Hawaii being too far from the “contiguous United States” when they attacked Pearl Harbor, they had another think coming.

Imagine this, too. Once Israel became a state they would officially benefit from the services of the CIA and wouldn’t need their own spy agency (Mossad) anymore. That would be a relief to Americans who were so disappointed to hear that Israeli agents had spied on the U.S. and deceptively lobbied Congress. Also, what a relief it would be to hear no more rumors about how Mossad was secretly behind an unrealistic number of dastardly deeds in an unrealistic number of locations all over the world. (These rumors are not helping the struggle against anti-semitism.)

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Saving U.S. taxpayers money.

If Israel were a state, we wouldn’t need to give them billions of our hard-earned dollars in military aid every year any more than we had to send the governor of Alaska billions of dollars to defend his state from the nearby USSR during the Cold War.

As a bonus to the U.S. bottom line, individuals and businesses in Israel would pay into the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) like everyone else who receives the protection of the U.S. Defense and State Departments. And they'd also benefit from the services of all the other federal agencies.

Promoting peace in the Middle East (and reducing terrorism).

Statehood is not just about Israel’s security and U.S. taxpayers’ comfort, though. Think how Israeli statehood might benefit the peace process and Middle East peace in general. This would help reduce terrorism.

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First, Israel’s borders and land disputes would have to be settled before statehood could be granted, and naturally the U.S. would be interested in getting the best possible bargain. Other countries would also weigh in with their opinions and help mediate. This might be the perfect chance to offer compensation or repatriation to dispossessed Palestinian refugees. With an ultimate prize so big, the price would be worth it, and Israel wouldn’t have to worry about paying the cost all alone.

Second, we probably wouldn’t hear many complaints from the Palestinians and Arab Israelis about discrimination or “apartheid” after Israel joins the United States. Why? Because Israel’s state legislature would have to abide by the U.S. Constitution in its guarantee of religious freedom, separation of church and state, and equal civil/legal rights to all residents. We could also expect to see a sharp drop in terrorist recruitment as conditions improve.

Third, and equally important, transforming Israel from a major military power into one of 51 states in the USA would go a long way toward stabilizing the region. Neighboring countries would understand that, just as the Texas State National Guard cannot on their own authority attack Tijuana and the New York State National Guard cannot attack Montreal, the Israel State National Guard (which would replace the Israeli Defense Force) couldn't launch preemptive strikes into towns in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, or Iran. And that would mean we U.S. taxpayers wouldn’t have to “balance” the billions in military aid we send to Israel with yet more billions in military aid to Israel’s neighbors. Nor would we have to worry about being drawn into conflagrations that we don’t want and that Congress wouldn’t approve if they knew about them in advance (e.g., bombing Iran).

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Rosa Schmidt is an American married to an Iranian, hence the second last name, Azadi.  She's a long-time peace activist with a background in anthropology, education, and public health.  She's also one of the people who walked away (more...)
 

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Oh, well Israelis  need at least to  pet... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Aug 7, 2007 at 8:39:02 AM
Of the USA -- the United State of America??... by Kate Anne on Tuesday, Aug 7, 2007 at 10:07:18 AM
And while we're at it, let's add Palestine... by Daniel Geery on Tuesday, Aug 7, 2007 at 10:21:47 AM
It seems to me yours idea has more merit than the ... by Andris on Tuesday, Aug 7, 2007 at 5:36:09 PM
One other benefit to this modest proposal is that ... by Evelyn on Tuesday, Aug 7, 2007 at 11:30:47 AM
The problem with the Israeli/Palisinian conflict i... by Andris on Tuesday, Aug 7, 2007 at 6:26:23 PM
Nice proposal but several things come to mind. Fi... by Mark on Tuesday, Aug 7, 2007 at 12:15:20 PM
DUH.Boy, have you got that backwards. America is a... by mary-ann on Tuesday, Aug 7, 2007 at 1:58:36 PM
It is clear to me the Rosa did give a lot of thoug... by Kathlyn Stone on Tuesday, Aug 7, 2007 at 2:43:18 PM
To even contemplate Israel as a state displays an ... by Andris on Tuesday, Aug 7, 2007 at 5:58:12 PM
The points you made are true it almost hurt. Thank... by sameh abdelaziz on Tuesday, Aug 7, 2007 at 7:54:26 PM
I love the take several commenters took, that it c... by Rob Kall on Tuesday, Aug 7, 2007 at 10:48:02 PM
Actually I think a United States of the World is p... by Brett Paatsch on Wednesday, Aug 8, 2007 at 12:27:20 AM
One is that Israel is not "America", and... by Blue Pilgrim on Wednesday, Aug 8, 2007 at 2:09:27 AM
I was really curious how people would respond to t... by Rosa Schmidt Azadi on Wednesday, Aug 8, 2007 at 3:45:40 PM
and some Americans Rosa. It might take a thousand ... by Brett Paatsch on Thursday, Aug 9, 2007 at 1:13:29 AM
Another bash Israel blog. Arabs attacking Arabs ar... by philip rosen on Friday, Aug 10, 2007 at 1:24:52 PM
May I suggest that you write a serious article in ... by Rosa Schmidt Azadi on Wednesday, Aug 15, 2007 at 4:05:01 AM
My problem with this and most mainstream "sol... by johndoraemi on Friday, Aug 17, 2007 at 11:51:44 PM