“U.S. $38B military aid package to Israel sends a message – The United States agreed Wednesday to provide Israel a record $38 billion in new military aid over the next decade. The pact is a sign of the two nations’ close alliance despite major differences over Iran’s nuclear program and other policies. The agreement is the largest bilateral military aid package ever…The aid package ‘is just the most recent reflection of my steadfast commitment to the security of the state of Israel,’ President Obama said in a statement.” [USA Today – September 15, 2016]
On many occasions Israel is called the 51st state of the United States of America. Sometimes it is hard to argue with this statement.
In 2012 Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, did not hide his hope to see Mitt Romney gets elected and replaces Barak Obama as the president of the United States. Netanyahu practically endorsed him, something that foreign leaders don’t do. Especially, leaders of tiny countries that are heavily dependent on the support of the United States. State governors in the U.S. take sides and are vocal in their support of one US presidential candidate or another. It seems that on this occasion Netanyahu behaved more like a US governor than a leader of a foreign state.
Shortly after that, Obama returned the favor by sending his advisors to help Netanyahu’s opponents during the Israeli election in hope to unseat Netanyahu as the prime minister of Israel. American political advisors were involved in the campaigns of most Israeli political parties. American money was donated generously to influence the results of the election in Israel. It seems that Israeli election is an internal matter of the United States.
Neither Netanyahu, nor Obama succeeded. In both cases no one complained that a foreign country is intervening in another country’s democratic process, as if it was a typical internal election politics. Both American and Israeli citizens are so used to the complicated relationships between the two countries that it seemed “normal”.
Throughout his presidency, Barak Obama did not hide his dislike for many of Israel’s policies. Yet, the U.S. financial aid to Israel continued as usual as if it was part of the federal allocation to one of the states in the union.
Israel is the only foreign country that the US congress act independently on its behalf and protects its interests, when there is a conflict between the US administration and that country. In 2015, Netanyahu was invited by the Speaker of the US House of Representatives to speak directly to a joint session of the American Congress in attempt to stop President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. The White House objected to the visit but Netanyahu came anyway. At the time, many felt that Netanyahu crossed the line. However, it is now seems like a political disagreement between two leasers who are part of the same political system.
If this wasn’t enough, the American republican party began actively campaigning in Israel in hope to influence the results of the election, not in Israel, in America. Fox News (foxnews.com) reported on August 15, 2016, that the republican party launched its first ever election campaign in Israel, trying to convince skeptical American-Israeli dual citizens to cast their votes for Donald Trump. GOP activists campaigned in Israeli cities with high concentrations of Americans, such as Jerusalem, Modiin and Raanana, handing out stickers and buttons with the slogan “Trump — in Israel’s interest” — in Hebrew and in English.
If the republicans campaign in Israel, the democrats will most likely do the same. Thus, Israel will become one more battleground in the 2016 American presidential election.
According to the article, there are enough American Israelis who are legal residents of Florida and could tip the results of the presidential election, if Florida is the state that makes the difference, as it was in the presidential election in 2000.
American soldiers and other American agencies are routinely trained in Israel on the latest warfare techniques learned by Israeli soldiers in their ongoing confrontations with terrorists. Away from the spotlight, Israeli forces and US forces work closely for years. Israel and U.S. companies jointly develop sophisticated weapon systems for both armies. American presidents stated many times that the US military will come to Israel’s aid if it was needed. In 1973, during the Yom Kippur the US military was put on the highest alert when the Soviets considered joining the war on behalf of Egypt and Syria. During the Yom Kippur war, America sent massive military shipments to resupply Israel’s shrinking ammunition depots.
When the Israeli criminal justice system was unable to bring to trial and jail Israeli mafia bosses for their criminal activity in Israel, the FBI came to help: Whenever there was a legal justification for doing it, Israeli criminals were extradited and tried in US courts on charges of criminal activity in the U.S.
Does this qualify Israel as the unofficial 51st state of the United States of America? I believe it does.
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