web analytics
April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Cantor’s Foreign-Aid Idea Would Hurt Israel


Share Button

This election season in the United States was not a great one for the U.S.-Israel relationship.

Republicans and the tainted Emergency Committee for Israel launched mendacious ads and campaigns against pro-Israel Democrats across the country threatening the historic bipartisan support for Israel that has existed in Washington. The lies in these campaigns have been called out by an array of independent journalists from The New York Times to Salon, and politicizing support for Israel in this way has been condemned by key figures such as Israel’s U.S. ambassador, Michael Oren.

But now Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia – the Republican whip and a key member of the GOP leadership team – has shared with us a disturbing policy planned for the future.

Cantor signaled to JTA recently that if Republicans took control of the House, he and the GOP leadership would sever aid to Israel from the larger foreign aid budget. Such a policy is terribly wrong – and there are good reasons why it has been opposed strongly by the organized pro-Israel community in Washington for so long.

Let me pause here to say something that I unfortunately never hear from the other side of the aisle: I am discussing a deeply unfortunate and misguided policy, not a person. I’m confident Eric Cantor is pro-Israel and that he is trying to do the right thing. But there’s a reason that AIPAC, our friends in Israel, and the pro-Israel world in general have vociferously opposed de-linking aid to Israel from the larger foreign operations budget for all these years.

Assistance to Israel is unavoidably intertwined with aid to other countries around the world. Paring assistance to other countries and moving America closer to isolationism – exactly what Cantor is afraid of, and what this strategy in essence is forecasting in a coming GOP Congress – ultimately will doom aid to Israel. Israelis clearly will see such a change as making them more reliant on and subservient to American foreign policy. This is especially true if, as some on the right have suggested, aid to Israel falls within the Pentagon’s budget.

As Israeli media such as Ynet already have noted, “Such a separation in the foreign aid budget might not be good for Israel, and may tie her down more when it comes to American interest and hurt her independence.”

Politically, it’s always been beneficial to make the argument that as a relatively tiny investment that pays great dividends, foreign aid helps countries around the world – not just Israel, of course. That argument goes out the window when Israel becomes the only country to get such separate, special treatment, with other countries (and ethnic groups in America) suddenly clamoring to be treated like our close ally Israel.

Jews historically have worked with the Congressional Black Caucus, for example, and other communities to jointly advance foreign aid for a range of countries; such coalitions to advance global assistance would become a thing of the past.

Cantor is not the only Republican in this election cycle advocating this change. Former Rep. Pat Toomey, running for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, has similarly urged this separation of aid to Israel from the foreign aid budget on the campaign trail. Toomey and Cantor perhaps are just taking note of the obvious – that passing a foreign operations bill in a future GOP Congress will be exceedingly difficult, thus threatening aid to Israel.

Indeed, in June 2009, in a Congress sans Tea Party members, more than half the House GOP caucus voted against the foreign aid budget – including aid to Israel. In a more conservative Congress, the number of votes for foreign aid only would diminish.

A far-right Congress will be problematic for the policy concerns and values of the vast majority of American Jews on so many fronts. Dramatic cuts to social service programs would be on the table, repeals of key health care reforms would be attempted and a woman’s right to choose would be challenged at every turn.

Yet this seemingly esoteric but actually far-reaching policy change – historically opposed by the spectrum of pro-Israel activists – has the power to threaten the very existence of aid to Israel, even though it has historically been the central item on the pro-Israel community’s agenda.

Share Button

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Cantor’s Foreign-Aid Idea Would Hurt Israel”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
BDS targets Zabar's; Carole Zabar promotes BDS proponents.
All in the Family: BDS Protests Zabars; Carole Zabar Promotes BDS
Latest Indepth Stories
Imam Suhail Webb who boasted his Muslim community persuaded Brandeis President Fred Lawrence to withdraw an invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

At Brandeis, much of what counts as Western civilization got cold feet and won’t stand with Hirsi Ali.

Text of anti-Semitic flyer distributed to Jews in Donetsk, Ukraine on Passover 2014.

But the lesson from this meditation is that hidden behind the anti-semitic act is the greatest light.

Yossi Klein HaLevi

As support of their messianic dream, Halevi and Antepli approve dishonoring Hirsi Ali as a ‘renegade.’

matza

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]

Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.

More Articles from David A. Harris
US President Barack Obama with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu

Gov. Mitt Romney has made some outrageous comments and taken some extreme positions in this presidential campaign. But few, if any, are more baffling than his latest statement on his plans for the U.S.-Israel relationship. Asked what he would do to strengthen America’s alliance with Israel, he said, “by and large, you can just look at the things the president has done and do the opposite.”

I’ve been reading The New York Times pretty much every single day since I was ten years old. That’s more than a half-century by now.

This election season in the United States was not a great one for the U.S.-Israel relationship.

Republicans and the tainted Emergency Committee for Israel launched mendacious ads and campaigns against pro-Israel Democrats across the country threatening the historic bipartisan support for Israel that has existed in Washington. The lies in these campaigns have been called out by an array of independent journalists from The New York Times to Salon, and politicizing support for Israel in this way has been condemned by key figures such as Israel’s U.S. ambassador, Michael Oren.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/cantors-foreign-aid-idea-would-hurt-israel/2010/11/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: