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Funding Israel’s Military


Millions of Americans face home foreclosures, health care, job and pension losses. However, none of these crises currently threatens to alter the flow of their tax dollars to Israel‘s government. It takes these greenbacks and buys F-16 jets made by Lockheed Martin to drop bombs on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

 

This aggression is an effect of the U.S. military-industrial complex. Take about a Goliath-like edifice. Consider what euphemistically goes by the term of the U.S. defense lobby. It contributed $10.5 billion to donkeys and elephants in the 2007-2008 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. "Lockheed Martin is the industry’s top campaign contributor," the CRP adds.

 

President-elect Barack Obama, as an Illinois senator, was the top recipient of donations from this industry. He collected $379,837 in the recent cycle, according to data from the Federal Election Commission. Hillary Clinton, as a New York senator who opposed Obama in the race to be the Democratic presidential nominee, took in $146,973 during this period.  Obama and Clinton, his pick to be the next U.S. secretary of state, collected 39 percent of all contributions to Democratic members of the Senate, who, on average, received $36,111, from the industry. 

 

The proliferation of military bases and contractors in American congressional districts for decades illustrates this institutional process. It goes back to the depression of the 1930s, which led to the Second World War, the fall of the British Empire and the U.S. corporate-government assuming that role in the postwar era.

 

This period, called the Cold War, witnessed the emergence of the state of Israel. It gained conventional and nuclear weapons for reasons of power and wealth accumulation. This outcome required the active involvement of big business and the U.S. state.  

 

Here is the thing. Palestinians have been in conflict with the Israeli state since its founding due to the former’s loss of land to the latter. That follows from the Israeli government’s advanced military, resulting from its congressional-financial-industrial-political relationship with the U.S. government and its corporate partners such as Lockheed Martin.

 

The Israeli government’s intent to liquidate Hamas connects with the U.S. military-industrial complex. Thus, Israel‘s modern military machinery is on display in the Gaza Strip, where scores of Palestinians lie dead and wounded.

 

Seth Sandronsky lives and writes in Sacramento [email protected]

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