As U.S.-Israel rift continues, Netanyahu finds himself in a bind

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    Mar 26, 2010 2:40 PM GMT
    "... The Obama administration now says that failure to resolve the Middle East conflict is harming U.S. national security interests in the region. [emphasis added]

    Over the past year, Netanyahu "pushed the envelope with Obama," said Yossi Beilin, a former Israeli peace negotiator, referring to haggling over a full settlement freeze that had precluded a resumption of peace talks. Now that Obama has pushed back, Netanyahu "is worried and afraid," Beilin said. ...

    "The prime minister does not understand to what extent the current government's composition causes damage to its relationship with the U.S. and the international community," said Yoel Hasson, who advised Ariel Sharon when he was the prime minister. "I am most concerned about the long-term strategic partnership."

    Deficit of trust

    What is most clear now as the crisis in the U.S.-Israel relationship continues is that Netanyahu was truly stunned by the Obama administration's unprecedented willingness to criticize Israel over building in the annexed part of Jerusalem and that deferring negotiations on the city's future will become increasingly difficult if the news media continue to report on construction there.

    The United States, like the rest of the world, has never recognized Israel's sovereignty over territory occupied in the 1967 war. ...

    But the prime minister is under fire not just abroad. He is also facing criticism at home. ...

    "People are really angry," said Nitzan Horowitz, an organizer of the protest and a member of the Israeli parliament from the secular Meretz party. "The coalition games Netanyahu is playing we simply can't accept."

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/25/AR2010032502153_2.html?hpid=artslot






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    Mar 26, 2010 5:05 PM GMT
    Both politicians mentioned in the article (Yossi Beilin and Nitzan Horowitz) are members of the far Left. They barely represent anyone in Israel. An overwhelming majority of both left and right wingers, insist that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city and open for all religions.

    It's also worth noting, that Mr. Beilin has reportedly received millions from European countries to undermine Israeli governments over the years. He's been known for constantly creating "Peace initiatives" that receive lots of money and fizzle shortly afterwards.

    If there is to ever be peace in the region, it's going to have to come from both sides actually wanting it. Outside pressure isn't going to work and neither is restricting natural growth on any side. The best strategy is to let the locals fix their own problems.
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    Mar 26, 2010 5:47 PM GMT
    SeaSon saidThe best strategy is to let the locals fix their own problems.

    Fine by me...let the US stop supporting Israel.
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    Mar 26, 2010 6:08 PM GMT
    Caslon14000 said
    SeaSon saidThe best strategy is to let the locals fix their own problems.

    Fine by me...let the US stop supporting Israel.


    Netanyahu has been pushing for a gradual end to foriegn aid for quite some time. Many in Israel don't feel the aid is worth the political pressure that accompanies it. Furthermore, complaining about the $3 billion the US gives Israel, is nothing more than hateful bashing.

    1) Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East

    2) Israel has contributed immensly to the world and continues to do so. Here's just a partial list of the accomplishments this tiny country (less than 1/400th of the size of the US) has achieved against all odds:

    http://centerforsanity.blogspot.com/2006/08/israels-contributions.html

    3) The US spends more than $3 billion in Iraq EVERY TWO WEEKS. For a grand total of almost $900 Billion in the past 9 years. So, aid to Israel is really a drop in the bucket and mainly used for political propoganda. Egypt, btw, receives almost as much each year.

    http://usliberals.about.com/od/homelandsecurit1/a/IraqNumbers.htm

    4) Most of that aid to Israel is returned to the US economy, through purchases from US companies.

    So, please stop using aid as a weapon. The funding goes to protect US interests and not the other way around.

  • coolarmydude

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    Mar 26, 2010 6:25 PM GMT
    SeaSon said
    So, please stop using aid as a weapon. The funding goes to protect US interests and not the other way around.



    Like what? Waiting on Darth Cheney to tell us when it's time for World War III? icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Mar 26, 2010 7:17 PM GMT
    I have to admit that I've found the hate mongering I usually read on threads with this and similar subject matter personally debilitating and it's refreshing to finally see balanced, coherent, thoughtful, respectful and intelligent discourse. So far this thread has singlehandedly restored my faith in the forums!
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    Mar 26, 2010 7:38 PM GMT
    Jerusalem is supposed to be an undivided city. It's holy to all three major religions and Israel is the only country in recent history that has made sure all religions were free to worship there. For thousands of years Jews have prayed towards Jerusalem. Muslims, btw, do not. They pray towards Mecca, in Suadi Arabia.

    The holiest Jewish site (The Western Wall) is located in East Jerusalem. It's over 2000 years old and predates all the other holy sites in the area, including the mosque that sits above it. So, all this talk about not being allowed to build 1600 homes in East Jerusalem, which is historically Jewish, is not based on fact.

    Instead of taking out your frustration on Netanyahu, for being honest and telling it like it is, ask yourself why some politicians want to change the status quo in this holy city?

    Netanyahu and the majority of Israel aren't crazy. They know history. It is beyond my understanding how anyone, sitting comfortably at their desk 6000 miles away, feels they know better than the locals what's right or wrong.
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    Mar 26, 2010 7:39 PM GMT
    I just think Israel isnt really being honest and giving the Palestinians a fair deal. It has become apparent to me that Israel wants everything its own way. That will never lead to peace and it is affecting America's security. I am willing to support Israel to a point....and that point is when I dont think they are really taking a viable position that will lead to a peace settlement. If they want to be obstinate, then they are on their own.
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    Mar 26, 2010 7:51 PM GMT
    coolarmydude said
    SeaSon said
    So, please stop using aid as a weapon. The funding goes to protect US interests and not the other way around.



    Like what? Waiting on Darth Cheney to tell us when it's time for World War III? icon_rolleyes.gif


    Funny enough, at least some of the components in the plane you're pictured in were probably developed in Israel.

    The US benefits from the relationship between the two countries on many different levels, including defense systems and medical research, to name a few. We don't even know what truly goes on behind the scenes. Rest assured that no superpower gives a small country money without getting a whole lot more in return.
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    Mar 26, 2010 7:53 PM GMT
    Instead of taking out your frustration on Netanyahu, for being honest and telling it like it is, ask yourself why some politicians want to change the status quo in this holy city?

    Netanyahu and the majority of Israel aren't crazy. They know history. It is beyond my understanding how anyone, sitting comfortably at their desk 6000 miles away, feels they know better than the locals what's right or wrong.


    Depends which local you are talking to doesn't it -- ie whether they're Isreali or Palestinian.

    A viable peace process will change the current status of Jerusalem and the way the city is run -- it's a more a question of how exactly -- but there is no final peace without addressing, and changing the current status of Jerusalem.
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    Mar 26, 2010 8:03 PM GMT
    wrerick saidInstead of taking out your frustration on Netanyahu, for being honest and telling it like it is, ask yourself why some politicians want to change the status quo in this holy city?

    Netanyahu and the majority of Israel aren't crazy. They know history. It is beyond my understanding how anyone, sitting comfortably at their desk 6000 miles away, feels they know better than the locals what's right or wrong.


    Depends which local you are talking to doesn't it -- ie whether they're Isreali or Palestinian.

    A viable peace process will change the current status of Jerusalem and the way the city is run -- it's a more a question of how exactly -- but there is no final peace without addressing, and changing the current status of Jerusalem.


    How about posting a picture of what the Palestinians did to the synagogues in the Gaza Strip just hours after receiving control of the area (hint: they burned them).

    Or how about posting pictures of Palestinians throwing rocks the size of building blocks from the mosque above the Western Wall, down onto the Jewish worshipers who prayed below?

    Or perhaps we should count how many Palestinians have already stabbed Jewish worshipers on their way to the Western Wall.

    History tends to repeat itself. And those who've committed such crimes against religious freedom, will no doubt do so again if given the chance. It's in the Western world's best interest that Jerusalem remain under Israeli control for all religions. We know the alternative.
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    Mar 26, 2010 8:14 PM GMT
    It's in the Western world's best interest that Jerusalem remain under Israeli control for all religions. We know the alternative.

    Maybe, or maybe not -- the statement is certainly open to dispute. But there won't be a peace without some sort of sharing/dividing of Jerusalem. How that will occur I don't know, but there are probably many ways that it could be done, but coming up with the right formula (the one that works) will be part of any eventual peace.
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    Mar 26, 2010 8:31 PM GMT
    I agree in principle with Caslon, Coolarmy, and UrsaMajor. But as I predicted in some earlier post, the US will eventually cave to Israel, and give it most of what it wants.

    The US always has in the past, and it will now. Israel knows the Obama Administration can't back up its threats. It would be political suicide in the US, for both Obama and for members of Congress from districts with large numbers of Jewish voters.

    As I also wrote elsewhere, I'm not basing this assessment on the legality of the Israeli actions, which is not the issue at all, but rather on US political realities. The US will largely cave, I guarantee it.
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    Mar 26, 2010 9:35 PM GMT
    Israel has previously agreed to withdraw from the Arab neighborhoods of eastern Jerusalem.
    But not the Jewish neighborhoods.

    This is much ado about nothing because the areas where there is construction are ones that would remain in Israel under the Clinton compromise.

    It appears that the Obama administration, in its naivette, thinks that if it can extract additional unilateral concessions from Israel (while securing none from the Arab parties, not even a quid pro quo) that the Arab parties might finally agree to peace.

    Veteran observers will recognize this as another round of the endless "salami approach". Each time Israel gives up a slice, gets nothing in return, and 6 months or 24 months later it happens again. Evidently this game is new and exciting to the Obama administration, but less so to Congress let alone Netanyahu.
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    Mar 26, 2010 9:45 PM GMT
    Red_Vespa saidI agree in principle with Caslon, Coolarmy, and UrsaMajor. But as I predicted in some earlier post, the US will eventually cave to Israel, and give it most of what it wants.


    Allowing a country to keep its capital (Jerusalem) is hardly "caving in". It's more like coming to your senses after making a questionable demand (are any new homes being built in Washington these days?)

    The main reason for the constant pressure on Israel is to keep the Arab oil producing nations happy. There's absolutely no logic to any of these demands when you analyze past performance and data from the 20 years of the so-called "peace process".

    More people have died on both sides since the process began, than in the many years before. With each territorial concession Israel has made, the number of Palestinian terrorist attacks has increased and so has their sophistication (from stabbings in the early days to bus bombs, then following the Gaza withdrawl, from blowing up buses to launching long-range rockets into Israeli towns).

    The entire process is a sad joke and that's the reason you constantly see Israelis electing right-wing governments. They're sick and tired of the world asking for concessions and then being left to pick up the pieces and bury their children.

    So, kindly have some respect for the people over there and their democratic choices. They suffer the consequences, so ultimately the decision on their internal affairs should be theirs.
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    Mar 26, 2010 10:19 PM GMT
    3) The US spends more than $3 billion in Iraq EVERY TWO WEEKS. For a grand total of almost $900 Billion in the past 9 years. So, aid to Israel is really a drop in the bucket and mainly used for political propoganda. Egypt, btw, receives almost as much each year.

    4) Most of that aid to Israel is returned to the US economy, through purchases from US companies.

    So, please stop using aid as a weapon. The funding goes to protect US interests and not the other way around."



    Protecting our interests?

    The usual, "they are the only 'democracy' (Theocracy) in the M.E." Many people in the state dept. actually view Jordan as our best ally in the M.E.... but this never goes on record, because of Politics. Israel is always our best friend if there's a camera or microphone around.


    As far as the aid goes.... the Iraq war is hardly comparable to our funding of Israel. One is for a war (that was started by a past president), and one is given to prop up a nation that destabilizes an entire region... one could argue its destabilizing to the entire world.

    While its fine for Israel to have normal relations with the US, there's no arguing that the effect of great lobbying and influence is at hand with US-Israeli politics. Not to mention the influence of christian groups that privately fund israel so that Jesus can return....


    "The entire process is a sad joke and that's the reason you constantly see Israelis electing right-wing governments. They're sick and tired of the world asking for concessions and then being left to pick up the pieces and bury their children.

    So, kindly have some respect for the people over there and their democratic choices. They suffer the consequences, so ultimately the decision on their internal affairs should be theirs."


    What concession have they EVER made? THAT is the big joke. The Israeli PR department has brilliantly fooled people here into thinking that they have made so many offers.... but really they haven't made a thing. I know people in the state dept, and this is not a big secret among them. Its just not spoken out loud for news outlets.

    Ironlically the Palestinians live in squalor and yet the Israelis are the victims now? Sorry honey, that's just plain not true. Israel is a modern state, with one of the worlds strongest military forces. Oh, and BTW, if you want to count bodies you'll see that the death toll with the Palestinians is thousands and thousands higher. That's what happens when you have cluster and vacuum bombs... provided by our taxpayers.

    If Netanyahu wants to save us the 3 Billion a year, by all means...we could do a lot with that money. Improve education.....

    globalexchange.org/countries/mideast/palestine/reasons.pdf

    http://www.globalexchange.org/


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    Mar 26, 2010 10:23 PM GMT
    "What concession have they EVER made?"

    Look it up.
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    Mar 26, 2010 10:36 PM GMT
    SeaSon said
    Red_Vespa saidI agree in principle with Caslon, Coolarmy, and UrsaMajor. But as I predicted in some earlier post, the US will eventually cave to Israel, and give it most of what it wants.


    The main reason for the constant pressure on Israel is to keep the Arab oil producing nations happy. There's absolutely no logic to any of these demands when you analyze past performance and data from the 20 years of the so-called "peace process".


    I think you underestimate Obama, Rahm Emanuel, and the J Street crowd. I think they have principled reasons for putting pressure on Israel, though I also believe that they are misguided. They haven't been disappointed yet in negotiations with the Palestinians, but the time for that will come . . . and then they will see that making Israel make concessions outside of the negotiation context brings the parties no closer to peace. The questions is whether the Israelis are willing to stand up to the United States in the name of their own security, and that may mean weaning themselves from some of the aid that the US sends their way.

    My Israeli friends hate Barack Obama, even the left wing ones. But what they fail to grasp is that what they really hate is their dependence on the United States. What they hate, differently worded, is that they must placate the US because they believe they need our money. But maybe they need less of it than they think they do.

    I believe that the Obama administration is committed to the existence of the Jewish state. I also think it will remain so, and that Israel's best course may be to say: "OK, we'll take less money. That's how much we believe our security depends on this." And if the Israelis do make concessions, it's because they believe it's in their best interests. Right?
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    Mar 26, 2010 10:48 PM GMT
    SeaSon saidJerusalem is supposed to be an undivided city. It's holy to all three major religions and Israel is the only country in recent history that has made sure all religions were free to worship there. For thousands of years Jews have prayed towards Jerusalem. Muslims, btw, do not. They pray towards Mecca, in Suadi Arabia.

    The holiest Jewish site (The Western Wall) is located in East Jerusalem. It's over 2000 years old and predates all the other holy sites in the area, including the mosque that sits above it. So, all this talk about not being allowed to build 1600 homes in East Jerusalem, which is historically Jewish, is not based on fact.

    Instead of taking out your frustration on Netanyahu, for being honest and telling it like it is, ask yourself why some politicians want to change the status quo in this holy city?

    Netanyahu and the majority of Israel aren't crazy. They know history. It is beyond my understanding how anyone, sitting comfortably at their desk 6000 miles away, feels they know better than the locals what's right or wrong.


    Right on. Its a absolute must to stay friendly with Israel and to stay very close to them. Obama also said he is extending NASA training to muslim countries. Who is Obama supporting here?

    Israel is key for America and vice versa.

    All of you liberals---especially gay liberals---- you seem to love socialism and feel the need to bash Israel. Its in America's best interest to stay very pro capitalist and very pro Israel. The further we get away from those two the weaker we become and closer to the end.
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    Mar 26, 2010 11:11 PM GMT
    ZbmwM5> The usual, "they are the only 'democracy' (Theocracy) in the M.E."

    Z1. Theocracy? Which is the state religion where Rabbinical, Sharia and Church courts get to govern their constituency in family matters? What other theocracy recognizes common-law gay marriages and those performed abroad? Granted, there needs to be a secular option, too, but your propaganda line is as nonsensical as saying that the US is a theocracy because Priests can marry people.


    ZbmwM5> view Jordan as our best ally

    Z2. See? Now you are being funny again. One minute you falsely mock Israel as a "theocracy"... and then you suggest that a monarchy (which dissolved its elected Chamber of Deputies last year) with a legal system based on Islamic law is our best ally? Maybe you meant because of economic considerations? Except that it has one of the smallest economise in the Mid East.

    I don't mean to rag on Jordan. It is one of the better countries in the ME. The problem is that isn't saying much and your juxtapositioning is baseless.


    ZbmwM5> a nation that destabilizes an entire region... one could argue its destabilizing to the entire world.

    Z3. ROTFL. Much in the same way that gays destabilize the world since people around the world hate us?


    ZbmwM5> there's no arguing that the effect of great lobbying and influence is at hand with US-Israeli politics

    Z4. Sure, lobbyists play a role - just like other lobbyists, but you don't see lobbyists running around paying voters. The lobby is empowered not so much with big money (like the Arab/oil lobby) but through grass root support throughout the entire US.


    ZbmM5> What concession have they EVER made? THAT is the big joke. The Israeli PR department has brilliantly fooled people here into thinking that they have made so many offers.... but really they haven't made a thing. I know people in the state dept, and this is not a big secret among them.

    Z5. I know American, Israeli and Arab negotiators... and you are full of BS.

    See existing topic:
    In search of a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict: UNSCR 242, Oslo and Camp David/Taba
    (Or: I support the Clinton COMPROMISE parameters. Do you?!)

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/354843


    ZbmM5> Ironlically the Palestinians live in squalor and yet the Israelis are the victims now?

    Z6. There is no irony here given that the Arabs openly state that they are willing to sacrifice and suffer for generations if that's what is required to destroy Israel.


    ZbmM5> if you want to count bodies you'll see that the death toll with the Palestinians is thousands and thousands higher.

    Z7. A meaningless measure. There were more German casualties than American, British and French - combined. History is rife with examples where the aggressor ended up on the losing side and had more casualties.

    Z8. Regardless, you'd think this would be all the more reason for the Arab parties to want to end the violence and come to the negotiating table... and yet we see instead that this is used to war-monger.
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    Mar 26, 2010 11:21 PM GMT
    It would appear that Ursa's fine comment has disappeared.

    My Israeli friends hate Barack Obama, even the left wing ones. But what they fail to grasp is that what they really hate is their dependence on the United States. What they hate, differently worded, is that they must placate the US because they believe they need our money. But maybe they need less of it than they think they do.

    I believe that the Obama administration is committed to the existence of the Jewish state. I also think it will remain so, and that Israel's best course may be to say: "OK, we'll take less money. That's how much we believe our security depends on this." And if the Israelis do make concessions, it's because they believe it's in their best interests. Right?


    NNJfitandbi, I think you're probably right that the Isrealis don't need the money that much -- and I don't think it really matters that much despite all the fuss some make about it. I also don't think the money is what Isrealis fear losing most, or are most dependant on in the US-Isreali relationship.
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    Mar 27, 2010 12:11 AM GMT
    Remember, it is not just the US that Israel is pissing off with its intransigence, but Europe is pretty sour on them, too.
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    Mar 27, 2010 4:05 AM GMT
    SeaSon said
    wrerick saidInstead of taking out your frustration on Netanyahu, for being honest and telling it like it is, ask yourself why some politicians want to change the status quo in this holy city?

    Netanyahu and the majority of Israel aren't crazy. They know history. It is beyond my understanding how anyone, sitting comfortably at their desk 6000 miles away, feels they know better than the locals what's right or wrong.


    Depends which local you are talking to doesn't it -- ie whether they're Isreali or Palestinian.

    A viable peace process will change the current status of Jerusalem and the way the city is run -- it's a more a question of how exactly -- but there is no final peace without addressing, and changing the current status of Jerusalem.


    How about posting a picture of what the Palestinians did to the synagogues in the Gaza Strip just hours after receiving control of the area (hint: they burned them).

    Or how about posting pictures of Palestinians throwing rocks the size of building blocks from the mosque above the Western Wall, down onto the Jewish worshipers who prayed below?

    Or perhaps we should count how many Palestinians have already stabbed Jewish worshipers on their way to the Western Wall.

    History tends to repeat itself. And those who've committed such crimes against religious freedom, will no doubt do so again if given the chance. It's in the Western world's best interest that Jerusalem remain under Israeli control for all religions. We know the alternative.


    I can do the same what Israelis did to Palestinian Christians and Muslims in Palestine. I can list all the Churches and Mosques that destroyed by Israeli government over 60 years.

    I can post a picture of an Israeli children kicking a Palestinian woman in the street and stabbing Palestinians as well...

    Don't play a game or telling us Israelis are victims and the Palestinians are bad guys. Palestinian government already agree to allow Israeli settlers to become Palestinian citizens.
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    Mar 27, 2010 4:18 AM GMT
    PAstud21 saidAll of you liberals---especially gay liberals---- you seem to love socialism and feel the need to bash Israel. Its in America's best interest to stay very pro capitalist and very pro Israel. The further we get away from those two the weaker we become and closer to the end.

    How does the subject of socialism enter into this? I oppose socialism. Please explain.

    As I noted in another thread post of yours, you are opposed to gay sex as "immoral" and you identify yourself as a conservative. Is this really the appropriate site for you, or are you one of the anti-gay plants we've been finding here with increasing frequency, whose goal is disrupting us?

    I think you need to state your credentials and beliefs as a gay man, and explain why you think gay sex is immoral.
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    Mar 27, 2010 5:33 AM GMT
    SeaSon said
    Caslon14000 said
    SeaSon saidThe best strategy is to let the locals fix their own problems.

    Fine by me...let the US stop supporting Israel.


    Netanyahu has been pushing for a gradual end to foriegn aid for quite some time. Many in Israel don't feel the aid is worth the political pressure that accompanies it. Furthermore, complaining about the $3 billion the US gives Israel, is nothing more than hateful bashing.

    1) Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East

    2) Israel has contributed immensly to the world and continues to do so. Here's just a partial list of the accomplishments this tiny country (less than 1/400th of the size of the US) has achieved against all odds:

    http://centerforsanity.blogspot.com/2006/08/israels-contributions.html

    3) The US spends more than $3 billion in Iraq EVERY TWO WEEKS. For a grand total of almost $900 Billion in the past 9 years. So, aid to Israel is really a drop in the bucket and mainly used for political propoganda. Egypt, btw, receives almost as much each year.

    http://usliberals.about.com/od/homelandsecurit1/a/IraqNumbers.htm

    4) Most of that aid to Israel is returned to the US economy, through purchases from US companies.

    So, please stop using aid as a weapon. The funding goes to protect US interests and not the other way around.


    1. No, Israel is not. I live in Bethlehem under the Israeli apartheid systems. Prof. Avi Shlaim: Settlements turned Israel into apartheid state and there are so many links about the Israeli Arabs treated like 2nd class citizens. Black Jews live in poor area.

    New Adalah video depicts structural discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel

    Targeted Citizen - English from Adalah on Vimeo.



    2. Funny how you compare the rest of the world to Israel. The West Bank and the Gaza Strip both are smaller than Israel. Even smaller than Delaware. Plus, Israel is the world strongest army, while the Palestinians are suffering with no help.

    3. That is a different story, because U.S. is trying to help Iraqi suffering, not supporting illegal Israeli settlements and Israeli apartheid.

    4. Returning just few millions? Or spending it and have U.S. pay more for Israel's war crime, weapons, settlements, apartheid etc etc? Why don't you do some math.