Archive for the ‘ROMNEY IN ISRAEL’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MITT ROMNEY’S REMARKS IN ISRAEL COMPARING THE PALESTINIAN AND ISRAELI ECONOMIES – MANY CALL HIS WORDS RACIST – MAYBE, BUT THEY WERE SURPRISINGLY IGNORANT FOR A MAN IN FINANCE – IMAGINE ROMNEY TRYING TO RUN A BUSINESS UNDER CONDITIONS ISRAEL IMPOSES?   Leave a comment

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Romney’s comments may well be racist.

But, without question, they are ignorant beyond comprehension for a man who worked in finance.

He’s comparing apples to oranges on a grand scale.

First, Israel is, without question, the most subsidized entity on earth.

Israel’s economy for that reason cannot be sensibly compared to anything.

It receives about $500 per year per Jewish citizen from the United States, and it has done so for decades.

But that is only the beginning.

There are periodic loan guarantees of tens of billions.

There is constant access at the highest level for this nation with the population of Ecuador, something virtually no other country, even far more important ones, has.

It has a plum free-trade agreement – indeed, without sending its subsidized crops to the U.S. Israel’s agriculture would disappear. It was a gift to Israel because it has no tangible benefits for Americans at all.

The opportunity cost of water Israel squanders on tomatoes and clementines to export is unbelievably high because it is the cost of desalination-plant water. It sends subsidized produce to the United States under free trade, produce the United States doesn’t even need.

Israel receives billions worth of intelligence and defense cooperation every year from the United States, something few other countries receive.

The two billion dollars a year going to Egypt is a bribe paid on Israel’s behalf by Americans since the Camp David Agreements.

Israel receives heavily below cost natural gas from Egypt, the result of U.S. pressure on Mubarak. Everyone knows this is scandalous, and the U.S. has offered to pay a subsidy to top up the price.

Israel also receives billions from the Jewish communities of America and Europe, and it receives important business intelligence and connections.

The great privilege granted to American Israelis to be recognized as dual citizens means they move back and forth regularly, all the while sharing business and other intelligence.

Israel’s farms and cities and water supply were all taken with absolutely no payment or reparations from other people. That is the biggest subsidy ever received, the very substance of the nation.

And it is not satisfied with what happened in 1948, it keeps stealing the property of others regularly, refusing to live in peace because it still wants more.

Israel has received tens of billions in reparations from Germany – wholly appropriate in view of the past – but still a subsidy.

The list is even longer than this, but I think the point is clear: Israel has, in no sense of the words, an independent national economy.

It is in truth a gigantic international welfare case.

Second, and equally important in the ignorance contained in Romney’s speech, Palestine has been under occupation for the best part of half a century.

But it is more than an occupation, it is a set of unfair rules and laws actually designed to discourage Palestinians from staying in their homes.

They are not even allowed to repair things without special permissions.

They are not allowed to build roads without special permissions.

They are not allowed to travel without permissions and going through check-points.

They cannot get supplies for businesses because of Israel’s embargo and controls.

They cannot even fly or travel by sea to do business as they wish.

Even international funds for assisting Palestine have been controlled, and plundered, by Israel.

The last I read, Israel even, in contravention of international treaties, controlled and limited the mail going into Gaza.

And, week by week, Israelis literally steal their homes, their farms, and their water resources.

How on earth can you compare an economy under those circumstances to anything?

You cannot.

And wouldn’t it be amusing to watch the arrogant and unthinking Mr. Romney himself try running an efficient business under the circumstances Israel imposes on Palestinians, instead of benefitting from the freewheeling environment of the United States and his ability to shelter his earnings from taxes in the Cayman Islands?

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ROMNEY’S FOREIGN AFFAIRS SPEECH IN JERUSALEM – RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IN THE WRONG COUNTRY – CONSEQUENCES OF ISRAEL’S ATTACKING IRAN – NATURE OF DEMOCRACY – TRICKS IN POLLS   Leave a comment

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

He’s supposed to be running for President of the United States, a nation of more than 300 million people with plenty of problems.

So why is it that he goes to Israel to speak on matters which are of no concern to most Americans?

Indeed, why does virtually every candidate and elected Congressman take paid junkets to Israel, a nation of 7 million whose own problems are immense and whose interests mostly have nothing to do with those of the United States?

It’s certainly not the ex-pat vote because that amounts to a few hundred thousand people.

The answer of course is the relentless need for money by the American political machine.

These guys are going to burn through hundreds of millions of dollars in the next few months.

And the American Supreme Court has said that money is free speech.

Well, the single best organized and financed special interest there is is Israel and its American apologists.

When just one American billionaire can donate at least 18 million dollars to John McCain’s efforts to gain the nomination, as Sheldon Adelson very much did, it becomes clear that it is well worth while to make a trip or two, done a yarmulke at the Wall, and make outlandish speeches.

Mr Adelson among others was reported as intending to attend the campaign fund raiser in Israel.

This is the essence of government by and for special interests.
___________________________________________

What is always left unsaid in statements like Romney’s about supporting an Israeli strike on Iran?

Iran has the capability of striking back.

So after Israel bombs yet one more nation, and that nation turns its resources against Israel, as it will be entirely justified in doing after an unprovoked attack, what will Israel’s response be?

I think we all know that Netanyahu’s lying bluster and threats will immediately melt into special pleadings for help from the United States, and the United States will be dragged into yet another war.

It would be a war which serves not one genuine American interest, and, indeed, would do the opposite, alienating the hundreds of millions of people whose native region Western Asia is.

Making policy commitments with those kinds of consequences is beyond being stupid.

It may get him special-interest campaign contributions today while just giving the American people he is supposed to serve one more gigantic life- and money-wasting war.

That is how twisted American national politics have become.
_________________________________________

“Maybe its something to do with a fellow democracy in a part of the world that is ruthless and tyrannical…”

Oh please.

How is Israel a fellow democracy?

A democracy that insists on its being the “Jewish state”?

How is that different to an Islamic state?

What kind of democracy kills 400 children in Gaza, a giant refugee camp?

What kind of democracy drops a million cluster-bomblets on Southern Lebanon?

What kind of democracy keeps people under occupation for the best part of half a century?

What kind of democracy steals the homes and farms of those it occupies regularly?

What kind of democracy keeps thousands in prison with no proper legal proceedings?

What kind of democracy starts wars with every neighbor that it has?

What kind of democracy has systematic practices that some of the world’s best ethical minds have declared are apartheid?

What kind of democracy allows insane settlers to shoot people and cut down olive trees and take property with no penalties?

What kind of democracy doesn’t allow women to approach a national shrine from the same place as men?

What kind of democracy lets people exclude women from buses?

What kind of democracy makes atomic weapons deals with a rogue statel like apartheid South Africa?

What kind of democracy has secret agents running around assassinating people all the time?

What kind of democracy sends commandos to board a humanitarian ship in international waters and shoots a number of the unarmed people in the head?

The only past examples of “democracies” I can think of that are even close are the American Confederacy and the previous governments of South Africa and Rhodesia.
________________________________________

“63% of Americans support Israel he is representing the will of the majority in supporting Israel.”

“It is hard for anti Israelis to understand democracy.”

As anyone familiar with statistics and polling knows it is always possible to get different answers to the same questions just by asking them in slightly different ways.

This matter came up in the Quebec referendum, and it is an age-old one for pollsters.

Example: “Do you think Romney is a resolute man?” as opposed to, “Do you think Romney a stubborn man?”

I guarantee different numbers to the two essentially-same questions.

Again, positive responses to broad open questions like “Do you support Israel?” are as meaningless as the question.

And quoting them, as you do, is dishonest.

Indeed, many respondents, afraid of being thought anti-Semitic by an unknown caller on the other end of the line, would be constrained to a positive response.

But if you ask the same question with some meat on the bones, you will certainly get a different answer.

For example, “Do you support Israel’s having illicit nuclear weapons?”

Or, “Do you support Israel’s shooting of 400 children in Gaza?”

Or even, “Do you support Israel if its policies take the United States into a costly war?”

And, no, it is not hard for critics of Israel to understand democracy.

Indeed, just the opposite is true.

Israel’s apologists seem blind to the traditional meanings of democracy when it comes to any discussion of Israel.

We went through centuries of oppression to get to the Enlightenment and to the institutionalizing of democratic and human values.

Today’s Israel simply represents a giant step backward.

Indeed, I would add that it is the worst tyrannies who have always been Israel’s secret friends: Mubarak in Egypt, the kings of Saudi Arabia, and the past government of South Africa.

Birds of a feather…