The Wall Street Journal reports:
Israel will need to boost military spending and may seek an additional $20 billion in U.S. security assistance to help it manage potential threats stemming from popular upheavals in the Arab world, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Monday.
Still, he said Israel shouldn’t fear changes in the region or the risk of offering bold concessions in a renewed bid to achieve peace with the Palestinians.
“It’s a historic earthquake…a movement in the right direction, quite inspired,” Mr. Barak said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, surveying the youthful revolts in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and the Gulf. “It’s a movement of the Arab societies toward modernity.”
In the short term, however, Israel worries that adversaries Iran and Syria “might be the last to feel the heat” of regional unrest, he said, and that public pressure could push new leaders in Egypt away from that country’s 1979 peace treaty with the Jewish state.
“The issue of qualitative military aid for Israel becomes more essential for us, and I believe also more essential for you,” said Mr. Barak, a former prime minister. “It might be wise to invest another $20 billion to upgrade the security of Israel for the next generation or so….A strong, responsible Israel can become a stabilizer in such a turbulent region.”
I’m sure that the American Jewish community will gladly donate the 20 billion dollars so that Israel can up-date or what ever it is they want to do with the money. And no, it won’t be tax deductible. In fact, I might venture a guess that the U.S. now finds itself in the position that if it comes to the aid of Israel during all this change taking place in the M.E., then it risks the collapse of the Empire. There is no way that the U.S., stretched Militarily as it is today, can entertain bringing Military forces into the conflicts, that are being played out. Israel, will have to take a few steps back, give up their illegal settlements, start being a builder of the M.E. instead of acting like a bully. The time has come that for all the past boogieman scares is past. As the saying goes, nice try, but no cigar. They already are feeling the loss of natural gas supplies, it won’t take too much more before indeed, Israel will be feeling the loss of even more commodities. This is their wake up call. If they resist, then they will probably find that all their past B.S. will come true.
Yes Norman, wouldn’t it be great if Israel suddenly wanted to be a part of the ME instead of a state of USA. A big hurdle for them, but it looks like they are going to get a leg up from the rest of the ME, if they are willing to take the offer, if they can see the opportunity.
If anyone’s interested, there’s a terrific article at LRB by Alastair Crooke on the history of the destruction of Hamas and the possibility of a reasonable solution to the I-P conflict. Makes me want to go bust a chair across some Israeli + American + British teeth:
Despite there being no money to pay America’s unionized teachers or to finance the healthcare of women and children and infants, there’s always more money for Israel and, of course, always money for more wars. Bibi will get his 20 billion, and don’t rule out war against Iran.