51st: Facing the budget cutters

M.J. Rosenberg shares his experience as a congressional staffer on the way in which aid to Israel was built up over the years by Congressmen/women who saw the country as a local constituent. He notes that while the U.S. military budget is being cut, U.S. military aid to Israel goes on (even though Israel is cutting its military budget). That's what we'd have to call clout.Rosenberg cites as have many others Walter Pincus's column in the WashPost: His opening sentence: "As the country reviews its spending on defense and foreign assistance, it is time to examine the funding the United States provides to Israel."P.S. And to all those good citizens, who wrote me personally (and impersonally) about my last post, suggesting that I was a "useful idiot," an "idiot," and/or verging on anti-Semitism, or was actually an anti-Semite, let me say this to you: 1. spend more time reading about the complex issues involved in Israel's survival, which I ardently support; 2. give thought to the dysfunctional relationship between the U.S. and Israel, which serves mostly to undermine Israel's ability to live in peace in the Middle East; 3. understand that my purpose here is to inform my fellow Catholics about the dangers in the current situation and to encourage them to think outside the (we-are-all-guilty-for-the-Holocaust, ergo, we must support Israel no matter what!) box.

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages.

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