News of the 51st State

The final details of the U.S. bribe to Israel for a 90-day moratorium on settlement construction remains to be announced, but there seems to be no end to the earmarks Washington is providing our stealth 51st state.Under the headline, "U.S. taxpayers are paying for Israel's West Bank occupation," Ha'aretz reports: "Travelers along the "original" West Bank roads, the ones enabling drivers to bypass Palestinian villages, can see signs declaring "USAID from the American People.""The roads are one of the initiatives of the United States Agency for International Development for building infrastructure in underdeveloped countries. Israel has already proudly left the club of developing countries and is not among the clients of USAID. Nevertheless, it appears the Smith family of Illinois is making the occupation a little less expensive for the Cohen family of Petah Tikva."http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/u-s-taxpayers-are-paying-for-israel-s-west-bank-occupation-1.324941And let us recognize that Americans can find out more about our government's policy from Ha'aretz than we can from our own media. Always worth a look: http://www.haaretz.com/And then a provocative analysis in Foreign Policy of the deal we are cutting with Netanyahu for the brief and final moratorium: "Not one cent for tribute: Obama's embarrassing gift to Israel" http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/11/15/not_one_cent_for_tribute_obamas_embarrassing_gift_to_israel Do the historians among us find the analogy accurate?Glenn Kessler of the WashPost has this about the deal, "Call it a triumph of hope over experience": http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/15/AR2010111506596.html (HT: Pat Lang, http://turcopolier.typepad.com/ )

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

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