‘Enablers of Occupation’: Former US Ambassadors to Israel Call on Washington to Reconsider Military Aid
By the Palestine Chronicle Staff
Two former US ambassadors to Israel have asked the US Administration to cut military aid to Tel Aviv, the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz reported on Saturday.
Speaking to the New York Times, former ambassadors Dan Kurtzer and Martin Indyk both expressed the need for the United States to change its approach and set conditions for its military aid to Israel, the Israeli paper said.
“Israel’s economy is strong enough that it doesn’t need aid; security assistance distorts Israel’s economy and creates a false sense of dependence,” Kurtzer said.
Kurtzer went so far as to say that the US is seen as “the enablers of Israel’s way of life”.
“Aid does not provide the US with any leverage or influence over Israeli decisions to use force; because we sit quietly while Israel pursues policies we oppose, we are seen as ‘enablers’ of Israel’s way of life”.
For his part, Indyk, who also served as the United States’ special peace envoy for the Middle East, said “it would be healthier for the relationship if Israel stood on its own two feet.”
The remarks come amid tensions between the United States and the far-right Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
On July 17, Israel’s opposition leader, Yair Lapid, said of Israel’s current government, “The United States is no longer our closest ally.”
The comments of the two former ambassadors follow Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s address to the US Congress on July 19.
In his speech, the Israeli president claimed that the “sacred bond” and “true friendship” between the two countries is very strong and unbreakable.
The comments of the two former US ambassadors suggest, however, that something is changing in the US’s view of Israel.
(The Palestine Chronicle)