On his trip to Israel, President Donald Trump claimed to have “found new reasons for hope” that peace in the Middle East is attainable. Still, the president doesn't show any signs of bringing an end to the deal with the Israeli nation that has, for the past 60 years, only encouraged the country to remain at war.
Ever since 1949, Israel has been the largest recipient of United States aid, having received more than $127 billion over the decades. While this may not sound surprising to many, what's perhaps unbeknownst to most is that nearly all of this aid is military related.
????US Aid to Israel????— Fox News Research (@FoxNewsResearch) May 22, 2017
?Largest recipient since WWII
?Since 1949, more than $127B in aid
?Nearly all aid military-related
?FY16: $3.1B in aid https://t.co/K3y05D4Hxy
Under former President Barack Obama, the U.S. and Israel struck the largest aid pledge in American history to date.
The 10-year military-assistance pact is estimated to be worth $38 billion over the next decade, making this deal unique as it represents a 27 percent increase from the deal signed between Israel and former President George W. Bush. While Trump hasn't signed on any new aid deals so far, his strong pro-Israel stance seems to contradict his talks of peace.
At the airport, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters he hoped Trump's visit would be a “milestone on the path towards reconciliation and peace.” Trump agreed with the sentiment, adding that he believes “[w]e have before us a rare opportunity to bring security and stability and peace to this region and its people, defeating terrorism and creating a future of harmony, prosperity and peace.”
But with Trump having closed a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia earlier in his Middle East trip while the nation is at war with Yemen over Iran and over access to the country's port of Hodeidah, it's difficult to believe the president when he says he's serious about bringing unity and peace to the region.
With over 70 percent of Gaza's 1.8 million population being forced to rely on humanitarian assistance for basic needs, Israel's insistence in maintaining the Palestinian territories under occupation seems to denote the country isn't truly ready for peace. And when the U.S. reassures the nation of its support for its military endeavors in the region with continuous military aid, we also send out a strong message that whenever we talk about peace, we do not truly mean peace; we just mean more war if those who disagree don't comply.
Unless Trump is ready to bring an end to the taxpayer-backed military aid Israel receives from America, the Israeli nation will never truly have any incentives to negotiate a peace deal. Unfortunately, the president seems to have already made up his mind; instead of seeking a way of opening up relations, easing differences, and allowing locals to resolve their problems via an open market of ideas, Trump's America will continue with the country's tradition of supporting those who know only the language of war and oppression.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters