NATIONAL SUMMIT TO REASSESS THE U.S. - ISRAEL "SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP"

Washington, DC - March 7, 2014 8AM-5PM at the National Press Club
 


"..a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils."

-George Washington, Farewell Address

 

Speaker Transcripts Audio and Video

  How does U.S. military aid Israel impact relations with other U.S. allies?
(Video YouTube, Audio MP3)

by James David is a retired Brigadier General, and a graduate of the U.S. Army's Command and General Staff College, and the National Security Course, National Defense University, Washington DC. He served nearly 3 years of Army active duty in and around the Middle East from 1967-1969. General David was assigned to the Republic of Vietnam as a company commander with the 101st Airborne Division from 1969-1970. After his tour in Vietnam General David commanded a Chaparral-Vulcan Air Defense Artillery battery and received one of Europe's highest awards for missile battery proficiency when his missile battery scored a perfect score in its annual service practice on the Island of Crete. After his active duty tours, General David commanded the 429th, and the 434th Chemical Detachments in Chamblee, Georgia, United States Army Reserves. The 434th Chemical Detachment received unit honors when it was later mobilized and served in the first Gulf war. His decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Medal with Overseas Ribbon and bar, the Vietnam Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Bronze Star Medal

Last night, I got home, turned on my TV, and watched this latest news on Russia and Ukraine and Crimea. And the first thing I hear is from Secretary of State John Kerry saying, ďUkraine people only want their freedom.Ē Secretary of State, what about Palestinian people, donít they want their freedom too? Then President Obama says and accuses Vladimir Putin, ďYouíre violating international law and UN resolutions.Ē Well, hell, how many UN resolutions have Israel violated?

And then our Congress, like all the time, drop to their knees or run, have an emergency session, and has a non-binding resolution backing, of course, Ukraine. Look at the other side. Our Congress canít wait to meet to condemn the Palestinians and show their support of Israel even though the Israelis go in there and they dropped 13 shells on top of Qana on April 18, 1996, killed 103 innocent men, women, and children. These were UN refugees that tried to take cover in a camp when Israel invaded them on Operation Grapes of Wrath. This was back in April of 1996. This was after the Israelis invaded Lebanon in 1982. Nearly 20,000 Lebanese were killed. How come the United States doesnít condemn that resolution? As a matter of fact, whenever Israel invades one of its neighbors or kills innocent civilians, the United States is prompt to veto any United Nations resolution that criticizes Israel. The United States could not even bring itself to condemn the Qana Lebanese refugee camp massacre.

So let me talk more about how our U.S. aid affects our relations with our allies. When you look at the enormous amount of U.S. weapons that we provide Israel each and every year and see the kind of results that itís achieving, youíve got to ask yourself, what good is it? Weíre giving so much weapons that she keeps invading her neighbors, keeps the Palestinians in Gaza locked up in a prison pen. Hell, they canít even move. These college students in Gaza who earned the Fulbright Scholarship, they worked their butts off to get it. They had more obstacles than any college students, and the Israelis wonít even let them go to the United States to earn their college degrees.

So you ask yourself, what do you think our allies think of this? What do you think that they would think? Of course, weíve got terrible relations, but a lot of our allies kind of put it to the side because they know that they need U.S. security in case a country attacks them.

You know, all we hear from Benjamin Netanyahu is how the Arabs want to wipe Israel off the map. Have you seen this war that Israel had with Gaza, these last two wars in November of 2008 and just four years later? They devastated Gaza. They killed 1,400 Palestinians. One-third of those were women and children. They destroyed bridges. They destroyed power plants. They destroyed schools. They destroyed mosques. And what did Congress do? They had a session to back Israel.

Ladies and gentlemen, Israel is using our weapons against the Geneva Convention. We have our own rules that state Ė- itís our Arms Export Control Act. It says that Israel can only use these weapons for defensive purposes or for internal security. When you drop a one-ton bomb on an apartment complex in the center of Gaza City, it killed 19 Palestinians with that one bomb, you call that defensive? You call that for their internal security? How many Israelis were killed during that Gaza war? Thirteen. Out of those thirteen, four of those soldiers were killed by friendly fire. So weíre looking at 1,400 Palestinians killed and nine Israelis. Thatís like 150:1. Is this disproportionate or what? Yet the United States doesnít even have the courage to condemn Israel for this. Is there any wonder that this violence continues?

Ladies and gentlemen, Iíve been working with the Middle East situation for over 40 years. Has this massive military aid helped to bring peace in the Middle East? Iíve been keeping up with the Israeli-Palestinian issues even during my military years. But I really got involved after I retired. Iíve seen what war is like. I was a company commander with the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam. Iíve seen many of my dead soldiers. War should be the last thing. We want peace, not war.

For some 40 years now, Iíve seen very little changes. As a matter of fact, things have gotten much worse: the expansion of existing settlements; the construction of new settlements; the construction of the apartheid wall, this apartheid wall going through Palestinian neighbors. They canít even visit their own family members. You canít call this a separation wall or a separation fence like the Israelis like to do. Itís an apartheid wall. Former President Jimmy Carter got it right when he said, ďPalestine: peace not apartheid.Ē

Weíve got confiscation of land. Weíve got the demolition of homes. Itís something I can never understand. Since 1967, the Israelis have demolished over 27,000 Palestinian homes and structures. Can you imagine if say, Iran Ė by the way has the second largest number of Jews other than, of course, Israel Ė but can you imagine if Iran demolished just one Jewish home? What would the United States do? Weíd have the Sixth Fleet there in a second. Twenty-seven thousand homes. Thatís disgraceful.

You know what else is humiliating? Youíve got to consider how our allies consider our U.S. double standard when it comes to Israel. Thereís a double standard there. When they have peaceful demonstrations in the West Bank, not Gaza though, in the West Bank, peaceful demonstrations against the apartheid wall, you know what the Israelis do? They send their water truck, U.S.-supplied water truck with these water cannons and they go spray the Palestinian homes, not with water but with sewage. Well, they call it skunk. Take a look at it. Google that. Israel sprays Palestinian homes with skunk. Itís as bad smelling as sewage and the folks have to leave their homes immediately. And itís a health hazard. How do you think our allies consider that seeing their Arabs or Muslims treated this way? Itís humiliating. No wonder we donít have any respect.

When I was first stationed in the military overseas back in 1965, we had respect. America was considered above and beyond. After 1967 and I was still stationed in the Middle East, in 1967 when the Israelis - now listen to me - when the Israelis attacked the Arabs to start the 1967 War, okay. It wasnít the other way around. Yes, theyíll probably tell you that the Arabs were about to attack them so this was a preemptive attack. Folks, thatís another deception. Take a look at Moshe Dayan or Rabin Yitzhak. They even stated are you kidding me? Weíre not that crazy. We knew that the Arabs werenít going to attack us. They were not even ready to attack us. But you see this systematic psychological conditioning has everybody believing that. And itís time it stops. Iím so glad to see a group of us like this to begin some type of an effort, some type of an organization to fight the other side and get the truth out.

The problem with the U.S.ís close alliance with Israel is that our Arab allies have to accept this massive military aid that we give to Israel. By the way, we donít just give Israel that 3.2 billion each year, we have to sign a contract for 10 years. We have to sign a contract for 10 years that weíre going to give them so much money. I thought there were two sides to a contract. We give them military equipment, and so what do we get? Hell, I donít know. All I know is that Netanyahu thumbs his nose at us when we ask them to stop building these damn settlements that is the biggest obstacle to peace. He says, ďTo hell with you, President. Weíre going to even build it more.Ē Do you call that cooperation? Do you call that a real ally? Get tough with Israel, Mr. President. Thatís the only way weíre going to bring peace to the Middle East.

Thereís one other thing Iím very happy to see going on right now. That is BDS Ė Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions. Iím glad to see our younger people are knowing this. Thank God for the Internet. Maybe before we would have never been able to do and inform the public as we do today. Theyíre catching on. Theyíre seeing whatís really happening. I go to Haaretz to get my information. I canít go to get our information from our local media.

Folks, keep up the good work. Thank you for coming today. And God bless America.

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