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Sunday, September 7, 2014
Reality Check: The US Government is Funding both Sides of the Israeli-Hamas Conflict
Regardless of your stance on the Israeli-Hamas conflict, it’s undeniable that this is a tragedy for all parties involved. The largest losses have come from the Palestinian side, most of which have been civilian casualties. It’s estimated that 80% or more of the deaths in Gaza have been innocent civilians. Israel has been under constant threat from rocket attacks coming from Hamas in Gaza and although casualties have been very low, the reign of terror has a major psychological effect on the innocent people living there.
It’s estimated that roughly half of Israeli children living near Gaza have PTSD symptoms from the constant rocket threat. Meanwhile, Palestinian children faced with constant hardships and conflict have shown extremely high rates of PTSD symptoms.
Some studies suggest that nearly 90% of Palestinian children have these symptoms.
This is the heartbreak of war. While IDF soldiers and the military wing of Hamas may be hardened fighters who are ready and willing to sacrifice everything over lines drawn on the ground, the innocence of the children is being lost in these conflicts that are started by grown men. These PTSD symptoms will lead to further mental issues down the road, not to mention the radicalization of people on both sides of the conflict.
While this war seems so far away from the average westerner, the fact is that America’s government is actively enabling both sides of this conflict through foreign aid. Israel is the largest benefactor of US foreign aid, much of which is military equipment, totaling over $3 billion or more per year.
Hamas is also an indirect benefactor of US aid. In 2013 the US sent $500 million to the Palestinian Authority government, which Hamas is a member of. While most foreign aid is claimed to go toward humanitarian purposes, the reality is that it tends to go to war lords and oppressive governments like Hamas and Israel’s hawkish Zionist government.
It’s hard to say whether US foreign policy “experts” are so dumb that they keep repeating these same mistakes (see Iraq, Libya, Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Columbia, El Salvador, Cuba, etc), or are these people so sick that they pursue these policies knowing they will backfire and cause more harm than good?
One thing is clear: it’s time for westerners to stop sticking their noses into the internal affairs of other countries, especially in the Middle East. If you think that the US should stop funding warlords and oppressive regimes around the world, please share this article with as many people as possible. Surprisingly, most people do not know about these facts.