Rabbi Oberstein in Baltimore wrote a letter to the Baltimore Sun (5/19/2016) to point out that “the onus [to make peace] is too much on Israel and not a little bit on the Palestinians. That is not fair or just.”
The Rabbi failed to mention these tangible signs of how Israel is treated so unfairly:
- Total U.S. aid to Israel is approximately one-third of the American foreign-aid budget, even though Israel comprises just .001 percent of the world’s population and already has one of the world’s higher per capita incomes. See here.
- The Congressional Research Service writes: “Since the establishment of limited Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the mid-1990s, the U.S. government has committed more than $5 billion in bilateral economic and non-lethal security assistance to the Palestinians, who are among the world’s largest per capita recipients of international foreign aid.” Lora adds: compare this to the $3+ billion that U.S. gives to Israel annually. A conservative estimate is that the U.S. has given more than $130 Billion in direct aid to Israel.
- Israel has access to some of the most advanced weaponry and defense systems in the world, including the Iron Dome and nuclear weapons.
After five decades of pretending otherwise, the Pentagon has reluctantly confirmed that Israel does indeed possess nuclear bombs, as well as awesome weapons technology similar to America’s.
While the BBC notes the assymetrical firepower between Israel and Palestine. Palestinian militants have “Grad and Qassam rockets with ranges of up to 48km (30 miles) and 17km respectively. … They also have the longer range Fajr-5, sometimes also designated the M75. It can reach up to 75km, threatening major population centres like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.”
We might also mention the unfairness of Israel’s economy versus Palestine’s economy; the unfairness of Israel’s freedom of movement versus Israel’s control of movement of every Palestinian; the number of civilian deaths in Israel due to violence between the two sides versus the number of civilian deaths in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The story of the injustices and unfairness goes on and on, but then most everyone knows the difference between an occupying power and the people who are occupied. Except Rabbi Oberstein.