Monday, November 15, 2010

A Depression-Proof Business

Maybe your job's already evaporated, or maybe you're still hanging on. Maybe your real income continues to decline (in fact, O American, there's not much "maybe" about that). Maybe your kids have gone through school, only to find that the only available jobs are low-paying service-sector ones, or none at all. Maybe the military is looking like their employer of last resort. But don't think that all is disaster, everywhere. There is one "industry" that seems to be depression-proof: Israel, Inc. In a few months, while you're preparing your federal income-tax return, consider the following:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presents his ministers with a multibillion-dollar incentive package from the U.S. to reopen peace talks with Palestinian leaders. He may have difficulty in winning their approval.

Under pressure from the Obama administration, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began nudging his Cabinet on Sunday toward accepting a multibillion-dollar package of U.S. incentives to restart peace talks with Palestinians.

But Netanyahu immediately faced strong opposition from conservative politicians and Jewish settler groups, who vowed to block the American proposal because it would reimpose building restrictions in the West Bank for three months.

U.S. officials hope to use the three-month window to focus talks on setting final borders for a proposed Palestinian state. Once both sides agree to borders, Israel could resume building in areas that will become part of Israel and halt construction in areas that will become part of the Palestinian state.

After a confrontational Cabinet meeting, Moshe Yaalon, a vice prime minister, rejected the U.S. offer as a "honey trap" that "will lead us down a slippery slope and into another crisis with the American administration after three months, or perhaps even sooner."

Netanyahu told ministers that the terms of the U.S. offer were still being negotiated and he pledged to bring it for a vote before the smaller security Cabinet when the details are finalized.

The package, discussed last week between Netanyahu and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in New York, includes 20 stealth fighter jets worth $3 billion and a promise to veto anti-Israel proposals raised in the U.N. Security Council during the next year, including a potential Palestinian bid to seek international support for a unilateral declaration of statehood.

In return, Israel would renew its partial West Bank construction moratorium for 90 days, including units that broke ground after the previous freeze expired in September.


Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, a key coalition partner, voiced opposition to the U.S. offer in private meetings, according to Israeli news reports. Lieberman and others oppose setting final borders before addressing other issues, such as security or the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

"We will not agree to focus on the subject of the border," Lieberman was quoted as saying by Israel Today newspaper. "That would be a bitter mistake."

But Interior Minister Eli Yishai, who had voiced opposition to renewing the building moratorium, indicated Sunday that his Shas Party might agree to abstain from the vote if Jewish building in East Jerusalem could continue unabated.

Palestinian officials said they had not been briefed on the plan by U.S. officials and would refrain from making a judgment until then. But some expressed concern that the building restrictions would not cover East Jerusalem, which Israel seized in 1967 and where it recently announced the approval of 1,300 new units.
So, despite the fact the we're broke, and all signs point to Uncle Sam's VISA card being declined on a worldwide basis, we're going to somehow kite some more debt to fix the Izzies up with "20 stealth fighter jets" -- no doubt, in addition to that other $3B that we send them annually. And we're going to use our power in the UN to silence any criticism of their war crimes and general thuggishness, thus identifying ourselves with them yet again, making even more dedicated enemies in the Middle East (which may not matter at this point, as our "enemy" status is probably saturated by now). Then, if we are successful in bribing the Chosen, the Palestinians will undoubtedly require a bribe of some sort also, although it will predictably be a pale ghost of the one we deliver to the sons of Abraham. After this, both sides will do what the hell they want anyway, and we -- having sown the wind -- will reap the whirlwind.

If the US suddenly retrieved any semblance of sanity, it would instantly withdraw its armed forces from Mesopotamia and southwest Asia (along with everywhere else, but that's another discussion), and would gently inform all states of the region that every form of assistance and all military "partnerships" are hereby discontinued; the very best of luck to all; see you later, boys; don't call us, we'll call you (not).

What do you suppose the probability of such a return of sanity is?

Yeah, that's about my guess, also.


Mimi said...

Jim, I apologize for missing your comment on my blog the other day. You asked if I thought "The Road" was worth reading; absolutely and unequivically, yes. I found it completely absorbing and haunting in the extreme.
If you do read it, please let me know your reactions.

Jonathan Versen said...

Hey Jim,
the ruling class has decided to only get crazier as we careen off the precipice. They'd fuel the Israeli jets with Iranian gas for a mission against Iran if they could.

Phil Marx said...

Considering the cumulative amount we have spent on this over the years, I'm pretty sure it would have been cheaper to reclaim land from the Mediterranean Sea, ship in tons of the world's finest soil, and build magnificent cities with roads paved of gold. We could have simply offered this prize to whichever side was willing to abdicate Palestine.