What drives these Americans to risk their lives against Israeli soldiers on behalf of a subject people half the world away? The answer is a passion for justice, and a commitment to civil rights. Why should any of this be of interest to Americans? For a general reason and a particular one. The general: this is a passion and a commitment that we Americans at our best have been supposed to share; it is the largest single reason we have received the admiration of other people around the world. The particular reason is as obvious but more immediate. Barack Obama, our first black president, and a man who has identified himself as a beneficiary and successor of the tradition of Martin Luther King, has promised $30 billion of military aid to Israel over the next ten years -- with no conditions, no budget-items specified, no limitations spoken of. Barack Obama is known to be a moderate politician, and so we may deduce that the moderate plan, with Israel, is to keep increasing the leviathan-bulk of the American subsidy and not to ask questions.I first found reference to this article at Mondoweiss.
We ought to know a good deal about a country to which we give such large continuous donations. But Americans who care for public discussion of this subject are obliged to conduct it ourselves, since, if recent history is a guide, we will get no help from the leading American newspapers. Even the appointment today of Avigdor Lieberman, an avowed racist and a believer in the feasibility of the expulsion of all Palestinians, as foreign minister in the new Israeli government under Binyamin Netanyahu -- even this predicted and extraordinary news is not likely to provoke the New York Times or the Washington Post to report with honesty who this Lieberman is, and what he signifies. Nor will the Obama administration do it. They will be as hesitant and mixed and occasionally contradictory in their signals on Israel as they have been on many other subjects; more so, because in this case an organized body of censors and guardians attends to the reputation and support of Israel in the U.S. Let us nonetheless open the discussion by admitting that the Israel we think we know is the Israel of books written sixty and forty years ago, and of movies made from those books.
Note, April 3rd: This 2003 article The Brian Avery shooting: When will we realise that there can't be this many "accidents"?, is worth reading.