By Stephen Lendman
From birth, Israel was a regional menace until America became its benefactor in the late 1960s. Now it's a global one, powerful with a large standing army and the latest weapons and technology, nuclear armed and ready to use them.
It's belligerent on the slightest pretext or none at all, and a threat to world peace and security because US administrations since Lyndon Johnson supported a nation of 5.6 millions in an area the size of New Jersey, partnering in its worst crimes and abuses.
It's due largely to the Israeli Lobby's influence, or as John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt wrote in their book, "The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy," America's Middle East policy is driven "almost entirely (by) US domestic politics, and especially (because of) the (Lobby's) activities....This situation has no equal in American political history."
In his book, "The Power of Israel in the United States," James Petras documented its enormous influence, explaining its roots throughout government, the business community, the dominant media, academia, the clergy, and powerful wealthy Jewish families. Broad support comes from thousands of dedicated activists, including doctors, lawyers, accountants, other professionals, philanthropists, and journalists given special prominence and benefits for their unwavering pro-Israeli reporting, suppressing decades of its militarism, belligerence, and illegal occupation while vilifying Israel's enemies.
As a result, Israel receives enormous benefits, including billions in annual aid, the latest weapons and technology, unrestricted US market access, and free entry of its immigrants. Its imperial wars, illegal occupation, and crimes of war and against humanity are supported. Harmful Security Council resolutions are vetoed and General Assembly ones ignored. As a result, it operates freely, including spying in America by covertly penetrating US military bases, the FBI, CIA, IRS, DHS and many other government agencies, remaining unaccountable for its actions.
Israel is unique as America's largest aid recipient, on the most favorable terms, and virtually anything more requested, given openly or covertly, in violation of the 1961 US Foreign Assistance Act (as amended), stipulating that no aid be provided to governments that engage:
"in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, including torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, prolonged detention without charges, causing the disappearance of persons by the abduction and clandestine detention of those persons, or other flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, and the security of person, unless such assistance will directly benefit the needy people in such country."
In 2004, the amended Act let the president provide aid to treat orphans, other vulnerable children, those with HIV/AIDS, and to set up schools and other supportive programs.