The USFG should continue to fund Israel militarily during the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Debate Rounds (4)
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Full text of resolution: The USFG should continue to fund Israel militarily during the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Constructive (No rebuttals)
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Closing Arguments
continue to fund: give monetary aid at the same or an increased rate
to fund militarily: to provide monetary aid for the purpose of helping advance Israel's military interests
No new arguments in the final round.
No kritiks of the resolution.
Whiteflame should PM me or comment on this debate for any changes he wishes to make to rules, definitions, or structure of the debate. Once the debate is accepted by the contender, he waives all rights to add definitions, change structure, or any other aspects of this debate. Should he attempt to do so, do not weigh these ideas when voting.
BoP is shared, resolution must be looked at on balance. Whiteflame's BoP is to prove that we should continue to fund Israel at the same or an increased rate, while Warren42's BoP is to prove that we should completely stop funding Israeli military during this conflict.
If whiteflame so chooses, he can use the following structure, please just notify me:
Round 1: Con gives rules/Pro gives opening arguments
Round 2: Con's opening arguments/Pro rebuts Con's case
Round 3: Con rebuts Pro's case/Pro closing arguments.
Round 4: Con closing arguments/Pro waives.
Thank you, whiteflame. Good luck.
There are a multitude of reasons the United States should stop funding the Israeli military independent of the Israel-Palestine conflict. In my constructive I will explore all the potential reasons, both related to and independent of this conflict. Remember, my BoP is to argue for complete defunding of Israel's military, while whiteflame must argue for the status quo or an increased rate of funding. Though it is very unlikely you as voters will be fully convinced one way or the other, and will likely think we should decrease but not eliminate funding, vote for whichever side more completely addresses his BoP.
The USFG is in a significant amount of debt, $19.5 trillion at the time this was posted.  Though whiteflame may argue that in such massive debt the amount of funding given to Israel is insignificant, but that is not the case. We should cut all unnecessary spending in attempt to remedy as much of our debt as possible, so if I can prove that the support given to Israel is unneccesary, I will win this debate.
II. Israel Doesn't Need Aid
A. Financial Standpoint
Israel's economy has developed. It isn't the 1940s anymore. They would easily be able to replace the funding provided by the USFG with a 1% tax hike  a small increase to nationalize their defense. This would benefit Israel significantly, as they would use these funds more efficiently
"as a general principle, people and institutions make better choices when they have to internalize costs. If the US ends aid to Israel, the Israelis may make better choices about their national defense and foreign policy" -Steven Strauss, visiting professor at Princeton University 
Therefore the internalization of cost would benefit not only the United States but also the Israelis. This sentiment is also not uniquely American. Israelis are also sharing in the belief that Americans should not be helping pay for their defense,  considering they are in a place of economic prosperity rather than the struggling, newborn nation they were when we began our friendship.
B. Defense Standpoint
We have all heard rhetoric regarding Israel as a state surrounded by enemies and therefore needs to have a strong military to protect itself. However, by providing Israel with funding and in turn seemingly unconditional support despite their faults, we are enabling them. The longer the Israel-Palestine conflict continues, the less likely a two-state scenario becomes  and the more vilified Israel becomes in the eyes of its "enemies." So in effect, we are allowing Israel to hurt their own self interest on our tax dollars. Additionally, Israel already has a military 3x as powerful as Lebanon and Syria combined, and is also more powerful than Iran.  Its border states also have their own problems to take care of, so for the time being, Israel is at a lower threat threshold than they have been in the past. Israel's only doing itself more damage by using our funds in the Palestinian conflict.
III. American Interests
In addition to harming Israeli national interests, this funding is also counterproductive to our own interests as Americans. The United States is aligned tentatively with multiple Arab nations, and our consistent, unwavering support of Israel clearly demonstrates the hierarchy of US alliance, and the Arab nations aren't happy that Israel is the favorite child. America has completely lost credibility as a neutral power in the Israel-Palestine conflict  and the Arab nations are coming to resent that. If we were truly wishing to maintain national interests, we would have jettisoned our Israel fund long ago.
IV. Human Rights Violations
Despite the atrocious record of killing civilians (nearly 75% of those killed in the 2014 Gaza conflict were civilians ) and a horrendous human rights record, we are still funding Israel's military conquests. Killing civilians in the name of a Jewish state and maintaining an ally is more than the United States should be doing. Termination of funding will create two possibilities. It could force Israel's eyes inward, focus it on reform, and in turn make them less aggressive and more compliant to human rights law, or it could act as a catalyst, creating an enraged Israel on a war path.  This possibility, however, would quickly be placated by the international community, and as long as America did not move to block UN action, Israel would quickly be reigned back in. There is no need to continue unconditional funding, as we have put conditions on aid in the past,  and could easily do so once again. Even if you still think we should fund Israel militarily, at a bare minimum a condition should be put on the funding that no more will be accessible until the Israel-Palestine conflict is ended.
Israel does not need our money, funding is working against both Israeli and American interests, and Israel is committing crimes against humanity thanks to us, the American taxpayers. There is no reason this funding should be allocated to such a regime, especially when, if still dedicated to foreign aid, these funds could be allocated to humanitarian aid in nations that truly need it. Thank you, now over to whiteflame.
1. Conflict and Leverage
I'm supporting a continued/increased level of funding, and Con's supporting an absolute rejection of military funds to Israel. I say "absolute" because it's up to Con to prove that the situation will change substantively enough that it could no longer be called "the Israel-Palestine conflict." I would argue that has an exceedingly low likelihood of ever being achieved. Hamas has protracted the fighting by launching rockets into Israel, knowing full well that they will inflict no damage and result in retaliation. Hamas has a regular habit of violating even short term ceasefires, and doesn't even seem to be seriously united in their actions, as their military wing and political wing are clearly divided in what they will accept. We see evidence of their expectations in the Hamas Covenent, which clearly supports the obliteration or dissolution of Israel, i.e. they will not accept a 2-state solution. Israel has responded to Hamas with the deaths of 1,000 Palestinians. There are far-rightwing members of the government that would stand for nothing less than total victory in Gaza, and they have substantial control over political decisions.
So there are large and influential bodies on both sides that will settle for nothing short of complete victory. There's no room for agreement in this case because neither side is budging. Unless Con means to explain how both sides will change views that are only becoming more entrenched, the cessation of military aid is absolute for any foreseeable future. Without a clear threshold for returning to giving military aid to Israel, there's no reason to believe that leverage can ever be delivered upon, which means it's not leverage. Only in a world where funds are provided and can be increased is there any incentive structure to act differently.
2. Israeli Benefits
$3 billion equates to a third of Israel's defense budget, though access to U.S. expertise, technology, and surplus equipment is invaluable. With Iran and Syria standing as near constant threats to Israel, particularly from the use of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, putting Israel's defense spending in jeopardy to such a significant degree opens the door to devastating attacks. Israel also receives emergency funds when war erupts and as incentive for positive developments, like the Egypt-Israel peace treaty, the Wye River Memorandum, and the 2005 Gaza withdrawal. Both Israel and the region have benefitted from these developments, and Israel has benefitted from receiving emergency funds and equipment (which ensured their survival without the deployment of any U.S. troops against pro-Soviet Egyptian and Syrian armies ) that would be unavailable in Con's world.
3. Regional Benefits
Let's talk about the strong horse principle. "[T]he strong horse is the person, tribe, country, or nation that is best able to impose its will upon others, the weaker horses, through the use of force." It's been "active for more than a millennium in Arab politics," and it plays out as usually violent struggles between powers in the region. A weak horse invites attack, and a strong horse deters. Most importantly, "the stronger the horse, the greater the deterrence."
Our role as a global strong horse places us in a unique position to elevate powers to that status. In aligning ourselves with a proxy strong horse, we create a stabilizing force in a region without a clear top power, and conversely, if we abdicate that role, we invite aggression. Israel functions as that stabilizing force in status quo, yet our decision to no longer aid their military creates the perception of weakness, which is enough to invite conflict. It also weakens perception of the U.S., as we become an untrustworthy ally. Both Israel and the U.S. have a vested interested in stability and peace in the region, one that's built on democratic values and tolerance, whereas Arab nations are often split by ethnic rivalries that incite hatred and violence against others. While it is far from perfect, Israel easily outdistances other countries in the Middle East on human development and freedom.  Hatred of Israel and Jews in the Middle East is ingrained to the point that any of these being the strong horse results in mass persecution. Generals in the U.S. military recognize this: "In the Middle East, a volatile region so vital to U.S. interests, it would be foolish to disengage " or denigrate " an ally such as Israel."
4. U.S. Benefits
It goes without saying that if we're spending $3 billion a year, we should be getting some returns on it. There are plenty of non-economic benefits, including Israel's consistent record of support in UN votes and support in military operations, something none of our other allies have done to nearly that degree of consistency. The long-standing relationship wasn't built off of nothing: we share democratic values, they have consistently repaid debts, they are a major source of both business deals and tourists to the U.S., we share a broad number of innovations (particularly in high tech), we draw from their talent pools, our trade relationships have dramatically risen in value over time, growing in one decade from $6 billion to $20 billion. It also helps that 95% of U.S. aid to Israel is spent in the U.S., which means that the vast majority of the funds we send to them come back and bolster our economy.
Israel is our closest ally in the Middle East, supporting U.S. policy therein. It's not just location, either. "Israel has consistently been a major security asset to the United States, an asset upon which america can rely, far more so than have been other recipients of American largesse...Israel is arguably the world's leading expert in collecting intelligence on terrorist groups" and we've consistently received intelligence, research and development savings from working with them that value as much as 4X greater than the grants they receive. These benefits apply to counter-terroris efforts and addressing unconventional weapons and cyber-threats. And this value isn't just economic. Their expertise has successfully reduced the effectiveness of improvised explosive devices on our troops, reducing casualties substantailly.
And that's just their intelligence. The Supreme Commander of Nato himself described Israel as "the largest US aircraft carrier, which does not require even one US soldier, cannot be sunk, is the most cost-effective and battle-tested, located in a region which is critical to vital US interests. If there would not be an Israel, the US would have to deploy real aircraft carriers, along with tens of thousands of US soldiers, which would cost tens of billions of dollars annually, dragging the US unnecessarily into local, regional and global conflicts." They provide us with safe and dependable ports and bases in the Middle East, which provide us with a means to deploy troops that reduces costs by trillions of dollars. Their actions also reduce the danger of nuclear arms and terrorism, as well as stabilizing the region to ensure consistent access to Middle Eastern oil and gas. And let's be clear that shifting the money to Muslim nations in the region is more likely to do us harm than it is to benefit us in any way.
Thus, we garner far more from this relationship than the $3 billion we spend per year. At the point that the U.S. decides to renege on its direct support for Israel, they become likely to rescind their own support mechanisms for us because this "is the most tangible manifestation of American support for Israel" and thus we lose all of this value.
Back over to warren42.
Thank you, whiteflame.
I'll be spending this round on rebuttals of my opponent's constructive.
I. Conflict and Leverage
As I stated in my constructive's II-B, the continuation of funding by the United States allows Israel to act with impunity, much as a Chihuahua would if it knew a rottweiler had its back. Our unwavering support allows Israel to continue this conflict, and if we were to halt our support, it would force them to rethink things. I'm sure the politicians on the Israeli side would take a minute to think about repercussions from the international community should they continue to fight without the funding from the United States. If the US did not actively work to protect Israel from UN actions, Israel would be forced to clean up their act.  Additionally, as I stated earlier, they would be more likely to rethink their actions if they had to internalize costs, as there would be less room for superfluous spending. 
II. Israeli Benefits
Although the US subsidies may make up roughly 1/3 of the Israeli defense budget, this is not a problem. As stated in my constructive, a 1% tax increase would cover the amount nicely.  There is no reason we should be funding their fight when they can do it themselves. The extra funds for "positive developments" are not topical, considering in this case these funds would be given should an armistice be reached, therefore not being given during the conflict.
III. Regional Benefits
Pro admits here that Israel is a proxy strong horse. I also proved that their military is three times stronger than Syria and Lebanon combined,  these countries have internal crisis to deal with, and in addition, it is only weaker than a single neighbor, Egypt,  with whom Israel has developed a strategic alliance.  If all else fails, Israel has a nuclear deterrent.  So ultimately, Israel is going to be a regional strong horse no matter the funding we give them, and these regional benefits are not unique to the Pro world. If in the improbable scenario of attack, Israel can and will defend itself effectively and continue to act as one of the stabilizing forces in the region.
IV. US Benefits
Nearly all of these benefits are not unique to the Pro world. If we were to stop military funding for the duration of the conflict, this would not mean business dealings would cease, nor does it mean we could not continue to work with Israeli intelligence on unrelated international matters, including but not limited to international politics of the United Nations, fighting ISIS, al-Qaeda and other mutual enemies, working toward peace in Syria, etc. Nearly all of Pro's US benefits still exist. The only one that doesn't is the 95% (Pro linked the wrong source, so if you couldn't find this don't hold it against him, however there are other articles that claim it to be 75% so we'll go with 85%) of aid given to Israel ending up back in America, However, this isn't actually much of a benefit, considering it could be allocated toward either humanitarian crisis victims, not taken from taxpayers at all, or given back to our own people, instead funding our education system, environmental protection, prison reform, or any number of other domestic programs, meaning 100% would go back to benefit Americans. Ultimately, rescinding our support does not eliminate any of the "benefits" Pro has provided, since Israel needs us just as much, if not more than we need them. When we put conditions on financing in the past, Israel didn't leave the US, but rather adjusted its behavior.
As my opponent's case is negated and mine stands, the resolution is negated. We should not continue to fund Israel militarily during the Israel-Palestine conflict, as it is not worth our money and complicates international relations.
Thanks, back to Pro.
I agree with Con that reducing US debt is good. However, Con's BoP is not to prove that US aid is unnecessary, as he claims, but that it's net harmful. All effects on the US and other countries factor into that assessment, and voters should decide the outcome based on their relative weight. $3 billion would reduce the debt by only a thousandth of a percent. That alone won't make much headway towards solving our debt problems, but the savings we generate, which go into the trillions, certainly do.
II. Need for Aid
Con suggests that a 1% income tax could replace our aid. However, Israel hasn't actually had a tax policy since 2011, and tax hikes like this have become Band-Aid resolutions for budgetary problems. These can affect the economy's forward momentum, debilitating growth and increasing income disparities. With consumption taxes already at 18% and many receiving a negative income tax, a 1% tax rate cuts into necessary funds for those in poverty. Israel is the poorest country in the developed world and has a massive income gap. So these costs will either result in their losing a third of their military funding, or they will reduce their growth, increase poverty and increase the desperation of those in poverty. No amount of efficiency solves for this.
We also cannot underestimate the value of US intelligence, research, technology and surplus equipment. It's only because the US gave them F-16s and Blackhawks that Israel was able to acquire those important military vehicles and upgrade their own weaponry. The Iron Dome system, which has been essential to protecting Israel from rocket attacks launched by Hamas, required $300 million in excess funding. All of these are part of our military aid to Israel, and the equipment is just a form of indirect funding. That would have to stop if Con wanted to send an unambiguous message. That means more short term tax hikes, which enhances the economic problems they face. Again, no amount of efficiency use of funds will solve for this.
As for public opinion, Con"s  only establishes that 1 prominent individual is against it. There"s no impact to that individual"s dissent.
Recall from R2: conditional aid is no aid at all if the condition can never be met. Con provides no means by which the Israel-Palestine conflict is likely to end under any circumstances, yet this is exactly what he has to show if he wishes to claim that his case allows for Israel to be funded again at any point. Lacking that, we should assume that the conflict, which has persisted for almost 70 years, will persist.
My case is the only one with any capacity to alter funding levels. Thus, mine alone can modify behaviors because it's the only one that is responsive to what will realistically happen. Enabling behaviors isn't inherently harmful, particularly if you're enabling good behaviors that would otherwise be viewed as net harmful.
The peace process will be just that: a process. It will occurs in stages. Each stage is going to be difficult, and Israel is going to need incentive to take steps away from its militant right wing. Only my case provides that incentive at each stage in the process with the promise of more funds. Meanwhile, eliminating funds likely would negatively impact the peace process. Israelis and Arabs alike would see it as an erosion of the US-Israel bond, which "would undermine the Israelis' confidence in their American partner and reduce the Arab incentive to negotiate seriously with the Israelis. Most important, it would be virtually impossible to persuade the Israeli public to accept...territorial concessions at a time of cuts in US assistance to Israel." So, whereas my case incentivizes progress on peace, Con's would further entrench both sides in conflict.
Pro argues that Israel's military will continue to be powerful. Two problems. First, Israel won't be able to modernize their military without access to US surplus equipment. Second, the loss of their strongest bond to the US increases the likelihood that they will be tested. They are only a proxy strong horse because the US provides continuous support, and lacking that, other countries are likely to assert their dominance in the region to become the strong horse in the region. That doesn't require direct attacks against Israel. Many of these countries are volatile and have expressed their animosity towards Israel.[15-18] There's no reason to believe these feelings will diminish, nor to believe that these countries will steer clear of conflict when other distractions dissipate. By reducing Israel's strength, Con is thus decreasing the chief means of deterring conflict in the region: the perception that there is and will be only one strong horse
III. American Interests
Con has to show that, in the absence of military funding sent to Israel, other Arab nations would be more receptive to our attempts to establish good relations with them. Nations won't suddenly forget that we've funded Israel for their entire history and are still their allies. Many Arab nations have also expressed animosity towards the US specifically as a result of the Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan Wars, extensive and damaging sanctions, the alienation of Arab troops following Russian withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the continued War on Terror. Relations will not improve from this one action.
Con also has to show how, if they perceive us better, that results in some tangible benefit. Even the aid we've given them has been a mixed bag. The Iran nuclear deal shows that we can still establish good diplomatic relations while supporting Israel. This argument has no impact.
IV. Human Rights
The 2014 Gaza conflict was initiated by repeated missile strikes in Israel. Hamas launched a staggering 353 missiles in the few months prior, 80 on the previous day. Hamas also rejected an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire, so the attacks would have continued. Invasion was the only means to stop it.
Civilian casualties were also unavoidable. Gaza is so densely packed that collateral damage was a certainty. Hamas increased the cost by using civilians as human shields, and much of the damage may have been inflicted by their own rockets.[25-27] So Israel's responsibility for these deaths is split with Hamas, it was absolutely not "military conquest." Responding to explosives launched at your major cities and refusing to occupy the territory in the aftermath is hardly conquest.
Con presents a false dichotomy regarding Israel's response to his case, claiming that they will either reform or go on the war path. Yet Con"s own argument is that a 1% increase in taxation, something he views as insignificant. If it is so simple, why wouldn't they behave the same way they do now, or make other changes to their policy? Both Con and the author of his  assert without warrants or evidence that they would turn to extreme behaviors, and both oversimplify what those behaviors mean. If they tone down their aggression, this will further notions that Israel has become a weak horse, unable to act in the region, even against repeated attacks, without US say-so. An enraged Israel could be even worse. UN resolutions can lead to military intervention, but no nation will even contribute troops to fight ISIS and as UN interventions commonly contribute to violence in the region, this outcome can still result in devastating harms with no clear resolution.[28, 29]
Back to Con
Thank you, whiteflame, for an excellent debate, and should you be the victor of Group D good luck in the rest of the tournament.
For this round I'll essentially be centering the round around the key points made and why those should urge you to vote Con.
In round 3 my opponent argued that if funding is unneccesary this does not mean that I should win this debate but I respectfully disagree. The USFG shouldn't be continuing unneccesary policies. As the great Frank Underwood said "I have no patience for useless things." We shouldn't either.
II. Israel's Need
Financially, Israel can handle this. Pro argues that an across the board hike would hurt poor Israelis. The hike doesn't need to be across the board. It could be, it could be a progressive tax, an estate tax, whatever, as long as it makes up an overall 1% increase in tax revenue. Either way, even if it hurts some Israelis, it can be done. In Pro's rebuttal he also brings up how valuable access to US technology, intel, and research would be stripped of the Israelis, but this is not true. Only military funding would halt. This would include the surplus equipment mentioned, but not any of the intangiables. Ultimately, Israel can do this on their own, so that alone necessitates a Con vote.
III. Israel/Regional Benefits
This will be a compilation of a pair of Pro's points as well as one of my own. As far as regional benefits go, as long as Israel maintains its current military (which I have proven possible above) they will remain a strong horse. Remember that if all else fails, most countries will be deterred as Israel has nukes and they do not, and as far as those who do, mutually assured destruction will ensure the nuclear deterrent. This maintains Israel as a strong horse and proves that no regional or Israeli benefits are unique to Pro. Remember the statistics regarding the Israeli military: 3x stonger than Syria and Lebanon combined, stronger than Iran, weaker than only Egypt, with whom they are aligned.
IV. American Interests
I already proved that by halting unconditional support to Israel, other Arab nations would be less suspicious of America, as we have tainted relationships with them by putting Israel on a pedastol. This would not result in any immeadiate benefits, especially since, as Pro pointed out, our interventionalist policy when it comes to Middle East relations doesn't help our image, but this is a step in the right direction, and would result in eventual benefits when it comes to long-term foreign policy initiatives. Remember that as the resolution pertains specifically to monetary funding as defined in round 1, and indirect monetary funding via surplus equipment, etc. none of the benefits with regards to shared information, close work on foreign relations/UN efforts, etc. are exclusive to Pro and are still achieveable in the Con world.
V. Human Rights Violations
Despite some indications of Hamas strategically maximizing casualties, Pro's idea of civilian casualties being inevitable is definitely his worst point. High population density is not an excuse for a 3:1 civilian to enemy killed ratio. Israel is violating human rights consistently, as documented by the UN and sourced in my constructive and these civilian casualties are not acceptable.
VI. Conditional Funding
Essentially Pro and I are going to have to agree to disagree here. Pro claims that his plan allows the potential for peace. however, what his plan really advocates is essentially to bring Palestine under Israeli control, which would most likely be the result of a more or less annihilation of Palestine if the two sides are as polar as Pro would like you to believe. I however, have proven that the longer we fund Israel, the less likely a two state solution is. The sooner we stop, the better our chances. Vote Con to get the two-state, peaceful resolution to this conflict.
Thank you again to whiteflame, it has been a pleasure debating someone of your caliber. As I said, if you win the group, good luck!
I'm going to rearrange the debate.
This debate regards net benefits for the US, Israel and the Middle East. Con has given no reason beyond his own assertion for why he only has to show that the US doesn't need to provide this aid, and his arguments betray him by focusing on net benefits. Voters should default to a basic net benefits framework because both sides have argued along those lines and because it is the only way to uphold a shared BoP, which Con himself established in R1.
2. Effects on Israel-Palestine Conflict
Con's case lacks any means by which Israel and Palestine can resolve their differences and reach an end to the conflict. He drops my argument that it is impossible to force a rapid peace, ignoring that ardent conservatives in the Israeli government and Hamas will settle for nothing less than a one-state solution. He has argued that Israel will either kowtow or go ballistic in response to the revocation of aid, but both of these are awful. If they kowtow, they will be perceived as a weak horse, incapable of taking action without US say-so and thus weak despite their arsenal. This will disrupt any stability in the Middle East. If they become aggressive, I've explained how no country will intervene, and how any intervention will lead to more violence. This will disrupt any stability in the Middle East. Regardless of which of Con's scenarios you accept, he's causing conflict.
My case retains an essential means for inducing peace. This aid has been and would be used to influence how Israel behaves on a case-by-case basis. Con talks a lot about conditional funding, but as his case relies upon achieving peace without any ability to incentivize milestones, his is doomed to fail. My case can provide incentive at every step of the peace process, increasing the resources they receive to motivate each step forward.
3. Effects on Israel
Con's case engenders substantial economic harms for Israel. I explained how a 1% tax increase causes these. Con ignores the fact that Israel doesn't have a tax policy, and that as a result, tax hikes cause instability that damages their economic growth. Everyone, including those in poverty, will be harmed by the country becoming still poorer and the income gap widening further. Access to surplus equipment is also very important. Con concedes that his case stops these, and in doing so, he ensures that the means by which Israel modernizes its military and defense disappear. This means that Israel will have to engage in yet more fluctuations in its taxation, which supercharges these negative economic harms.
My case can only positively benefit Israel. Con has not cited a single harm that Israel endures from receiving US aid, just that they don't need it. I've shown that the US provides Israel with the ability to modernize its military to address new and growing threats in the region, to avoid severe economic harms, tp ensure better protection for Israeli citizens through projects like Iron Dome, to provide the means to motivate steps towards peace between Israel and Palestine, and to ensure that Israel continues to be the stabilizing force in the region.
4. Effects on US
Con's case will result in Israel rescinding the support they provide to the US in retaliation for the loss of aid. This is entirely unique to Con's case. The assumption that we could remove that support and expect no retaliation whatsoever is predicated on the notion that this support doesn't matter, but I've already explained how the loss affects them and that it is the most tangible manifestation of US support for Israel. Yes, we would remain allies with Israel, but that relationship would be strained. Israel is likely to respond negatively to things that harm them, and to instances where we view them as a liability that we need to back away from, especially when the condition for receiving it again is so clearly out of reach. Even if they continue to provide support, they will scale back on those that do not benefit Israel, like sharing their technology and intel. They are certainly not going to risk their troops and the safety of their ports, which means that unsinkable aircraft carrier vanishes from our arsenal. The value of all of this measures in the trillions, so even if they only limit our access by 1%, we would still be talking about billions lost in value and potentially having to put American troops in harm"s way. Meanwhile, the financial harm to the U.S. is $450 million a year (15% of $3 billion). What we gain from that money is the certainty that Israel will continue to support us without wavering, as it has done for almost 70 years.
Con argues that my case risks perceptual harms, yet he concedes that there are numerous reasons why they would continue to perceive a close connection between the two nations and find fault with the US regardless of its affiliations. He provides no reason to believe that this "step in the right direction" would ever yield results, drops that previous, stronger efforts to improve our relations have yielded no results, and drops that relations are improving with these nations (e.g. the Iran nuclear deal) despite the aid Israel receives. On the human rights point, Con drops all of my analysis that shows that too much of the blame is placed on Israel for civilian casualties, and fails to explain how this 2014 conflict warrants damaging our relationship with Israel. If we want to prevent future conflicts, we need to maintain leverage in some solid form. I retain that leverage, Con abandons it.
5. Effects on Region
Con's case has two possible effects on the region by his own admission. It will either push them to be more aggressive, which is directly destabilizing, or it will push them to seek peace more ardently. If it's the former, the UN cannot solve and is only likely to make things worse. If it's the latter, then Israel becomes a weak horse.
Con argues that the strength of Israel"s military creates regional stability. I've explained why the US tying Israel's hands makes that military useless because they can never use it without US say-so, and that the inability to modernize weakens that military over time. Even nuclear power, which countries know will never be used, engenders conflict.
Con fails to understand the strong horse dynamic. Israel has been made a proxy strong horse by the US, which means its strength is dependent on what the US provides. When the US stops that support, Israel is viewed as weaker because it doesn't have US backing, and the US is viewed as a weak ally. Perception is everything when it comes to the strong horse dynamic: unless the strength of that horse is unassailable, other countries will challenge it. Con dropped that any other nation that tries to become a strong horse will destabilize the region, regardless of their direct success against Israel. Regardless of the unknown crises Con says they are facing, they will seek to increase their influence in the region if they see an opportunity. Con is creating that opportunity.
This debate isn't about whether Israel is morally good or bad. It isn't about any single country. It is about the dynamic between two nations, and the meaning of this specific form of aid. Voters, as you consider the arguments in this debate, you must consider that meaning. I've examined the repercussions of removing that aid, including the direct implications for Israel and the US, as well as the indirect perceptual harms to both countries and the Middle East. We spend $3 billion a year on aid, and what we get in return is magnitudes greater in value. Much of what we, Israel and the region garner from this is beyond value, protecting countless lives from raging conflicts that dominated the region before Israel was made a proxy strong horse. There is no doubt that US aid to Israel is net beneficial.
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