Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Carter Plan

I’ve been thinking more about the idea that the Palestinians need a Marshall Plan to get them back on their feet (I think it should be called the Carter Plan as Jimmy was the guy brave enough to bear the wrath of the Lobby and write some of the truth about Israel).  Unfortunately, the reason it will never happen is that it is such a good idea.  Simultaneously, the United States would regain almost all of the goodwill it has lost in recent years (it would also have to get its troops out of Iraq), the Palestinians would have a chance at building a normal and prosperous country, and the Israelis would lose most of their security concerns as the Palestinians would have better things to do than to be angry at Israel. 

It will require an enormous amount of money to undo the damage caused by the Israelis.  Even if Israel completely withdraws from the Occupied Territories, the minimum step required for peace in the Middle East, it will leave behind a society so battered by years of Zionist brutality that there is a real danger of it falling into radicalism.  This was exactly the thinking behind the Marshall Plan:  restoring Europe to prosperity was regarded by American planners as necessary to keep the Europeans out of the ideological sway of the Soviets.

How would the Americans pay for it?  Obvious, isn’t it?  The Americans would simply have to redirect some of the billions of dollars in aid it gives to Israel each year.  Israel won’t need it, as peace with the Palestinians will greatly reduce the real Israeli need for military expenditures (just think of the money Israel would save in not having to use the IDF to brutalize the Palestinians).  The net outlay for the United States would be about the same (but would have an end, unlike the never-ending parasitism of Israel), but instead of buying world-wide enmity, the Americans would restore their lost reputation, largely originally built by the Marshall Plan, as being a beacon of hope for the world.  If Americans need a big project other than starting wars, the Carter Plan would be a good place to start.