Settlers offering their children advice on how to handle an Uzi.

The Foreign Policy website’s Middle East Channel has this blissfully simple article today about how American tax money directly finances Israeli persecution and settlement activity, and just how counterproductive this works out to be. This money is often funneled through American or Israeli charities – Christian and Jewish – that goes directly to support settlers in the occupied West Bank. From your checkbook, straight to the frontlines of American foreign policy. Or as the Middle East Channel puts it: “Hundreds of millions of U.S. tax dollars in deductible contributions are funneled into occupied territory through American charities to fund the enterprise that is killing the very peace process the United States aims to champion.”

I don’t know about you, but that stirs up strong associations with the US government’s dogged pursuit of Islamic charities that fund organizations like, say, Hamas or Hezbollah. The New York Times even had an article a week or so ago that I found piquant (GRE word, that one) and horrifying. So what, when it comes down to it, is the real difference? We know, of course, that there are charities giving to fundamentalist groups. But can you really call Hezbollah or Hamas fundamentalist? What about Israeli settlers and their fundamentalist Judaism? In the bigger picture, Israel’s terrorism against Palestinians is more of a threat to our homeland security than what Hezbollah does on Lebanese soil.

As always, there seems to be some kind of imbalanced reckoning going on. A deadly, flawed kind of reckoning.

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