Monday, December 09, 2002

John sends this Christian Science Monitor tabulation of what Israel has cost the USA. It says, "Since 1973, Israel has cost the United States about $1.6 trillion. If divided by today's population, that is more than $5,700 per person."

The WSJ blog responds: "In 1981 Israel destroyed Iraq's Osirak reactor, setting back Saddam Hussein's quest for nuclear weapons. How much money and how many lives did this end up saving America?"

I think that it is good that someone is tabulating the costs, so people can re-evaluate whether supporting Israel is worth it. The case can be made that creation of the state of Israel in 1948 was all a big mistake. But cost calculation is very tricky because we don't know the alternative. Suppose we abandoned Israel, and supported the Arab countries in driving the Jews out of the area. Would Arab terrorism stop? Would crude oil be cheaper? Would Mideast Arab countries suddenly become peaceful and friendly? I don't know. Seems doubtful to me.

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