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Is there an emerging religious fundamentalism in the Israeli army?

March 26, 2009

Andrew Sullivan at the Atlantic reviews an article by Christopher Hitchens at Slate that discusses growing religious fundamentalism in the Israeli army. While both decry-I think appropriately– what they see as the nefarious consequences of this development, both oddly recommend that the US cut off any aid to Israel that could potentially be used to finance an extension of the settlements which are at the heart of the fundamentalist’s concerns. I say that this recommendation is odd because of the impracticality of limiting aid to Israel based on the manner in which it will be used. Money is, after all, fungible. And Israel, as a recipient of large amounts of US aid, isn’t lacking in resources if it chooses to extend the settlements. The real challenge is limiting the influence of the most extreme elements of the Israeli army, and that can’t be done simply by the addition of a restrictive condition onto the aid given to Israel.

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