2013 Budget: “Difficult Cuts” for Americans, Gravy for Israel

by Josh Ruebner

Speaking before students at Northern Virginia Community College on February 13, President Obama unveiled his 2013 budget request, in which he proposed “some difficult cuts that, frankly, I wouldn’t normally make if they weren’t absolutely necessary.  But they are.”  These budget cuts are unavoidable, the President argued, because “the truth is we’re going to have to make some tough choices in order to put this country back on a more sustainable fiscal path.” In a sad commentary on the misplaced priorities of the Obama Administration, however, these “tough choices” will affect the delivery of basic services to U.S. citizens while the Israeli military hits the jackpot at taxpayer expense.

As part of its budget request, the White House released a 205-page document detailing the cuts, consolidations, and savings the Obama Administration is proposing.  These proposed cuts include $5 million to the USDA to analyze food-borne pathogens, potentially making the U.S. food supply even less safe than it already is after 30 people died last year after eatinglisteriainfected cantaloupe; a $359 million cut to the EPA to provide grants to states for water infrastructure projects when an estimated 1.7 million Americans shockingly lack access to basic water and sanitation services according to the Water Infrastructure Network; and a whopping $360 billion cut over ten years in Medicare, Medicaid, and other health programs even though the World Health Organization rates the U.S. health system as only 37th globally in health care performance.

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Gazans Forced to Farm in No Man’s Land

The Gaza Strip is narrow, elongated, and densely populated. One of the main agricultural areas in the Gaza Strip runs along the eastern border with Israel, adjacent to the perimeter fence. In recent years, B’Tselem has gathered testimonies indicating that the Israeli security forces have defined broad swaths of these areas as no-go zones, where the open-fire regulations permit live fire at anyone who enters, even persons who pose no danger. This clip was filmed by Muhammad Sabah and Khaled ‘Azayzeh, B’Tselem.

Continue reading “Gazans Forced to Farm in No Man’s Land”