You’re paying for the Israel war. You’ll also pay for the refugees
The United States regime has picked sides in the Israel-Hamas war and has committed to funding Israel’s ongoing bombing of non-combatant men, women, and children in the Gaza strip. Northern Gaza’s infrastructure is now all but destroyed, with millions of Gazans displaced and homeless. Nearly ten times more Gazans than Israelis have now died in the conflict. Many Gazans have fled to the southern portion of Gaza, but homelessness and abject poverty awaits them there.
(Article by Ryan McMaken republished from Mises.org)
By employing what is essentially the carpet-bombing approach, Tel Aviv has made the choice of adopting a policy that is sure to produce hundreds of thousands of refugees—or perhaps even more than a million. Indeed, many in the Israeli regime are motivated to maximize refugees, and push Gazans out of the country altogether using the Orwellian phrase “voluntary migration.”
On a military, tactical level, the Israeli state will have no problem accomplishing this. Tel Aviv has an air force, a deep reservoir of American-funded weapons, and a nuclear arsenal. The Israeli military can easily reduce all of Gaza to rubble. But what is sure to result from this is a humanitarian disaster accompanied by a global debate over which foreign country will host the refugees.
Israeli mouthpieces are already at work pushing the cost onto foreign taxpayers, including American ones. This week, two Israeli politicians—one from the militarist Likud party, and one from the center-left Yesh Atid party—took to the pages of The Wall Street Journal to demand that “countries around the world should offer a haven for Gaza residents who seek relocation.” According to these politicians, “[t]he international community”—i.e., not Israel—”has a moral imperative” to resettle Gazans somewhere outside Israel at not-Israel’s expense.
It is significant these claims appeared in an American publication. Tel Aviv is the latest welfare-queen regime—in the tradition of Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky—repeatedly haranguing the American public with demands for free money. It’s no coincidence that Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu is now seemingly ubiquitous on American prime-time news programs. His primary job right now is to demand money and favors from Washington and from other Western regimes.
It will probably work. Americans should get ready for plane-loads of Gaza refugees arriving in their cities, funded by the American taxpayers who can now barely afford to keep up with the price of groceries. This will be sold as a “humanitarian” effort, but anyone who sees through the propaganda will see that it’s really all a cynical effort to please pro-Israel interest groups and Israeli politicians.
A Pattern of War and Refugees
This was all predictable from the minute the war started last month.
The US and its allies have settled into a predictable pattern in foreign policy over the past thirty years: force the taxpayers to pay for the regime’s wars which involve bombing various poor foreign countries “back into the stone age.” Then, once the refugees start pouring out—and the Americans have lost the war, of course—Western regimes then tell the taxpayers back home to cough up even more money to pay for resettlement of all those refugees whose countries were needlessly destroyed by the bombs dropped by Washington and its allies.
This is no small phenomenon. A 2020 report from Brown University estimated that 37 million people have been made refugees by the US-led “War on Terrorism.” By 2016, 5.2 million of them reached Europe. In 2022 alone, more than 159,000 refugees arrived by sea in Italy, Greece, Spain, Cyprus, and Malta. Thousands more arrive at the land borders of the EU every year.
Thanks to the distance from western Asia and North Africa, refugees totals have been smaller in the United States. Nonetheless, the total number of refugees has ranged from 50,000 to 90,000 per year in most years since the US began its war in Afghanistan. This has transformed a number of communities in the United States, however, since refugees often tend to concentrate in specific places along ethnic or religious lines. In the decades of the US’s endless on-again, off-again military meddling in Somalia, tens of thousands of Somali refugees have been relocated to Minnesota at taxpayers’ expense. Since 2018, Minnesota has hosted more than 40,000 Somalia-born migrants (many classified as refugees). Most of the refugees, of course, are concentrated within Minneapolis’ metro population of only 3.5 million. In democracies, this has political consequences.
It is also important to remember that migrants who enjoy the legal status of refugees are not normal immigrants. Ordinary immigrants arrive at the United States at their own expense. The vast majority must find work on their own if they wish to have an income. They are eligible for few social benefits. Those seeking legal residency, of course, must go through a lengthy administrative process. For example, Mexicans who obtain a work visa in the United States have to work. They don’t show up and receive “free” help from government-funded refugee agencies in finding jobs, apartments, and other government freebies.
In contrast, all of that is fast-tracked for people labeled “refugee” by the federal government, and most of these refugees are immediately eligible for a wide array of taxpayer funded benefits. In total, this all costs the taxpayers nearly two billion dollars per year, or $80,000 per refugee per year in the form of federal and state programs including food stamps, child care, and public housing.
It’s not enough that you pay for the bombs that create the refugees, dear American taxpayer. You’ll also have to pay to resettle those refugees in your town.
Read more at: Mises.org