Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Why do tiny Pacific states support Israel?

Ross K asked a good question in my post about how UN member states voted on granting Palestine non-member statehood recognition.  The Pacific island microstates of Palau, Nauru, Federated States of Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands all voted with the U.S. and Israel.  Why?

Money.  American money.

Palau has a population of 20,956.  Its GDP is $164m.  It received $852 million in aid from the U.S. over the last 15 years.

Micronesia has a pop. of 111,000.  Its GDP is $341m.  It will receive $100m a year in direct assistance from the U.S. through 2023.  Micronesia gets another $100m annually from us in federal grants and services.

Marshall Islands has 68,000 people.  Its GDP is $115m.  It will get $70m per year from us through 2023.

And what about tiny Nauru?  Australia, not the U.S., is its main benefactor.  But Nauru's vote is for sale.  In exchange for $50m from the Russians, Nauru recognized the breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.  So either the U.S. or Israel is about to generously donate millions in aid to Nauru.

So it's money, right?


John L said...

Sure is!

Ross K said...

Filthy lucre, huh? Some interesting tidbits in this article: http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=545618

Micronesia's support for the United States is also reflected in the share of recruits it provides for the US military. According to one estimate, 1,000-1,500 of its 107,000 citizens are enlisted and have suffered as much as five times as many casualties as US-born soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq.

...Palau was "grateful to the US for giving them independence, without any violence. The support they give to the US is mutual, since they agreed to a defense relationship, which means the US can establish bases there, if necessary.”

The list of European abstainers disappointed me too (UK,Poland,Netherlands, etc), but again there are so many vested interests you can't really be surprised