|Most Americans have no idea that Israel receives more foreign aid money from the US than any other nation—and almost all of it military aid. The figures noted in the graphic and in this article come from a Congressional Research Service report, "U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel", released in April of this year. This report notes: "Some observers, including opponents of U.S. aid to Israel, argue that U.S. assistance to Israel supports Israeli arms purchases without providing sufficient scrutiny of controversial Israeli military actions that—these observers assert—contravene various laws and international norms, particularly regarding treatment of Palestinians."|
But most Americans would be surprised to learn that the Israeli military receives a substantial subsidy (about $3 billion) each year, from American taxpayers, who have paid Israel more than $121 billion in total aid going back to 1949, about $70 billion of which has been in the form of military grants to Israel, with much of that money paid in the years since 9/11.
This is ironic, if you think about it, because without such robust and deadly military support from the United States to Israel, the 9/11 attack likely would never have happened in the first place. And nor would the last 13 years of overwhelmingly bloody idiocy in American foreign policy, as the US blundered from one insane horror show, like Bush’s Iraq War, to another.
The very existence of al-Qaeda was inspired by a hatred of the West and what many Muslims viewed as US crimes against Islam, the chief example of which was the unquestioning support the United States has shown to the terrorist occupation army of Israel.
Osama bin Laden said, in his 2002 letter explaining to Americans his motive for ordering the 9/11 attack:
“The British handed over Palestine [in 1948], with your help and your support, to the Jews, who have occupied it for more than 50 years; years overflowing with oppression, tyranny, crimes, killing, expulsion, destruction and devastation. The creation and continuation of Israel is one of the greatest crimes, and you are the leaders of its criminals…Each and every person whose hands have become polluted in the contribution towards this crime must pay its price, and pay for it heavily.”Many Israelis were no doubt pleased the 9/11 attacks occurred, because they viewed al-Qaeda, and its claim to be defending Palestinians, as discrediting the Palestinian cause, and they saw the attacks against the US as a guarantee that military support money from America to Israel would keep flowing.
A recent Reuters report explains that government budget-cutting in Israel, in alignment with “a five-year austerity plan” of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, means Israel is depending on the United States to make up the difference in defense cuts.
Even as the United States itself is struggling with budget cuts to all programs, including the military, US National Security Advisor Susan Rice explained the US considers its military support of Israel to be an “investment”:
“Our two nations are forever bound by our shared history and our shared values, and every American dollar spent on Israel's security is an investment in protecting the many interests that our nations share.”Most Americans also assume that the continued US support for Israel, even the substantial subsidizing of Israel’s military by the US, is somehow in the interest of the United States.
But is this a clear assessment of the facts, based on a clear understanding of shared, and divergent, national interests? Or is it a disastrous evasion from common sense, caused by Israel’s continuing ability to derange, to the point of self-destructiveness, America’s Middle East policy?
Why, for example, do Americans support Israel and not the Palestinians?
Do Americans even know the answer to this—any more than they know they have been giving massive amounts of money to enable Israel to commit the most horrific crimes against one of the poorest, most oppressed, people on the face of the Earth?
Money is policy. And policy has consequences.
Americans need to know what their country is supporting, and more importantly to know why it is doing so. Otherwise, Americans will continue to be bewildered about what is happening in the world and will find themselves once again needing to ask—“Why do they hate us?”
Maybe one of the answers is that for far too long the US has been supporting the wrong side in the most influential conflict of the past half-century. It is difficult for nations to admit they have been so wrong for so long. But it is madness for the US to stay the course of militarily funding the terror-state Israel.