Israel’s The Marker magazine (the Ha’aretz economic publication) published an important report on Sunday, August 17, ’14 on US ‘aid’ to Israel. If you read the small print, you will find exactly the same things that I have been writing for the last two decades: “Today it is clear,” says the report, “despite the fact that no prime minister or Finance Minister will say so – that Israel can live without the grant.”
Please note the graph attached to the The Marker article (above). Until the Six Day War, in the days of shortages and tent camps- an era when Israel real did need all help possible, American aid was approximately 2% of Israel’s GNP. Instead of sending aid, the US reneged on its support of the Partition Plan, opposed the establishment of the State of Israel and declared an arms embargo on fledgling Israel, which was being threatened with destruction by all the Arab armies surrounding it. Only in 1962 did the Americans throw Israel a few bones: left-over Patton tanks from World War II.
When did the trend do a complete turnabout? When did the US begin to sell Israel weapons in strategic quantity and quality? When did Israel begin to receive US military and civilian aid, which increased until it grew to 15% of our GNP?
When we left the ‘occupied territories’?
When we ended the ‘occupation’?
When we destroyed the settlements?
Not exactly…Actually, just the opposite is true. In 1967, Israel captured the Golan Heights (and expelled 60,000 Syrians, established Israeli towns and villages and annexed the Heights) Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem – and the Sinai desert. Suddenly it became America’s favored ally.
But that is not the end of the story. Look at the graph again; the numbers do not lie.
When did US aid to Israel begin to decrease?
The greatest amount of US aid, in grants and loans, was afforded to Israel in one year, 1979, in which the peace accords between Egypt and Israel were signed. According to The Marker, US aid to Israel in that one year was 15.7 billion dollars.
And since then? If we take the US rhetoric literally, then when Israel made peace and surrendered the entire Sinai to Egypt, we should have received more aid. But for some reason, the ‘occupation’ increased the aid, while ‘peace’ brought about its decline.
Today, US ‘aid’ to Israel, entirely military, is at its lowest level ever. Even the leftist Ha’aretz admits that Israel does not really need it. We take this ‘aid’ for psychological reasons (if we have an allowance, that means we have a father) and pay for it dearly; much more than its economic, security and diplomatic benefit.
One thing must be clear. Israel and America do share some common values. It is important to strengthen them on a mutual basis. But we do not receive any aid for being ‘nice guys’. Israel receives US ‘aid’ regardless of how many Gazans were killed. We receive the ‘aid’ because it is in the economic, security and diplomatic interest of the US. When Israel is strong (1967) it is worth America’s while to invest in us. When we retreat (since 1979), the US invests in us less and less.