Tuesday, August 09, 2016

The Cost of US Aid to Israel

By Daniel Feith
(Political–Economic prospective - from Harvard Israel Review, 2006)

The close relationship between Israel and the United States was born out of Cold War tensions projected onto the regional conflict in the Middle East. Following the 1967 war, relations between Israel and its neighbours remained tense and by 1970, Israel found itself entangled in war of attrition with its southern neighbour Egypt. The US, implementing its policy of containment at the time, was competing with the Soviet Union for influence in regions around the world... (Not because of a friendly attitude toward Israel, which most US governments never had!)

The alliance between Israel and the US grew stronger through the 1970s as Soviet support of Arab states continued and as regional tensions peaked during the Yom Kippur War, and that alliance remains strong today. With its $3 billion annual aid package, Israel today receives more aid on better terms than any other nation in the world... (Current aid the US provides to Muslim, Arab and even Islamic countries which support terrorism is much higher than Israel receives).

However, some critics of aid to Israel assert that today the Cold War has been over for more than a decade and that Israel no longer has value to the US as a buffer against Soviet expansion. Yet American aid continues to flow to Israel. At the same time, critics on the opposite end of the political spectrum argue that while aid to Israel may be tied to the best of intentions, it does more harm than good to the Jewish State by propping up a big and one efficient government and making Israel dependent upon the US...

Israel has been a loyal ally to the US and, through its strength, a stabilizing force in an otherwise volatile region. Although Israel’s very existence has fuelled numerous conflicts in the Middle East... Operating on the principle that Israel is here to stay and should stay, US aid to Israel has yielded enormous strategic dividends for the US.

By creating a regional imbalance of power favouring Israel, aid has curbed Arab military aggression and prevented situations namely full-blown war between Israel and its neighbours in which the US might need to deploy troops to the Middle East. For these reasons (only), the military assistance Israel has received is most appropriately judged in light of US strategic defense spending, such as the costs of basing troops in South Korea, and not in comparison to the foreign aid budget... (The US has been using Israel to maintain stability or creates instability, using aggression of Arab/Muslim neighbours, in the oil-rich region! If enemies of Israel knew that the US dooes tolerate aggression against Israel, the Arab-Israel conflict would be over long time ago – remember Bosnia and Herzegovina!)

A Jerusalem-based think tank focused on promoting free market reforms in Israel, has argued that US aid to Israel, both economic and military, slows economic growth (since 1973) by supporting Israel’s socialist system... (It is time, long overdue, to review the skewed, ‘golden handcuffs’, US-Israel relationship!)

Munich Agreement didn't Prevent WWII

Israel's Defense Ministry responded to Barack Obama's claim that even Israel acknowledges this fact that the nuclear deal signed between Iran and the West had been successful in improving the security situation in the Middle East. "The Munich Agreement did not prevent the Second World War and the Holocaust, precisely because their basic premise, that Nazi Germany could be a partner to some agreement, was incorrect and because the world's leaders at the time ignored the blunt remarks of Hitler and other Nazi leaders."

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