A BREAKDOWN OF UNITED STATES AID TO ISRAEL
The Israeli government is the largest recipient of US financial aid in the world, receiving over one-third of total US aid to foreign countries4, even though Israels population comprises just .001% of the worlds population and has one the worlds higher per capita incomes.
Since 1949 the US has given Israel a total of $84,854,827,200. The interest costs born by US taxpayers on behalf of Israel are $49,937,000,000 making the total amount of aid given to Israel since 1949 $134,791,507,200 (more than $134 billion).5
The total cost of this financial aid to US tax payers per Israeli is $23,240.
Since 1992, the US has offered Israel an additional $2 billion in loan guarantees every year.6
Nearly all past loans to Israel have been forgiven leading Israel to claim that they have never defaulted on repayment of a US loan with most loans made on the understanding that they would be forgiven before Israel was required to repay them.
In 1997 alone, the total of US grants and loan guarantees to Israel was $5.5 billion, i.e., $15,068,493 per day.
The United States provides direct and indirect military aid to Israel totalling more than it gives to all the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean put together, whose combined total population is 1,054,000,000.
According to a US Department of Defence Joint Report to Congress in March 2001, It is in the United States national interest to promote the existence of a stable, democratic and militarily strong Israel, at peace with its neighbours .7 According to a US State Department statement in November 2002, the US government is committed to maintaining and enhancing Israels security and qualitative edge over any combination of adversaries and the important advantages the US-Israeli strategic relationship has and will continue to provide us.8
Foreign Military Financing (FMF) is grants to foreign governments financing the purchase of American-made weapons, services and training. Israel receives 50% of the FMF budget request. The large sums paid by the US to Egypt and Jordan are in recognition of the two countries signing peace accords with Israel in 1979 and 1994 respectively.
FMF Budget Request FY 2001
tTotal budget request
_\tBudget request for Israel
_\tBudget request for Egypt
_\tBudget request for Jordan\t$75 million
The Economic Support Fund (ESF) promotes economic and political stability in areas strategically important to the US. It is not intended for military usage, but allows the recipient government to free up other money, therefore providing indirect military aid. Israel receives the largest single grant of the Near East budget, which alone is 79% of the total ESF request.
ESF Budget Request, FY 2001
_Total budget request
Budget request for Near East
_$1.828 billion, including:
18 of the 92 pending arms sales transfers in the year 2000 were to Israel;
Israel has the worlds largest fleet of F-16s outside the US, currently possessing 200 jets -- with a further 102 on order with American manufacturer Lockheed Martin;
In June 2001 Israel again requested $800 million in supplementary US aid. This was originally pledged to cover the cost of the Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon in other words, Israel was being paid for complying with international law. As Israel re-requests this package, administration officials have considered linking it to the implementation of the Mitchell Report, again effectively paying Israel to comply with international standards;9
Private donations to American charities initially constituted one quarter of Israels budget. Today, it is estimated that these tax-deductible donations exceed $1.5 billion per year. The ability of Americans to make what amounts to tax deductible contributions to a foreign government does not exist for any other country.
US aid to Israel: A violation of US law
US law prohibits the President from providing military aid to any country that engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognised human rights.10 Under the 1967 US Arms Export Control Act, it is illegal to use US weapons to carry out extra-judicial killings. This act stipulates that weapons be sold to friendly countries solely for internal security and legitimate defence.
Since September 2000, the Israeli army has used attack helicopters, tanks and F-16 missiles to target Palestinian civilians, homes, forces, buildings and in demonstrations. In its Human Rights Report, the US State Department declared that Israeli army actions were an excessive use of force, noting that the Israeli forces used live ammunition, even when they were not in imminent danger, and that the Israeli military shelled PA institutions and Palestinian civilian areas in response to individual Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians or settlers.
The Israeli governments policies in the occupied Palestinian territories have been condemned by human rights organisations worldwide. The Israeli armys excessive use of force towards Palestinian civilians and its policy of state assassinations violate international human rights law. In supplying military aid to such a state, the US is violating its own laws.
1 CIA World Factbook, July 2001
2 Zunes, Stephen, The Strategic Function of US Aid to Israel (Washington Report on the Middle East December 2002)
4 Washington Report on the Middle East December 2002
5 Ibid, as of 1 November 1997.
7 Foreign Military Training and DOD engagements, Activities of Interest, vol. 1, (fiscal year 1999-2000), Joint Report to Congress, March 1, 2001. Full text available through Federation of American Scientists website
8 US promises Israel $2.16 billion military aid 2004, Reuters, 21 November 2002
9 The Jerusalem Post, 28/6/01
10 22 USC 2304(a)