All US aid programs, whether military or economic, have built-in mechanisms to prevent the recipient countries from using that aid to commit human rights abuses. Despite this, military aid to Israel is given unconditionally.
Israel has been the largest annual recipient of direct US economic and military assistance since 1976 and the largest total recipient since World War II.1
While US economic aid to Israel has diminished in the last 10 years, the level of US military support to Israel has substantially increased. This includes financial military aid. 2 (People in Massachusetts could significantly benefit if this money were redirected to affordable housing, jobs, early childhood education, health care, etc.3)
The US has signed an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding ) with Israel to provide $30 billion in military aid between 2009 and 2018.4 This is slightly more than $3 billion per year and represents a more than 25% increase over preexisting military financing to Israel.
But Israel wants more. In March 2011, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak asked the US for an additional $20 billion so that Israel could upgrade its security for the next generation.5
Contrary to ordinary US policy, Israel has been and continues to be allowed to use approximately 25% of this military aid to purchase equipment from Israeli manufacturers. According to the Congressional Research Service, “no other recipient of US military assistance has been granted this benefit.” Thanks in part to this indirect US subsidy, Israel’s arms industry has become one of the strongest in the world. “Between 2001 and 2008 it was the seventh largest arms supplier to the world with sales worth a total of $9.9 billion.”6
Contributing to the arms race between India and Pakistan, Israel made $2 billion in arms sales to India, including Israeli missile systems that were developed with US tax dollars.7 Israel has also exported military technology to China against the interests of the US.8
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