Washington is preparing to increase US aid to Israel by billions of dollars, with a ten-year ironclad agreement that couldn’t be altered by President Obama’s successor.
While Donald Trump is fervently pro-Israel, he has said that the Israelis, like our NATO allies, are going to have to start paying for their own defense. This [being an election year] the uncertainty has the present Administration and Israel racing to sign an agreement before President Obama’s term is up in January. And it also has inspired the inclusion of a novel clause: a ten-year guarantee that aid will remain at the agreed level, with no possibility that the new President–whoever that may be–will lower it.
The Israelis currently receive over half the foreign aid doled out by Uncle Sam annually, most of it in military assistance with an extra added dollop for “refugee resettlement.” That combined with loan guarantees comes to roughly $3.5 billion per year–with all the money handed to them up front, in the first weeks of the fiscal year, instead of being released over time like other countries.
So how much is this increase going to amount to? … The New York Times is reporting the final sum could “top $40 billion.” And aside from the “haggling”–as the Times put it–over the amount, there is another issue: the Israeli exception to a rule that applies to all other recipients of American aid. Other countries must spend their welfare check in dollars–that is, they must buy American. Not the Israelis. They’re allowed to spend up to 25% of their aid package at home.
Glenn Greenwald points out in The Intercept, the Israelis have cradle-to-grave health care. Their life-expectancy is nearly a decade longer than ours. Their infant mortality rate is lower. By any meaningful measure, their standard of living is higher. They should be sending us aid: instead, the opposite is occurring. What in the heck is going on here?
[excerpts of Antiwar.com article by Justin Raimondo]
This entry was posted in International Cooperation by Grant Montgomery.