Skip to comments.Israel should give up US military aid
Posted on 01/23/2011 10:06:04 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
Israel should give up US military aid
It would be wise for Israel to take the initiative, before Tea Party Republicans make a move.
19 January 11 15:06, Ran Dagoni, Washington
The time has come to bid goodbye to the military aid that the US extends to Israel, that generous package (currently worth $3 billion) that enables the Israeli taxpayer to share the cost of procuring equipment for the IDF with the US taxpayer. Israel should itself initiate the process of detachment from the Washington breast. It should be done gradually, on terms that will enable Israel to wean itself off this intoxicating milk, before the Americans take action, on their terms. Israel won't collapse. There is a precedent. In 1996, Benjamin Netanyahu, in his first term as prime minister, decided the time was ripe to end US civilian aid. "We could not look the Americans in the eye and request support for a developed economy like Israel's," he told me once, "but military aid is another story." And thus it was. Under an agreement signed in 1998, civilian aid was reduced in set tranches, until it disappeared altogether in 2008, and at the same time, military aid was gradually increased. Netanyahu announced the Israeli gesture before Congress, won applause, and chalked up a lot of merit points for Israel in the US.
Switching the emphasis from civilian aid to military aid marked recognition of the continuing friendship between Jerusalem and Washington in the face of the security challenges Israel had to cope with, and also of the substantial contribution that most of the aid money made to generating jobs in those states that produce the weapons of destruction that Israel buys with it. (If anyone wants to call the aid a subsidy to US defense firms, laundered via Israeli banks, good luck to them.)
But although Israel's security challenges have not lessened, but only changed, and perhaps even grown, the Israel of 2011 is not the Israel of 1998, or even of 2008, and the US too is not what it was. Certain political and economic developments, some of which have gathered pace in the past six months, make the US military aid no longer defensible.
Israel is about to become a world gas power. The Mediterranean will fill up the Ministry of Finance's coffers with billions of dollars a year. The IMF praises the strength of the Israeli economy, and the Ministry of Finance expects growth to rise. The US, by contrast, is bleeding red ink. The rating agencies are sounding ugly hints, the IMF preaches, and the Federal authorities and the states are wielding the axe of fiscal cuts. Nearly everything is under the guillotine. The US Department of Defense has announced a cut of $78 billion in its budget, a step not far from cutting the live flesh. Policemen, firemen, and teachers are being laid off. People have died because of health budget cuts.
In the background is the dramatic rise of the Tea Party movement, which runs on the adrenaline of burning aspiration to shrink the government and balance the budget. Dozens of the new Republican legislators in Congress hate the institution of foreign aid, of which Israel, as is well known, is the largest client.
New Republican senator Rand Paul, a Tea Party star, has already informed representatives of AIPAC, the pro-Israeli lobby in Washington, that he and they will have to agree to disagree on aid to Israel. His ability to push legislation through will be limited, because the Republicans are still a minority in the new Senate. But Paul is liable to ignite a public debate on the aid to Israel. He is liable to stress, for example, that Israel is not some starving country, but a global gas giant that continues to rely on US charity. Israel will not profit from a campaign like that.
Doubtless Israel enjoys, and will continue to enjoy, strong support in Congress, but when things are being said about damage to Social Security, for example, legislators are liable to come to the conclusion that their own needy come first.
Netanyahu should therefore repeat his 1996 exercise. A declaration by Israel that it is prepared to forego the military aid will not only be a public relations coup. It will also enable Israel to negotiate the terms on which aid will cease: a gradual reduction over, say, ten years; a US guarantee mechanism that will enable Israel to raise money on the markets at low interest rates in order to procure military equipment; and/or a greater say for Israel on what military items will be stored in the US Army's emergency arms depots in Israel, and more flexible access for Israel to these depots.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 19, 2011
Israel deserves that money, period. They’re the strongest opponents of radical Islam and terrorism.
You should understand that this “military aid” is not what it seems. It is a way of generating revenue for US defense contractors. It’s called Foreign Military Sales (FMS.) Sure they get 3 billions. But, with the proviso that they spend the money here. This does make America stronger and gives us influence.
Whether it’s good, moral or ethical are different questions. But understand, this three billion dollars is spread across a lot of Congressional districts and represents in the aggregate thousands of jobs. Also, if you’re cutting off Israel, what about the hundreds of other countries? Why are we just talking about Israel?
On the Israeli side, they’re better off without the strings that come attached to this “gift.”
This is just an Obamaism and his move to push Israel out of the way and get that 2 state thingie going.
The “Tea Party,” whatever the heck this unorganized group of freedom seeking folks are, is NOT anti-Israel.
For anti-semites, you need only look at the democrat party.
So stop aid to Israel, but continue aid to Egypt, Saudi, and other muslim countries? Ron Paul and others of that ilk need a quick drug test. IMHO.
Of all the foreign aid crap we fund,, Israel is of course, first on the list to cut.
US Aid to Israel Not Worth the Real Cost, Researcher Says
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Israel is paying through the nose for US aid and would better off without it, says a researcher for the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies (JIMS).
American aid to Israel to the tune of $3 billion a year has been maligned by many U.S. conservatives and by the Arab world, but Israel actually loses more than it receives, according to JIMS analyst Yarden Gazit.
U.S. aid is a net loss for Israel and Israel would be better off without it, he concluded in his report, released on Wednesday.
Gazit explained that the conditions for the military assistance are designed to help the American military-industrial complex at the expense of the Israeli defense industry.
One condition of the American aid to Israel is that three-quarters of the grant be spent in the United States. The ‘buy US’ requirement causes Israel to buy defense products at a high price, sometimes even products Israel may not need,” Gazit wrote. He calculated the loss to the Israeli defense industry at $600-750 million per year.
The use of American materials instead of those from Israel also hurts competitiveness in Israel and on the world market, according to JIMS. Not using domestic materials for the IDF hurts Israeli industrys reputation on the international market and may cause a loss of sales, the report added.
JIMS forecasts that if Israel does not forfeit the American aid, it risks losing out on the growing Chinese and Indian market for Israeli products. Those countries will be under pressure to shop in the United States in light of American economic problems and its bloated federal budget.
Gazit also pointed out that Israel is forced spend more than $3 billion a year to retain a qualitative edge over Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan, which also receives massive aid from the United States.
Every dollar granted to Egypt requires Israel to spend between $1.60 and $2.10 to maintain the balance of power, according to JIMS.
Screw the military contractors because ALL of the line workers are all union and all pro-Democrat and Obama.
I knew someone who got a line job for a major defense contractor. The line scum were all Dems. They tried to hide they were not Dem. After a month they were sure the person was not a Dem and drove them out.
... and this is just a fraction of it.
And for every dollar Obama sends to Hamas for suicide bombers, etc., the balancing defense spend required by Israel must be enormous.
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
From Israel's perspective this makes sense. Among other things, it opens the world's markets to Israeli arms without American interference.
“Screw the military contractors because ALL of the line workers are all union and all pro-Democrat and Obama.”
I don’t know what percentage of my defense contractor money has come from FMS, but certainly some. Very few of the Caucasian white collar workers at my facility are Democrats. The black (or, is it African-American? I get lost on what the latest term is.) white collar workers are all sent to diversity school and have many more benefits (like not having to be there 40 hours to charge the government 40 hours) than Caucasians, so, yes, they’re Democrats. The line workers are union in union states, but mostly non-union in right to work states. Line workers tend to be from the lower economic entitled classes, so, yes, they’re Democrats. I’ve made certain that every one I talk to on the “line” knows they’re being laid off because the Obama administration has decided to stop buying spares for the military. (As did Clinton and Carter before him.)
I’d hesitate to use your reasoning to make decisions such as cutting FMS or military programs. At the very least, you’d throw out the baby with the bath water. At best (10 yard penalty for mixed metaphors) it’s cutting off our collective noses to spite our non-collective faces.
No, stop aid to all of them.
Why in God's name have we been supporting both sides in these spats? Why are we paying both sides for their failure to work out their problems?
Rewarding failure is poor policy and rewarding these countries for their joint failures is a mistake.
Then stand back and watch our nation heal.
That money comes with enough strings attached that it’s really not worth it. How many surplus M-16s do we need here? The new wave of guns can shoot around corners, and they’re being issued to IDF troops already. I’d say do it already. Israel will be stronger without it. How much direct US military aid did we have in 1948? Private donors was all.
Makes sense, Israel is THE ONLY country that pays us back in full for aid. We can’t have that now can we! Sheesh
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