This week, officials from both the U.S. and Israel finalized an historic military aid deal; promising $37 billion in assistance over the next ten years — the largest sum ever delivered by America to its preeminent middle eastern ally. Israel has a long history of being a top beneficiary of U.S. foreign aid. A report published last year by the Congressional Research Service showed that Israel has been the top cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign aid since just after World War II.
President Obama, whose relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has often been viewed as “tortured,” was forthcoming with positive comments about this new “Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)” between the two nations.
“Both Prime Minister Netanyahu and I are confident that the new MOU will make a significant contribution to Israel’s security in what remains a dangerous neighborhood,” Obama said. “The continued supply of the world’s most advanced weapons technology will ensure that Israel has the ability to defend itself from all manner of threats.”
“It is because of this same commitment to Israel and its long-term security that we will also continue to press for a two-state solution to the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict, despite the deeply troubling trends on the ground that undermine this goal,” Obama continued.
“As I have emphasized previously, the only way for Israel to endure and thrive as a Jewish and democratic state is through the realization of an independent and viable Palestine. Ultimately, both this MOU and efforts to advance the two-state solution are motivated by the same core U.S. objective of ensuring that Israelis can live alongside their neighbors in peace and security.”
Some prominent statesmen have been critical of the U.S. foreign aid policy; citing the problematic situation existing when a nation (already $17 Trillion in debt) is sending billions of dollars a year out to foreign powers. Former congressman Ron Paul is one such detractor.
We should be friends with Israel, and I don’t think we do a very good job at it. But I don’t think giving money to our friends is the right thing to do. I’m against all foreign aid, and if we cut out all the foreign aid today we would cut out 7 times more foreign aid from the enemies of Israel. But I wouldn’t give foreign aid to Israel. I want Israel to have their own national sovereignty. I don’t want them to depend on us either for the money which socializes their economy and they’re in financial trouble as well, and I don’t want them to depend on us to tell them how to draw up their peace treaties or what to do with their borders. So yes, we should have friendship with them, we should trade with them, but total dependence on United States and on our money is a bad risk for them because we’re in bankruptcy. We’re not going to be there forever, we are going to come home and I think their dependency on us is very, very harmful to them.
What do you think? Is US foreign aid harmful to Israel? Do they need the money to ensure their continued survival against real existential threats? Should we be giving away money we don’t have? Let us know your thoughts on Facebook or in the comments below.