Friday, June 8, 2012

An Economic Argument for Ending US Military Aid to Israel

In his recent article in The National Interest ("The Case for Ending Aid to Israel"), Doug Bandow lays out an economic argument as to why the US should not provide Israel with military aid. According to Bandow, the US can ill afford the $30 billion dollars in military aid promised to Israel over 10 years, particularly in light of America's continuing economic troubles. Moreover, he questions whether US military aid effectively supports Israel, "a wealthy nation with a booming hi-tech sector" as well as a regionally dominant military.  He notes that "Israeli producers lose government contracts and consequent economies of scale" because the US stipulates a large portion of arms bought with aid money must be sourced from the United States and suggests that "U.S. “assistance” further inflates Israel’s already bloated government." Thereby, US aid prevents Israel from becoming an efficient, independent power.

The Case for Ending Aid to Israel

You can’t buy love, it is said, but it isn’t for want of trying by Washington. The United States appears to believe the only way to demonstrate friendship with other governments is to either defend or subsidize them. Unfortunately, the latter strategy rarely works. It’s time for Washington to turn off the aid spigot—especially for wealthier nations like Israel.

While the US Campaign agrees that US military aid to Israel is economically unsustainable, we believe that the the argument against such aid runs far deeper.  US military aid directly supports occupation and apartheid, enforced by the Israeli government, which deprives the Palestinian people of their basic human rights.  This apartheid system is both morally and legally reprehensible, and the US must take a stand against it by withdrawing financial support.  For more details on where we stand on US military aid to Israel, read our policy paper.

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