Tuesday, September 20, 2005

US Aid to Israel

Interesting article on US aid to Israel here.

Israel, whose troubles arise solely from its unwillingness to give back land it seized in the 1967 war in return for peace with its neighbors, does not fit those criteria. In fact, Israel's 1995 per capita gross domestic product was $15,800. That put it below Britain at $19,500 and Italy at $18,700 and just above Ireland at $15,400 and Spain at $14,300.

All four of those European countries have contributed a very large share of immigrants to the U.S., yet none has organized an ethnic group to lobby for U.S. foreign aid. Instead, all four send funds and volunteers to do economic development and emergency relief work in other less fortunate parts of the world.


It gets a little more complex here:

Further, friends of Israel never tire of saying that Israel has never defaulted on repayment of a U.S. government loan. It would be equally accurate to say Israel has never been required to repay a U.S. government loan. The truth of the matter is complex, and designed to be so by those who seek to conceal it from the U.S. taxpayer.

Most U.S. loans to Israel are forgiven, and many were made with the explicit understanding that they would be forgiven before Israel was required to repay them. By disguising as loans what in fact were grants, cooperating members of Congress exempted Israel from the U.S. oversight that would have accompanied grants. On other loans, Israel was expected to pay the interest and eventually to begin repaying the principal. But the so-called Cranston Amendment, which has been attached by Congress to every foreign aid appropriation since 1983, provides that economic aid to Israel will never dip below the amount Israel is required to pay on its outstanding loans. In short, whether U.S. aid is extended as grants or loans to Israel, it never returns to the Treasury.


Interesting.

1 Comments:

Anonymous David said...

Another study of the economic cost of supporting Israel, from a few years ago--

ECONOMIST TALLIES SWELLING COST OF ISRAEL TO US
David R. Francis, Christian Science Monitor, December 09, 2002
http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/1209/p16s01-wmgn.html


Stauffer tries to quantify some of the indirect costs--like the higher cost of oil, reduced trade with the rest of the Middle East, and the "bribery" aid to Egypt and Jordan to get them to sign peace treaties with Israel.

The article concludes with:
"Stauffer's list will be controversial. He's been assisted in this research by a number of mostly retired military or diplomatic officials who do not go public for fear of being labeled anti-Semitic if they criticize America's policies toward Israel."

9/22/2005 08:19:00 AM  

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