‘Israel receives more US military aid than every other country in the world combined’ — New York Times reveals

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This is actually a very good review in the New York Times of a book that apparently gushes about Israel’s arms industry, The Weapons Wizards: How Israel Became a High-Tech Military Superpower, by Yaakov Katz and Amir Bohbot.

Reviewer Rosa Brooks describes the contents of the book, so for about two thirds of the review there is a lot of gushing (How did “the tiny Jewish state manage… to become such a military innovator[?]… brains, pluck and the bracing prospect of imminent annihilation”). But then Brooks, a former Pentagon official and now law professor at Georgetown who has published her own book on permanent war, points out the facts that shine a different light on the issue.

Left largely unmentioned, for instance, is the role of the United States. American security guarantees over the last few decades have kept Israel’s neighbors relatively docile, if not precisely friendly, and nearly a quarter of Israel’s annual defense budget is effectively paid for by the United States. Israel receives more American military aid than every other country in the world combinedA more complete answer to “How did Israel do it?” might be: pluck, brains and billions of dollars of American aid each year.

“The Weapon Wizards” is also largely silent on how Israel uses its military might. Absent is any reflection on the role of the Israeli armed forces in paving the way for the contentious expansion of Jewish settlements into Palestinian territory, for instance, or the Israeli practice of destroying homes occupied by the families of suspected militants, though both have been condemned by the international community.

Katz and Bohbot are similarly uninterested in the brave new world Israel is helping to create…. [T]argeted killings are interesting only because they showcase the combination of “cutting-edge technology, high quality intelligence, and Israel’s best and brightest minds.”

The only significant omission on her part is that she doesn’t mention who Israel helped arm.  They armed some of the nastiest people, like the Guatemalan military. And they are widely believed to have been involved in South Africa’s atom bomb project, and maybe that alleged nuclear test in 1979, too.

The most important disclosure here, though, is about US military aid.

“Israel receives more American military aid than every other country in the world combined.”

John Kerry made a similar statement at the Saban Forum in December:

“I’ve watched while we, the Obama Administration, have put $23.5 billion on the line for foreign military financing. More than 50 percent of the total that we give to the entire world has gone to Israel.”

This fact needs to be reported widely, especially in the light of Israeli human rights abuses Rosa Brooks cites. Arabs know all about what we underwrite, from house demolitions to targeted killings. It’s time Americans did, too.


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Facts about US aid to Israel need to come out. It actually may matter more given our current America First political situation. It could tick off trump supporters. On a tangential note, the CBS Evening News ran a story about settlements (Thursday or Friday night) that let settlers talk openly… Read more »

the information regarding US military loan guarantees to Israel needs to be exposed? what a joke. how long have israel-haters, anti-zionists jew-haters and critics of israel alike been shouting from the rooftops about how much aid israel gets? for at least 20yrs and probably much longer. this line has been… Read more »

“A more complete answer to How did Israel do it?’ might be: pluck, brains and billions of dollars of American aid each year.” Further, the billions of American dollars came from financially sabotaging America’s democracy. e.g. “War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror”, for readers who haven’t… Read more »

The bigger question is at what point do the American people demand the American Government do something about the Israel Lobby infiltration and manipulation of its policies that make such embarassingly large sums available to Israel which make American taxpayers lives harder due to lack of funding for their own… Read more »

I wonder if the book, or the review, mentions the disappearance of hundreds of pounds of uranium from the U.S., in what is variously known as the NUMEC affair or the Apollo affair? I first learned about it from a brief, almost cryptic mention in the New York Review of… Read more »