US Aid Package To Israel Incentivizes War

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Above Photo: Palestinian fishermen hold banners in a protest to demand the boycott of the Israeli agricultural products, during the 10th annual Israeli Apartheid Week, at the seaport of Gaza City on March 16, 2014. Photo by Ashraf Amra

Funds for Israeli military industries and U.S. commodity purchases

On September 14, 2016, the United States and Israel signed a “memorandum of understanding” (MOU) pledging $38 billion in “security assistance” to Israel over ten years. The agreement replaces a similar MOU signed by the Bush administration. However, the Obama administration claimed two key differences on its MOU web page. First, Israel is not allowed to lobby Congress for hundreds of millions in additional funds from its embassy and US affinity organizations. Second, more of the ten-year allotment must be spent on US military contractors rather than inside Israel. However, “escape clauses” in the written agreement – which the White House never released – make such limitations unlikely. Most worrying, the MOU dangles Israel a blank check if it launches war on its neighbors, while continuing to provide the IDF with the free food and fuel it would need to sustain such a conflict.

MOU spending in Israel vs US if “escape clauses”
are implemented ($ million)

Fiscal Year

Israel

US

Total

Israel %

US %

2019

$1,315.3

$2,484.7

$3,800.0

35%

65%

2020

$1,305.3

$2,494.7

$3,800.0

34%

66%

2021

$1,295.3

$2,504.7

$3,800.0

34%

66%

2022

$1,285.3

$2,514.7

$3,800.0

34%

66%

2023

$1,275.3

$2,524.7

$3,800.0

34%

66%

2024

$1,225.3

$2,574.7

$3,800.0

32%

68%

2025

$950.3

$2,849.7

$3,800.0

25%

75%

2026

$750.3

$3,049.7

$3,800.0

20%

80%

2027

$750.3

$3,049.7

$3,800.0

20%

80%

2028

$500.0

$3,300.0

$3,800.0

13%

87%

Total

$10,652.7

$27,347.3

$38,000.0

28%

72%

On December 22, 2016 the Office of the Legal Advisor of the US Department of State released the MOU (PDF) under a Freedom of Information Act request and pressure from a lawsuit challenging the legality of the aid. Detailed annual aid schedules and escape clauses within the MOU appear to refute claims that more of the package must absolutely be spent in the United States, in contrast to a September White House announcement:

“Off shore Procurement (the arrangement under the current MOU through which Israel has been uniquely permitted to spend 26.3 percent of its annual FMF package within Israel on non-U.S. products) and Israel’s use of FMF funds to purchase fuel – means that Israel will spend more funding, as much as $1.2 billion per year, on the advanced military capabilities that only the United States can provide. The acquisition of additional U.S.-produced capabilities and technology provide the best means to ensure Israel preserves its Qualitative Military Edge (QME).”

The Obama administration cites the discontinuance of “anomalies” such as aid funding Israel’s export-driven arms industry and facilitating Israeli purchases of US commodities, rather than high-tech US military hardware. However, under the new MOU, up to 28% of total funds could be spent in Israel over the life of the agreement. That is because Israel could insist on receiving 100% of missile defense funds – rather than the recommended 50% – in “production memoranda of agreement” for such systems. Further, if only $1.2 billion per year are spent on “advanced military capabilities” from the US as mentioned in the MOU, it would allow Israel’s “purchases” of low value-added US commodities, such as food and fuel, to be $1.2-2.1 billion per year. Put another way, Israel could “gear up” for military conflicts by spending 52-64% of its “aid” allocation sourced from the US on food for the IDF and fuel for ground vehicles and aircraft. Whether US military contractors, which have inconsequential direct Israel revenues, even receive the $1.2 billion is in doubt, because the MOU is silent whether US based subsidiaries of Israeli military contractors, such as IAI North America and Elbit Systems of America, count as “Israeli” or “US” vendors.

That MOU, like its predecessor, continues to permit lavish subsidies for basic supplies – food and fuel – core to the offensive needs of the IDF, rather than the purely high-tech “defensive” infrastructure touted by the White House, is troubling. At its worst, the MOU could incentivize Israel to engage in offensive war, in order to be permitted to lobby congress for funding framed as “key to its survival.” In the MOU, Israel pledges not to seek additional funding “except in exceptional circumstances…such as in the event of a major armed conflict involving Israel.” The MOU is silent on whether Israel is allowed to seek addition funding if it is clearly the aggressor. The only requirement is that it is “jointly agreed by the US administration and Israel” that there are indeed “exceptional circumstances” that demand MOU limits be broken. In the decades spanning Israel’s existence since 1948, military conflicts have been much more the rule than exception.

  • TecumsehUnfaced

    Again, why should any of our tax money be going to the ZioNazi thug-invaders throttling Palestine, when are children are being poisoned and our infrastructure is crumbling? Any member of congress that votes our money to the ZioNazi thugs is a traitor to America’s people.

  • Robert H. Stiver

    Grant Smith is a hero to the cause — unparalleled research about and resistance against the Zionist scourge polluting us, the world, and especially the hapless Palestinians.

  • DHFabian

    Tremendously complex issue, and liberal media have done a grave public disservice by with choosing to present only one side of the issue. Here is the other side.

    Israel is the historic and modern nation of the Jews. Jews are aboriginal to this region. Modern Israel is a tiny country, roughly the size of New Jersey. It is surrounded by vast, oil-rich Arab nations, all of which are heavily armed by Russia, China, and the US. It takes everything that Israel has got, just to survive.

    Western hate for Jews goes back 2000 years based on poorly-informed ideas surrounding the crucifixion of Christ. Today’s rants against Israel (the most egalitarian of the Mideast nations) by our liberal bourgeoisie sound weirdly reminiscent of the old Protocol of the Elders, attributing near-magical power to Jews via the god known as the US.

    When it comes to America’s zeal for war in the Mideast, the blame doesn’t go to Israel or any of the Arab states. It goes to America’s middle class consumers who demand abundant, reasonably affordable oil. Few things can damage political careers as completely as high prices and long lines at the gas pumps.

  • DHFabian

    What the heck are you talking about? Zionism is “a movement for the re-establishment and development and protection of a Jewish nation.” As you might know, Israel is the historic homeland of the Jews, just as the modern US is the historic homeland of those we call American Indians. As history shows, the Jews were conquered, and most (certainly not all) were driven into exile. Following the Holocaust by Nazi Germany, much of the world understood the need to restore the Jewish nation. The historic Jewish nation was called Palestine, and was renamed Israel after the re-establishment of the Jewish nation.

    This Jewish nation — the sole Jewish nation — is surrounded by Arab nations. What we call “Palestinians” today are Israeli Arabs and those who seek a 100% “pure” Moslem Mideast. Because Israel is such a tiny country, all Israeli Arabs live within easy traveling distance of an Arab border. They have, from the start, been free to live and work in Israel, or to leave. Today’s “Palestinians” are tools being used for the destruction of Israel, again toward building the 100% “pure” Moslem Mideast.

  • DHFabian

    If you only knew how much you sound like the people in old czarist Russia, those my grandfather used to talk about who waged pogroms against the “ungodly Jews” — all in the name of one of history’s greatest Jews, Jesus.

    Every “hapless Palestinian” lives within very short traveling distance of an Arab nation, and they have always been free to stay or leave as they wish.They are not rounded up and put into concentration camps. When they are recruited to set off suicide bombs in crowded markets, it is true that the Israeli Jews react exactly as Americans would react — the way the US reacted in the aftermath of 9/11.

    Not only in our retaliation for 9/11, but in our numerous oil wars, America has killed FAR more Arabs than Israel has done in their wars to survive.

  • TecumsehUnfaced

    No, Zionism (actually ZioNazism by conduct) is a movement by unprincipled thugs to seize another people’s country and genocidally cleanse it. That is the true definition of Zionism, not the phony one made up by psychopaths fraudulently pretending to return home to a place they never saw and have far less right of ancestry than that the genuine Semites they viciously invaded.

  • TecumsehUnfaced

    Sorry, calling Palestine the mythical ‘Israel’ that never existed doesn’t justify the litany of horrors the European Ashkenazi have perpetrated upon the genuinely Semite people of Palestine. The ZioNazi claim of ancestry in Palestine is completely fraudulent. The only Jews with genuine ancestry in Palestine are the Arab Jews who lived much more peaceably with their Christian and Muslim brothers, than the ZioNazi thugs could live with anybody else in Europe or Palestine. Contrary to your silly lie, they weren’t intent on building a “100% pure Moslem Mideast”. That is pure invention by the ZioNazis trying to cover up their monumental crimes in Palestine.

  • TecumsehUnfaced

    The issue is only declared complex by those covering up the fact that Zionism is nothing more than a gang of ruthless European thugs descending on another people.

    What is especially disgusting about Zionist propagandists is that they declare that being against the atrocities of the foreign criminals assaulting and throttling is the same as Jew-hating. All decent people, including Jews, are revolted by the apartheid thugdom built and maintained by atrocities such as these:

    Over 750,000 people (~80%) driven off their ancestral lands

    Over 500 Arab villages and towns BULLDOZED and buried under pine forests

    Drove attacks on over 700,000 Arab Jews to drive them into conquered Palestine

    Of course, the thugs in control of the American government share blame with the invader ZioNazi throttling Palestine, which in no way legitimates the ZioNazi crimes against the peoples of the Middle East.

  • TecumsehUnfaced

    How does Russia have anything to do with Palestine, that the psychopathic ZioNazi thugs genocidally invaded? All you did was just mock your own complaints about bad treatment suffered by Jews in Europe. The ZioNazi thugs showed themselves to be every bit as evil in their continuing assault against the people of Palestine. How can they and their supporters possibly complain with any justice now about the crimes they suffered in Europe? The ZioNazis throttling Palestine deserve punishment equal to that received by those that throttled them in Europe. (But far better would be that the ZioNazi invaders simply return the stolen ground upon which they squat.)

  • TecumsehUnfaced

    False! The wars of the invader ZioNazi thugs were wars of aggression and land stealing from the start. Most of the Arab dead by the American thug government was promoted by the agents of the ZioNazi thugs infiltrating the American government.

  • TecumsehUnfaced

    Before pushing the ZioNazi Con Game again on us as if we were ignorant and dumb as rocks, why don’t you read this?

    ->http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.COM/2016/11/14/benny-morriss-untenable-denial-of-the-ethnic-cleansing-of-palestine/

    Every bit of that can be easily confirmed.

  • TecumsehUnfaced

    So you think it’s okay for the ZioNazis to wage war against the infidel Muslims and Christians?

    How do you even know that Jesus existed? Is it because you a sucker for ancient myths written down?

  • Robert H. Stiver

    Thanks, Tecumseh, for the link to the excellent Jeremy Hammond. His systematically presented, comprehensive, exhaustively footnoted essay destroys the Zionist narrative — once and for all, one might hope; but Ziotrolls and other assorted disinformants and liars will never cease and desist. Just one example from the less-distant past is the clear war crime perpetrated by the Zioentity so-called Israel against the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967, where clear, documented evidence is turned on its head, distorted and manipulated, with the result that the 34 murdered and 171 wounded US servicemen wounded (of a crew of some 294) and their reduced-to-scrap-metal ship will never be accorded a proper investigation and deserved justice.

  • TecumsehUnfaced

    Thanks! I’m glad to be of help. Please don’t hesitate to reciprocate.

    Johnson had to cover up. He was complicit. But I guess you already knew that. All my knowledge comes from an exhaustive Internet search starting U.S.S. Liberty. I keep wondering at how the hasbara trolls keep destroying their own credibility by insisting it was an accident.

  • TecumsehUnfaced

    Please glance this over, and see if you want to keep reading.

    ->http://www.economicpolicyjournal.COM/2013/01/the-uss-liberty-israel-president.html.

    I read most of Caro’s puff pieces on Johnson. Like many biographers he treats the subject kindly while providing the detail that the reader
    needs to see what is really going on. Johnson, like Allen Dulles, was
    satanic. I think the allegations in the above reference are at least
    most true.

  • Robert H. Stiver

    Tecumseh, I’ve just had the chance to read (scan) Judy Morris’ 2013 essay. Thanks for the link! She has a lot of facts that comport with my general acceptance of the blot on America’s political and military leadership (sic). However, I’m not easily willing to accept that LBJ was the instigator of the attack on the Liberty: the (satanic, to be sure) Zionists were quite capable of undertaking that war-crimes act on their own, with the cowardly follow-on (immediate and continuing to today) by what has become the Zioentity’s subservient enabler and abettor.
    My own go-to source for Liberty accounts is Alison Weir’s ifamericansknew.org. I’ve used its literature regarding the Liberty (and much else at the inclusive website) at numerous pro-Palestine demonstrations and fora. I also was the (by telephone) guest of Phil Tourney (Liberty survivor) on his radio show perhaps 7 years ago; the hour went by all too quickly, and I don’t know Phil’s status today (we’re both getting up there…). I’m also a now-inactive public-access TV producer, and I’ve addressed the Liberty at length via that medium.

  • TecumsehUnfaced

    I can understand your reluctance to accept that LBJ was capable of such evil. Everything that Judy Morris says doesn’t have to be true.

    I pretty much believe her though, because the actions she ascribes to Johnson as coherent with the character that I perceive from other other writings about LBJ, such as the multivolume Caro biography, which has been described as a “puff piece”. Although written very sympathetically to Johnson, it does reveal detail that allows you your own assessment.

    I find that to true about a lot of biographers, such as David McCullough on Truman. McCullough writes all this so obliviously and peaceably, and yet there is all this sturm and drang going on beneath the calmness, and he details it.

    Read Gore Vidal’s historical novels, Burr and Empire, then you real never again travel along with the biographer and his obliviousness.