The Israeli army’s chief of staff states that in the past three years, “US taxpayers have contributed more to the Israeli defense budget than Israeli taxpayers,” according to a report in the Jerusalem Post, a prominent Israeli newspaper.
by Alison Weir
According to the report, Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi made the statement during a speech on September 11th. In it he emphasized: “We must preserve ties with the United States. I believe this is a security necessity.”
According to the newspaper the speech was at the Calcalist Conference, which appears to be an annual event in Tel Aviv sponsored by the Calcalist newspaper, an Israeli Hebrew-only daily financial newspaper. It is is part of the group that publishes Yedioth Ahronoth, the largest circulation newspaper in Israel.
American taxpayers give Israel over $3 billion per year (over $8 million per day), more than to any other nation, despite the fact that Israel is smaller than New Jersey and is in the top 30 richest countries in the world.
Per capita, Israelis receive $10,000 more U.S. tax money than average.
Some of the other top recipients of US tax money, Egypt and Jordan, were provided this assistance in return for diplomatic recognition of the Israeli state.
According to the Congressional Research Service, Israel is given this money in a lump sum at the beginning of the fiscal year. Americans then pay interest on money they have given to Israel, while Israel makes interest on it.
In recent years Israel has reported a lower unemployment rate than the US and a better account balance.
Ashkenazi’s statements are extremely significant, since this is the first time that an Israeli leader has pointed out that American taxpayers pay more to Israel’s defense budget than do Israelis.
If the costs of the Iraq war, which was largely pushed by Israel partisans in the Bush administration, were added into the equation, the American tax money on behalf of Israel would quite likely dwarf the amount paid by Israeli taxpayers.
Some top economists predict that the cost of the Iraq war will be $3 trillion.
Israel has a population of about 7 million people.
Today, Israel partisans are similarly pushing attacks on Iran.
Israel has frequently been accused of using American funds in violation of U.S. arms control laws.