US Taxpayers Paid More to Israeli Defense Budget than Israelis
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.
Ashkenazi and War Crimes Accusations
IN 2010 Turkey issued an arrest warrant for Ashkenazi for Israeli forces’ killing of 9 civilians, including one who held American citizenship.
On 27th December 2008, the suspect, Chief of Staff, ordered the Israeli army to attack densely populated areas in the Gaza Strip. For three weeks, 1,500 tons of bombs were dropped from the air on residential neighborhoods in Gaza and tens of thousands of artillery shells were fired from tanks. For 3 weeks, the army damaged and destroyed houses, schools, hospitals, infrastructure, water and electrical plants, killed more than 1,300 people, hundreds of them children, and injured about 5,300 people. Thousands of houses were bombed or shelled and 50,000 residents were made homeless, without shelter.
Prior to this, the suspect was part of a group, which implemented a siege on 1.5 million people in the Gaza Strip, denying them a regular supply of food, water, medicine, fuel and electricity for 18 months.
According to international law, it is absolutely prohibited to bomb residential areas in a way that interrupts the lives of civilians; to carry out executions without trial, to collectively punish; to destroy or damage hospitals, schools and homes. The prohibitions against collective punishment were enshrined in the Geneva Conventions after the behavior of the Nazis in Europe during World War II when they destroyed entire villages to punish residents for sheltering the resistance. 194 countries agree with the prohibitions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
In December 2008, a complaint was filed in the Hague against the suspect, on suspicion that he had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity for ordering the siege of Gaza.
Source: Veterans News Now
Alison Weir is an American freelance journalist and founder and Executive Director of If Americans Knew and president of The Council for National Interest.
Ms. Weir writes and speaks on issues covering the situation in Palestine/Israel, addresses the historical context and provides critique of how the media covers issues which challenges U.S. foreign policy and well-funded lobby interests. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the world’s major sources of instability. Americans are directly connected to this conflict, and increasingly imperiled by its devastation. It is the goal of If Americans Knew to provide full and accurate information on this critical issue.
For more information visit her website at Allison Weir Official Web Site She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.