Starting in 2019, the U.S. will give Israel $38 billion over the next 10 years – $3.8 billion per year, which is $10.41 million per day.
This is in line with previous years. In 2017, the U.S. gave Israel $3.7 billion – about $10.14 million per day. In other words, the new aid package amounts to an increase of around $27 million per year.
Israel has long received more U.S. money than any other country. Some earlier disbursements were even larger when considered in today’s dollars.
This aid to Israel amounts to more than half of all direct military aid the United States provides worldwide.
The new agreement will slowly phase out a unique Israeli privilege: Israel’s exception to the requirement that all U.S. military aid be used on American goods and services (40% of military aid to Israel is currently exempted). This special exemption is supposed to end by the seventh year.
It is expected that Israel and Israeli companies will work to get around this potential loss of revenue in a number of ways:
- forming “partnerships” with American companies;
- increasing the practice of requiring that some of the systems Israel purchases from American companies include Israeli-made components;
- increasing the amount of materiel and other goods in general that the U.S. purchases from Israel, already far from negligible.
Under the agreement Israel promises not to not ask for additional money; however, this promise includes loopholes:
- Israel may ask for more money if there is a “war.” (Israel’s 2014 invasion of Gaza – during which its forces killed over 2,200 Gazans, over a third of them women and children, and Palestinian resistance fighters killed 67 Israelis – was frequently called a “war.”)
- The great many Congressional representatives who are personally pro-Israel or who wish to curry favor with pro-Israel donors and media may independently vote additional money to Israel. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has already indicated that he intends to do just this.
Aid to Israel is technically illegal, violating U.S. regulations prohibiting U.S. aid to non-signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. There is currently a lawsuit pending in Washington DC challenging the disbursement of this aid.
The American public is not in favor of this aid to Israel. A recent survey showed that almost two-thirds of American voters feel that the U.S. gives Israel too much moneys. Numerous surveys over the years found that approximately two-thirds to three-quarters don’t wish the U.S. to take sides on Israel-Palestine.
The agreement is in the form of a “memorandum of understanding.” It is not a treaty and is not legally binding. American voters have the right to demand that the MoU be abandoned and that the aid end.