US military aid to Israel keeps increasing

YUSUF SELMAN İNANÇ @yusufsinanc
Istanbul
Published

Israel has been receiving military aid from the U.S. since its establishment in 1948. Despite the fact that former U.S. President Barack Obama had been critical of Israel on certain issues, including the illegal settlements, President Donald Trump has started pursuing a full support policy, a sign of which was moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. The military aid increases constantly. Accordingly, the bloodshed witnessed in Gaza has reminded the world that the U.S. is Israel's partner and shares the guilt of killing unarmed people thanks to its military aid.

A quick look at the "Green Book," in which figures are provided by the Department of Defense, proves that, since the beginning, the U.S. has been providing significant military aid to Israel. Between 1946 and 2016, the total amount of military aid excluding any other type of aid or military cooperation was $91.6 million. The amount was $3.175 million in 2017 alone. The requested sum for 2019 is $3.3 million. In total, military aid from the U.S. to Israel has reached $94,792,700. When other aspects are considered, like missile defense systems, the sum increases to $134,764,080.

Trump has launched a new era between the U.S. and Israel, with relations between the two warmer than ever. U.S.-Israeli relations under Obama witnessed their worst era after the White House signed a nuclear deal with Iran, considered Israel's biggest and most dangerous enemy. Moreover, the Obama administration opposed the new illegal settlements and abstained from the United Nations Security Council vote condemning Israel's illegal settlements. Allegedly, Obama also sent more than $200 million to the Palestinian Authority in aid. Obama also asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2015 not to deliver a speech in Congress and refused to meet him after he did so. Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren said in 2010, "Israel's ties with the United States are in their worst crisis since 1975 ... a crisis of historic proportions." According to a poll conducted by the Jerusalem Post in 2010, only 9 percent of Jewish Israelis believe that the Obama administration is more pro-Israel than pro-Palestinian. In 2009, Obama said in the U.N., "And we continue to emphasize that America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements." Obama's dislike of Netanyahu became officially public when Obama's microphone was left on while he conversed with former French President Nicholas Sarkozy. Sarkozy told Obama: "I cannot stand him [Netanyahu]. He is a liar." Obama replied: "You're fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day!"

Obviously, Obama had not changed the U.S.' main policy toward Israel. In his era the total amount of U.S. military aid pledged in the memorandum of understanding for 2019-2028 rose to almost $30 billion. Besides, Israel bought 33 F-35 warplanes, paying more than $5 billion. The two countries also work together to develop a missile system. The Iron Dome missile system cost the U.S. $1.335 billion, while the U.S. had to spend $1.127 billion for David's Sling, the short- to medium-range missile system.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter