Eretz Yisrael Time

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Monday, November 10, 2008
There is going to be one area of US foreign policy where I was sure that US President Obama would agree with JoeSettler (but for entirely different reasons), but it would appear to not be the case.

Back when, under Netanyahu, a plan was implemented to wean Israel off of US foreign and military aid.

And it was going great. US foreign aid to Israel was approaching zero (perhaps it already had).

And then Olmert came along and got another $30 Billion pledge from Bush (all in envelopes?) - undermining all of Netanyahu's efforts and planning.

Israel does not need US foreign aid.

We are now a strong country economically, and all foreign aid does is create an unhealthy dependency for Israel. Meanwhile, for the US it is actually good as it keeps Israel on a leash while looking good politically for local Jewish consumption. But tachlis, it is bad for Israel.

In terms of military aid, it is also extremely problematic. Local military industries find their arms tied because they aren't allowed to compete in certain markets or to develop certain products.

The military is forced to spend the money in the US, even if something homegrown would be better (for the military and the economy). And the whole purchasing system from the US is internally corrupt, lacks proper oversight and is effectively noncompetitive (meaning the military will pay more than they have to if they had their choice of sources -even within the US suppliers).

Furthermore, most of the big manufacturers have local representatives, and all this system does is cause problems as the military won't buy local for the same price or even less (to just touch on that iceberg)

I will admit that I would wean Israel off it slightly more slowly than from the foreign aid (to be on the safe side), but it has to go.

And again, foreign military aid to Israel is good for the US.

Much of the Israeli Military aid goes directly back into the hands of US contractors and manufacturers (it should be all, but that is another story).

Israel, the most innovative developer of weapon systems can be (and has been) forced to back down when they compete with US industries, and in the end, the US has a big influence (just like with the foreign aid) simply because they are supplying the money.

In fact, Foreign and Military aid is actually a keystone in US foreign policy, for instance, that is all that keeps Egypt from overtly attacking Israel. Without it, Egypt would financially collapse and the only logical move to save their dictatorial regime would be to attack Israel. There is simply no incentive for Egypt to change its political system or to fix itself economically as the US is propping it up.

Israel is not some 3rd world Arab dictatorship. It's time we divest from US foreign aid. When Netanyahu is back in power I assume that will be one of the first things he does. I will hope that Obama will cooperate with him and work with him towards Israeli interests as we define them.


Risa Tzohar said...

Is this an endorsment of Netanyahu and the Likud?

Leah Goodman said...

I only realized how deep a problem it all is when I found out that we'd imported HUMMUS from America for Manot Krav.

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