U.S. INCREASES MILITARY AID TO ISRAEL
Sunday July 29, 2007 19:27
After Israeli officials expressed concerns over a $20 billion
military aid package from the U.S. to Saudi Arabia, the U.S. administration
promised a $30 billion package of weapons to Israel, stating that Israel is
still the top priority for the U.S. in the Middle East.
U.S.-made fighter jet (courtesy of Agence France Presse)
The $30 billion aid package will be disbursed over a period
of ten years, providing $3 billion worth of weaponry to the Israeli
military. This is in addition to the $6 billion a year in direct aid given
to Israel by the United States each year, and an additional $4 billion in
loan guarantees and indirect aid.
U.S. aid to Israel, which consists almost exclusively of military aid, far
surpasses aid given by the U.S. government to any other state on earth.
According to analyst Steven Zunes, U.S. government officials argue that this
money is necessary for "moral" reasons-some even say that Israel is a
'democracy battling for its very survival.' If that were the real reason,
however, aid should have been highest during Israel's early years, and would
have declined as Israel grew stronger. Yet "the patterno
has been just the opposite." According to Zunes, "99 percent of all U.S. aid
to Israel took place after the June 1967 war, when Israel found itself more
powerful than any combination of Arab armies."
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stated today, "We have renewed agreements
and a renewed commitment from the Americans that would help preserve our
advantage over the Arab countries."
He added that Israel fully understood the U.S. government's desire to
support so-called "moderate" states in the region. Saudi Arabia is
considered a "moderate" state, despite the fact that the monarchy,
controlled by the Saud family, has been documented to engage in multiple
human rights abuses against its population, and to preserve the wealth
gained by its massive oil reserves for a very small percentage of its
population. The majority of people in Saudi Arabia live in poverty, while
the royal class thrive in excessive wealth.
The arming of Saudi Arabia by the U.S. is apparently meant to counter the
power of Iran in the region.