One of the central components of the relationship between the United States and Israel is the $3 billion in aid the Israel receives annually from the US.
Israel should seek to have positive relationships with every country in the world – relationships based upon mutual respect, benefit and interest. In instances where Israel and another country may not see eye to eye, each should be free to act according to their own interests.
Unfortunately, the current relationship between Israel and the US is not representative of the model presented above, and in its current form, it can not be considered to be a healthy relationship a healthy one – for either party. There are many problems with Israel accepting foreign (including military) aid from the United States, most notably among that them being that a country can not be both independent and dependent at the same time.
Historically one of the problems with welfare, which is exactly what the US aid package to Israel is, is that often times those receiving it have no real incentive to ever get off of it.
Zionism, being the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, believes in a strong and free sovereign Jewish state; a state that lives within her means and earns whatever she has, through the industriousness and ingenuity of her citizens.
By accepting foreign aid from United States, or any country for that matter, Israel is giving up her freedom to implement policies without foreign interference.
Additionally, as we have mentioned before, not only does accepting foreign aid limit Israel’s independence, but it also is simply not economically smart, as a recent study by the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies has shown that every dollar of US Aid costs Israel up to 1.4 dollars. Not to mention that Israel must spend over 70% of the aid package in the United States, which serves as a stimulus for the US economy, while weakening Israel’s economy at the same time.
In an paper published by the Hoover Institute of Standford University, entitled “Why Aid to Israel Hurts . . . Israelis,” Alvin Rubashka stated the following:
Free money is the scourge of Israel’s economy. It is the difference between a free, prosperous Israel and a statist, dependent Israel. Before U.S. aid began flowing, Israel’s economic performance rivaled that of the high-growth Asian Tigers. Since then, Israel’s growth rate has fallen by more than half.
Forcing Israel to provide for herself will not hurt Israel’s economy, but actually strengthen it, serving as an impetus for Israel to challenge herself to develop her economy and industry in new ways, because there would no longer be free handouts from Uncle Sam.
Furthermore, while the United States spares no opportunity to speak of its desire to see peace in the Middle East, particularly between Israel and her neighbors, it has consistently – for her own interests – armed both sides of the conflict. While Israel may be the US’s single largest recipient of military aid in the region, the amount of US military aid going to Israel’s neighbors makes the amount Israel receives pale in comparison. (This is in addition to the US training a Palestinian army under the leadership of US General Keith Dayton).
One can only wonder what the region would look like if all the foreign powers, with their own interests and agendas, were to step out, and allow the indigenous peoples of the region to work things out amongst themselves.
And, as for the US, it is legitimate to ask whether or not the US can still afford the luxury of bestowing foreign aid – not just to Israel – but in general. While there are certainly benefits to the United States ‘giving of foreign aid, today it may be a luxury that the American people simply can no longer afford with her ever increasing deficit and growing unemployment.
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) recently called on the United States to end all foreign aid to the Middle East, recently sending a “Dear Colleague” letter to all members of the House of Representatives entitled, “Stop buying friends overseas, save $6 billion!”
Borrowing money from China — or printing it out of thin air — to hand out overseas in [an] attempt to purchase friends has been a failing foreign policy, as we see most recently in Egypt where there is not even a government in place! We should seek friendly relations and trade overseas, but we cannot justify lavish gifts to foreign leaders when American taxpayers are increasingly feeling the pain of our economic crisis.
For those interested in a strong, Zionist Israel, as well as those looking out for the welfare of the United States, there is only one course of action that can be followed…
Stop the aid!