How Much Money Does the U.S. Give Israel?
President Joe Biden is being challenged from within the Democratic Party over the $3.8 billion of aid the U.S. sends to Israel every year.
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is being challenged from within the Democratic Party over the $3.8 billion of aid the U.S. sends to Israel every year, according to the BBC.
Senator Bernie Sanders, for one, has said the U.S. should look hard at how the money is spent.
Almost all U.S. aid to Israel comes in the form of military assistance and its annual grants represent around 20 percent of the overall Israeli defense budget, according to a 2020 report by the Congressional Research Service.
Israel has used billions of dollars on gaining military superiority over its neighbors. For example purchasing 50 F-35 fighter jets, which can be used for missile attacks, or last year purchasing eight KC-46A Boeing aircraft.
Of the $3.8 billion given to Israel in 2020, $500 million, or around 13 percent, was used for missile defence systems.
These include the Iron Dome system, toward which the U.S. has contributed $1.6 billion since 2011.
Since 2016, the U.S. has also spent $177.5 million on 'anti-tunnel capabilities' that detect, map and neutralize underground tunnels that threaten itself or Israel.
To date, the U.S has provided Israel with $146 billion in military and missile defense funding, and its military spending commitments have steadily increased over the last three decades, under the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations.
According to the BBC, since World War II, Israel has received more U.S. aid in total than any other country. In 2019, the last one-year period with fully reported figures, it was only receiving less aid than Afghanistan, a country that will receive much less aid now that U.S. troops are set to leave.
The context for Israeli funding is changing, however. Last month, in the House of Representatives, U.S. Congresswoman Betty McCollum introduced a bill asking for guarantees that U.S. aid is not used in abuses against Palestinians, according to Al Jazeera.
Meanwhile, last week, Democrats in both houses introduced resolutions aimed at blocking a new $735 million arms sale to Israel, according to The Guardian. While unlikely to pass, they reflect a 2021 Gallup poll showing 25 percent of Americans now sympathize more with Palestinians than Israelis, an increase of six percentage points since 2018.
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