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Economist tallies swelling cost of Israel to US
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Christian Science Monitor


Christian Science Monitor, December 9, 2002
Posted: December 13th, 2006
http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/1209/p16s01-wmgn.html

Since 1973, Israel has cost the United States about $1.6 trillion. If divided by today's population, that is more than $5,700 per person. This is an estimate by Thomas Stauffer, a consulting economist in Washington. Mr. Stauffer has tallied the total cost to the US of its backing of Israel in its drawn-out, violent dispute with the Palestinians. The bill adds up to more than twice the cost of the Vietnam War. Israel is the largest recipient of US foreign aid. It has been getting $3 billion a year for years. Israel has been given $240 billion since 1973, Stauffer reckons. In addition, the US has given Egypt $117 billion and Jordan $22 billion in foreign aid in return for signing peace treaties with Israel. Stauffer wonders if Americans are aware of the full bill for supporting Israel since some costs, if not hidden, are little known. Other US help includes: Israel buys discounted, serviceable "excess" US military equipment. Stauffer says these discounts amount to "several billion dollars" over recent years. Israel uses roughly 40 percent of its $1.8 billion per year in military aid, ostensibly earmarked for purchase of US weapons, to buy Israeli-made hardware. It also has won the right to require the Defense Department or US defense contractors to buy Israeli-made equipment or subsystems, paying 50 to 60 cents on every defense dollar the US gives to Israel. US help ... has enabled Israel to become a major weapons supplier. Weapons make up almost half of Israel's manufactured exports. US defense contractors often resent the buy-Israel requirements and the extra competition subsidized by US taxpayers. Stauffer [has] been assisted in this research by a number of mostly retired military or diplomatic officials who do not go public for fear of being labeled anti-Semitic.

Note: Israel has a population of 6.5 million. Yearly foreign aid to Israel has generally varied between $2.5 to 3.0 billion for many years (it's difficult to locate these figures on U.S. government websites). If you do the math, U.S. taxpayers are giving every man, woman, and child, in Israel about $400/year -- over ten times the per capita rate paid to any other country. That's quite a tax break, especially considering they are not Americans.


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