Three billion dollars annual military aid to Israel funded by American taxpayers
The nondescript warehouse-like buildings in rural Pennsylvania are the headquarters of Combined Systems, Inc.—one of the largest manufacturers and international suppliers of teargas, stun grenades and other “non-lethal” crowd control devices in the world.
Israel, or more accurately, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), is their most frequent client. And Combined Systems’ relationship with the IDF is an emblem of a global system that binds together US weapons companies, repressive governments and taxpayer money.
Here’s how this system generally works: a foreign government requests a certain amount of military assistance from the United States government. If the US government chooses to accept this request, Congress appropriates the amount into the budget, and once the budget is passed, the recipient can use the money to purchase weapons from US manufacturers. Israel is a case in point.
The United States has given foreign aid to Israel since 1949. By 1962, this money was used to fund the purchase of US weaponry, forming the foundation of the relationship between the US government and Israeli military. Due to an Israeli economic crisis during the 1980s, military loans to Israel were eliminated and replaced with grants. In 2008, all economic aid was eliminated and replaced exclusively with military aid.
Today, Israel receives about $3.1 billion annually from the United States in foreign military financing, or more simply, military aid. Since this form of foreign assistance is part of the congressional budget, this collective amount is financed entirely by the US taxpayer.
[Excerpts of article by Anna Lekas Miller]