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Not foreign aid, subsidy to major US defence contractors

Reader comment on item: End U.S. Aid to Israel

Submitted by Josiah Rotenberg (Israel), Jul 26, 2016 at 10:37

I am not a military expert, but am sure that if Israel were free to shop for whatever it decided it needed wherever it was available, they would get more for their money and think more seriously about it. (Is buying the F-35 the right thing to do?)

However, despite complaints in the US about this aid, most of the money goes back to the US. I suspect that if the Israeli government said no thanks to the aid, you would see a lot of pressure from the big US defence contractors to strong arm Israel into keeping this program in place. To some extent (or perhaps a very large extent) this is not a foreign aid program, but a program designed to force a major arms buyer to buy American, I think you should think of it as a subsidy to Boeing etc (interestingly, El Al is also forced to buy from Boeing exclusively as well – they deny it, but it is clearly true).

Thus, I am not sure that Israel could unilaterally disarm, so to speak.

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