The United States has provided $146 billion in foreign aid to the Israeli state, much used for military-related purposes. Today the United States provides some $3.8 billion to Israel annually, accounting for 20% of its defense budget.
In the final months of the Obama administration, the United States and Israel inked an agreement to provide Israel with $38 billion in military assistance over ten years, the highest aid package in history.
The United States is Israel’s largest supplier of military hardware. It includes 362 U.S.-built F-16 warplanes and 100 other US military aircraft, including a growing fleet of the new F-35s; at least 45 Apache attack helicopters; 600 M-109 howitzers; and 64 M270 rocket-launchers. Last week Israel used many of these U.S.-supplied weapons in its bombardment of Gaza.
The US military alliance with Israel involves joint military exercises and joint production of Arrow missiles and other weapons systems. The US and Israeli militaries have collaborated on drone technologies tested by the Israelis in Gaza.
In 2004, during the US military occupation of Iraq, the United States benefited from Israeli experience in Occupied Territories (Palestine). Israel provided tactical training for US Special Operations Forces confronted by popular resistance in Iraq.
The US military maintains a $1.8 billion stockpile of weapons at six locations in Israel, pre-positioned for future US wars in the Middle East. During the Israeli assault on Gaza in 2014, US Congress suspended some weapons deliveries to Israel while they approved handing overstocks of 120mm mortar shells and 40mm grenade launcher ammunition from the US stockpile for Israel to use against Palestinians in Gaza.
The United States abuses its privileged position as a veto-wielding Permanent Member of the Security Council to shield its ally Israel. This unique power counters any efforts to hold the Israeli government accountable for its actions under international law.
The United States has exercised its veto in the UN Security Council 82 times, and 44 of those vetoes have been to shield Israel from accountability for war crimes or human rights violations. In every single case, the United States has been the lone vote against the resolution, although a few other countries have occasionally abstained.
The US diplomatic shielding of Israel encourages the inhuman treatment of Palestinians. With US abetment Israel has seized more Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, uprooted more and more Palestinians from their homes, and respond to any resistance from the Palestinians with force, violence, detentions, and restrictions on day-to-day life.
Despite most Americans supporting neutrality in the conflict, AIPAC and other pro-Israel lobbying groups have exercised an extraordinary role in bribing and intimidating US politicians to provide unconditional support for Israel.
The roles of campaign contributors and lobbyists in the US political system make the United States vulnerable to the influence-peddling and intimidation by corporations and industry groups like the Military-Industrial Complex, Big Pharma, interest groups like the NRA, AIPAC: and lobbyists. In recent years, The Intercept and Al Jazeera have exposed the Israeli involvement in this corrupt system.
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