THE PRICE OF ISRAEL
BY CHARLEY REESE
[CSM - 16 Dec 2002]:
The Christian Science Monitor published in its Dec. 9 edition a story about Thomas
Stauffer, a consulting economist, who said recently that the total cost of U.S. support for
Israel since 1973 is $1.6 trillion, or twice the cost of the Vietnam War.
This is relevant because the Israelis have just demanded from the U.S. taxpayers another $4
billion to cover the cost of their oppression of the Palestinians as well as an $8 billion
Ladies and gentleman, there isn't a state in the union that is not facing a financial
crisis, and if the U.S. government caves in yet again to the Israeli lobby on this matter, it
will be prima facie evidence of mass insanity or of the worse corruption since the
administration of Ulysses S. Grant.
Stauffer made his speech in a lecture commissioned by the U.S. Army War College for a
conference at the University of Maine. He has converted past aid into 2001 dollars and counts
this cost as follows:
Israel has been given $240 billion (remember, this is current dollars), while Egypt has
been given $117 billion and Jordan $22 billion as bribes for signing a peace treaty with
In 1973, when the Arabs attacked Israel in an effort to recover territory taken by Israel
in the 1967 war, U.S. support for Israel triggered the oil embargo. This, according to
Stauffer, kicked off a recession that cost $420 billion of output; the boost in oil prices
cost $450 billion; the necessity to build a strategic oil reserve, another $134 billion.
He points out that the United States has already guaranteed $10 billion in commercial loans
to Israel and $600 billion in housing loans, and he expects the U.S. Treasury will end up
paying for all of these. He goes on and on listing more costs, direct and indirect. Israel,
for example, is the only recipient of foreign aid allowed to spend a sizeable percentage of
the money on Israeli products rather than American. It's the only country from which our
defense contractors are required to buy a certain amount of Israeli-made equipment. It is the
only foreign country that gets its aid in a lump sum and then invests it in U.S. bonds so that
taxpayers not only make an annual gift to Israel but also have to pay Israel interest on that
The fact is that the Israeli government and its powerful lobby have taken advantage of the
good-heartedness of the American people. The American people are generous, but never generous
enough to satisfy Israeli demands for more of our people's hard-earned tax dollars.
It is one thing to provide emotional support. It is one thing even to guarantee coming to
the defense of another country if it is attacked. It is quite another to undertake the
permanent subsidy of a foreign country, something our federal government does not even do for
its states. We have all kinds of problems in the United States that need attention. It's time
to tell the Israelis ``We can no longer afford you.''
I highly recommend that you read the complete story in the Monitor
(www.csmonitor.com/2002/1209 /p16s01-wmgn.html). It should open your eyes to a problem that
will not be fixed unless the American people make their voices heard in Washington.
If we are going to be forced to subsidize a foreign country, I would rather it be France.
We can at least get a decent meal in France and enjoy the art treasures collected there.
Furthermore, France would not involve us in its quarrels.
It's America's policy of absolute support for Israel and Israel's cruel treatment of the
Palestinians that are a big part of our problem with terrorism. We stand convicted in the eyes
of the Muslim world of practicing a double standard by condoning Israel's human-rights
violations and protecting it from international sanctions. That, too, is a terrible price the
American people can no longer afford to pay.