Political tensions are high around Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress Tuesday, but that shows no sign of impacting aid agreements between the U.S. and Israel.
In 2007, the Bush administration agreed to give Israel $30 billion in military aid over ten years. 75 percent of that money comes back to the U.S.—Israel uses it to buy weapons systems from American defense contractors.
“So it’s everything from Hellfire missiles to airplanes,” says Haim Malka, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “U.S. aid to Israel accounts for about 20 percent of Israel’s total defense budget.”
The U.S. also gives Israel supplemental aid for things like its Iron Dome anti rocket system. And the U.S. allows tax breaks for donations and investment in Israel.
“U.S. funds invest in Israel, annually, roughly $1.5 billion,” says Avner Cohen, a professor of nonproliferation studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
The U.S. mainly gives Israel military aid. Non-military economic aid dried up as Israel’s economy grew.
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